Saturday, August 8, 2009

Educating Mama

I found a co-op! I am deliriously excited and happy about this. I am also intimidated beyond belief. Sure, I have a college degree. Sure, I graduated magna cum laude. Sure, I won most outstanding senior in psychology in 2000. But none of that means that I'm educated. I managed to figure out the system and I was able to do well on tests. Granted, I am very knowledgeable in grammar, Spanish, psychology, and theater. But all of those other general requirements... not so much. I somehow was able to make A's in all of my courses without actually learning much of anything.

History, Science, Math... you know the drill. I hated them. I didn't do well at them. I couldn't "get" them. Since becoming an adult and learning more about learning, I've figured out that some of these subjects are easier to understand when they are "taught" in a more practical manner. Lately I've discovered that I really enjoy learning about history, especially American history, if it's taught in the context of an interesting novel or television show. I loved learning about the 1940's via Lynn Austin's book A WOMAN'S PLACE. And thanks to Lifetime's "Army Wives", I have a better idea of what is currently going on in our government, our military, and in Iraq.

When I looked over the outline for what our children will be learning in our co-op, I was very intimidated. The only thing on the list that really stood out as something familiar to me was the word "Mesopotamia" which happens to be the name of a B-52s song and record. And according to that song, it had something to do with 6 or 8 thousand years ago. Okay.

I really hope that the people at this co-op don't catch on to me. Maybe I'll be able to fake it! Perhaps they will never have any idea that I'm actually learning so much more than my children. Hey, isn't that one of the best parts of unschooling? The family simply learns together. Well, I'm pretty psyched about this! I'm a life long learner and now that I've figured out that learning, no matter how it's done, even if it's "fun" or done through tv, is still learning! I really wish someone had told me this about 25 years ago. These are some of my main reasons for choosing unschooling... because clearly there is something flawed about a system that places more emphasis on good grades than on the actual act of learning for the sake of learning. Those few classes about which I was passionate are the only ones that are still with me today.

But about our co-op. It is right here in our city and I've wrangled in a few of our friends too. It's free. It's twice a month. The kids will only be enrolled in Science and History thus far because of their ages but the co-op also offers math and latin! Cool huh? I can't wait.

What about you? Do you sometimes feel like a fraud when educating your children? How do you cope with those feelings of inadequacy? Is educating yourself one of the reasons you have chosen to homeschool? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please tell me I'm not alone!

UPDATE: Went to a planning meeting for the co-op today. I didn't feel in the least bit intimidated and I truly liked every woman there. This is undoubtedly going to be a fantastic experience and I'm so very excited to have this opportunity. I'm especially excited this friend and this friend both decided to join up after I sent them an email with the information! I'm always all about having an excuse to hang with these families more often!


  1. I so wish I could find a co-op around here. Maybe I'll have to start one of my own in a few years.

    I don't feel like a fraud so much. I do feel like my need to educate myself while I educate my children simply shows how bad the education system I came from (and won't be sending them into) really is. Does that make sense?

  2. That is wondeful! I wish we had something like tha in our town!!! Nice!

  3. Yes, that makes perfect sense, Sarah.

    Mimi, I know. I was so excited!

  4. I was the all A student that was so sick of the system that I didn't finish college. I didn't learn anything at school either. History has always been especially baffling. Then I started homeschooling (so my kids wouldn't have to go through all that ridiculous waste of time) and lo and behold I found out that history can actually be fun and math doesn't have to be a chore! I get really excited about our science and history lessons, because I'm actually learning something! And I'm pretty sure the kids are learning something too. ;)

  5. Mandy, I am so excited too! Thank you, thank you, thank you for passing the info! I don't know if I would say a fraud, but I definitely feel like I should be more educated! I just plan on learning along with the kids. when they ask me a question I don't know -which is quite often- i say, "Let's go look it up!"

  6. I read you because I admire that you ARE homeschooling. I know I just couldn't take it on, and I just have to hope that their teachers will do a better job than I would do at home. (But I will continue to teach them what I do feel confident in.)
    You sound like you've got a firm handle on it and the co-op will fill in all the rest!

  7. z&t, thank you so much! i appreciate the words of encouragement.

  8. I felt like a fraud when I was a public school teacher--not now. :) I think it's all a matter of perspective.

  9. well, sure! i went back to college to get a teaching license and after one year i quit and decided then and there that i'd homeschool my kids one day.

  10. I am so thrilled to do this, too. Thank you! And, Amanda, too. Yay. And, yes this litte sneaking suspicion of self-doubt creeps in frequently, but then I smash it back down knowing people like you, having opportunities like this, and KNOWING that this is the very best for the children. Now that you mention it, I felt like a fraud as a public school teacher, too. I am so thankful to be doing this right now, right here.


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