Homework for Homeschool?

Do Homeschoolers have Homework?

I recently over-heard Oliver’s reply to the question above with a question of his own: “Wouldn’t that just be school after school?”

Well, his hypothetical is right. Whether public, private or parochial, most classrooms have quite a few students and I understand how there would be enough time to teach a concept – but not enough time to practice it in the classroom.  And the practice is vital to the learning!  In a typical homeschool, one-on-one teaching means more efficient learning and if more time is needed for a subject, we can take it. Practice-work is done immediately after the lesson, so there is no time-gap. Because of this, sometimes our school days are long. If we are making huge strides or having fun with a subject, why stop? There is no ringing bell or school bus to catch.

You must do the things you think you cannot do.Eleanor Roosevelt

I love when the kids’ friends come over after school. Like an over-eager nerd-mom, I am always trying to help them with their math homework. It is nice to see what other kids are working on and what their homework sheets look like. I have a greater appreciation for that now. I used to be frustrated by the amount of homework coming home, but at least now I understand why it is needed. I suspect homework for traditional schools also serves as a portal for bringing parents into the fold of the curriculum, so they know what their child is learning.

In our travel-school, we marry studies with field trips that reinforce the subjects learned.  This is something I am certain all schools try to do, but naturally logistics and cost would be a limiting factor. Our field trips are an important component to our understanding of a concept, place, historical event or person…

Recently, we studied the life and work of Jane Goodall, animal behavior expert, conservationist and social activist. She is also a United Nations Messenger of Peace. We heard her speak at the University of Rhode Island campus as part of its 2017 fall Honors Colloquium. We were gobsmacked to get tickets. Jane was a brilliant speaker, relating stories of her childhood, education, family and her work. She was tiny in stature but lit up the 7,000-seat auditorium like a beacon of sunshine and hope. Jane’s unpretentious, informal manner left us feeling inspired to do great things. While funny and engaging, her message was forthright and powerful: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”


We also studied civil rights and slavery in our U.S. History class, so we drove to Boston to experience the Black Heritage Trail, as well as the Museum of African American History. The trail, a lesser-known sister to the famous “Freedom Trail”, starts at the State House and meanders through Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood. We were mesmerized by the 19th and 20th century history available to us a short drive north and how active the people in Massachusetts were in the fight to abolish slavery. We felt proud of our New England Heritage and highly recommend this tour.

The last stop on the trail left us at the Museum of African American History, which included a special exhibit on Frederick Douglass.  Fun Fact: Did you know Frederick Douglass was the MOST photographed American of the 19th century? True story. He also used SOCIAL MEDIA of the 1800’s (photography) to advance his mission to abolish slavery. He was a super cool guy. Walking the path of anti-slavery activists and the exact cobbles used in the underground railroad is an educational experience not to be missed; Be prepared to see the world a little differently.

Our country has been shaped and molded by activists in various areas and we benefit every day by their work and perseverance.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Experiential Learning” is the new educational term, but every teacher knows this is not a new concept. Schools everywhere work so hard to get it right:  choosing curriculum, balancing budget, listening to parents and caring for kids has to be one of the most difficult jobs around. I am MAX’d with just two kids in our school!

…  So, no. Homeschoolers do not have “homework”… unless one considers it ALL “home” work… then, yes they do.


About URi and the fall 2017 Honors Colloquium:  https://today.uri.edu/news/jane-goodall-to-headline-uris-fall-2017-honors-colloquium

Learn more about Jane Goodall and her work here: http://www.janegoodall.org.

Photo of the lovely Jane Goodall above was taken in Taitung with aboriginal children… (stock photo, I purchased from Dreamstime.com)

Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday was October 11th! Read more great Eleanor Roosevelt quotes here: https://www.brainyquote.com/lists/authors/top_10_eleanor_roosevelt_quotes

The Museum of African American History is tucked quietly in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood off Joy Lane. Worth the trip!  http://maah.org/exhibits.htm

The bronze sculpture in photo above depicts Col. Shaw and the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts and serves as a memorial to the first African Americans to fight in the civil war.  Created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, it took 14 years to finish. The sculpture was dedicated in 1930 at 24 Beacon Street, Boston, across from the State House. 

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