Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Transformative Power of Homeschooling

LionHeart, age 7, and KingMan, age 13, enjoying the Clearwater Nature Center

 Who would have ever thought that a right-brain, artistic, wordsmith like myself would fall in love with mathematics and science! When I was a little girl I thought math and science were for boys.  When my cousin Keith would show me his science projects and math homework I would always ask, "Did the girls have to do it too?"  In college I took math during the summer so that my grade would not factor into my GPA.  I also made sure that I took the most condensed class offered, which was a 4-week, weekend course.  I just wanted to get it out of the way!  The only positive experience I can recall ever having was in my 11th grade Algebra 2/Trigonometry class.  I had a great teacher and I worked my tail off to earn a B in the class.  I still didn't love math, but I was sure proud of myself after having failed miserably at Geometry the previous year.  Fast-forward to the present and what I have discovered through teaching my own children is that math is absolutely fascinating!  And science, well it's everywhere, and it's probably the most fun subject of all academics.  Who knew? I can tell you that I sure didn't.  Recently, I was blessed to be able to attend a Singapore Math Conference.  I chose Singapore Math for KingMan 8 years ago when I read discussions about it on the Living Math listserv.  We've never, ever looked back.  Because of Singapore Math, KingMan loves math and so do I.  The conference showed me things I never learned as a child.  More importantly, I learned that the love of mathematics is nurtured from birth in many cultures, just as Shinichi Suzuki, developer of the Suzuki Method, believes music ability can be developed in every child.  I was so inspired by the conference that I am considering teaching a "Fun with Singapore Math" class for our co-op next year.  Interestingly enough, another mom in our co-op is teaching writing and she is an accountant by training.  On the other hand, I am journalist by training and I want to teach math.  Therein lies the power of homeschooling and the wonderful discoveries you'll make during the journey of teaching your own children.  Both of my boys have been involved in STEM programs since age 5.  After a STEM training for work today I left thinking to myself, why didn't anyone ever tell me that creating a parallel circuit was so much fun!  It has always been my intention to return to college once I am done homeschooling.  I'd always thought it would be in the communications field, now I'm not so sure.  In the process of educating my children, I am re-educating myself.  Who knows what the future holds - maybe I'll become a math teacher or a scientist!


  1. This is soooo inspiring! I'm creating our 2013 calendar as I embark on homeschooling with my 5th grader and everything you've shared about your own feelings about math echo my own. Kudos to you! I'm checking out the links you've shared. Thanks!

  2. Thank you for sharing and I'm feeling more empowered to teach my own son. I'm realizing I don't have to be an expert to teach him but remain open to learn and know we are both learning and that's part of the journey. Thank you!