Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home Education or Home Schooling

Did you know in Australia that most people refer to homeschooling as home educating? I’ve never completely caught on with that phrase, mostly because my entire school career we called it homeschooling. It’s the common name for it in America.
I’ve always wondered about the difference between the two terms. For the most part I’ve always presumed it was a hemisphere difference; a language barrier of sorts. {By barrier I do not mean that one can’t understand the other, I’m using it a loose term.}
Imagine my surprise when one of the speakers I listened to during my conference mentioned both terms. Then she said something that completely shocked me. “If there’s one thing you take away from this meaning I hope it’s that you are home educators not home schoolers.” 
I was actually enjoying a stroll down by the ocean to stretch my legs and came to an abrupt stop and caused a few dog walkers, a biker, and a runner to all side step me before we had a 6 man pile up.
Her reasoning was very simple and struck me soundly on the forehead. {In our home we call it a DiNozzo.. I’m sure my fellow NCIS peeps get that..} She quickly read us the definition of education from Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary:
The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
For a quicker definition read Noah Webster’s 1828 definition for the word educating: Instructing; enlightening the understanding, and forming the manners.
The point was that not only do we educate our children sums, reading, & whatnot, but that we also educate them in so much more. Laundry, manners, religion, cooking, cleaning..  We teach them all manners of lifeskills. 
Which is why the speaker wanted us to walk away with the knowledge that we are not doing school at home in any way {unschooling, classical, Charlotte Mason, etc.} rather we are educating, in all manners, our children. Thinking of yourself as a home educator puts the bigger picture into a better perspective when you think of it in that light, doesn’t it?


Dianna said...

its kind of funny that you wrote this post. I recently changed my use of the word home schooling to home educating. The reason being was because I felt that I was not schooling my kids but educating them. Great post and I have never heard anyone else use the term home educating. :)

Kayla said...

wow -- really have never looked at it from the angle... buts thats so extremly true!!! wonderful post kendra thanks so much for it!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom said...

Wonderful post! Love that your family calls those "profound" moments a DiNozzo, I am sure that Gibbs would be proud.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this common misconception. In the US it seems that as of late there are 2 typical terms used, Homeschooling and Schooling at Home. I believe that schooling at home has come about due to the abundance of public online schools which serve their purpose however the level of education is not tailored and one on one like a homeschooling education.

No matter what the "name" of what we do is at the moment I am just happy to be teaching our children that education/learning can be magical! I love following your blog, keep up the great work!

Sue Smith said...

I never really thought about it until I read your post, but I really do like the sound of Home Education much better than Home Schooling. School to me sounds so formal and Education is an ongoing thing no matter where you are in life.
Excellent post!

Amy said...

Although I tend to use the terms homeschooling and home educating interchangeably, I love the depth and richness of all that is meant by home educating. It is a great definition.

Tracey said...

Kendra, I just read an article about this very topic the other day. Interesting!

Kendra said...

Amy, I use them rather interchangeably too depending on who I'm chatting with, but it made more sense to me as to why HE is used after hearing the chat!

EHM, haha you know Gibbs would be proud!

Tracey, Oo, was it an online article??

Angie said...

Thank you for framing the argument this way! Home education is our goal, no?