Honoring your Children Summary of David Albert’s Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self Discovery

Cleaning out my desk yesterday, I stumbled upon some notes I had jotted while reading “Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery: A Journey of Original Seeking” by David Albert. I thought it would be nice to share these with you –and with myself. Here they are:

 

  • Honoring Your Children - Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self DiscoveryAll knowledge is ultimately rooted in the light of experience.
  • Understanding and nurturing the inner life of a child should be placed at the center of the family’s education.
  • Regardless of the techniques we decide to employ in our homeschooling practice, I urge us all to listen to, respect and nurture the conversations –the inner life our our children– as they are keys to the houses of wisdom.
  • Homeschooling is a gift to us parents rather than a burdensome obligation of parent to child. I choose the opportunity to be warmed by my child’s light even as my shadow grows longer and stretches forth into the evening; or more accurate to see my own reflection on it. And I’ve embraced the opportunity to “seek in that stranger who’s my child the undiscovered part of myself”. Homeschooling provides us with the opportunity to embrace the world through our children. We’re blessed with a second chance.
  • Oxford University’s vast majority of matriculates were homeschooled. The most important part of their education was the pursuit of their passions, the development of talents, the cultivation of hobbies, the nurturing of relationships with peers of similar interests. (David Albert attended Oxfort University in England for, I believe, one year.)
  • Consciously create and cultivate the free disposition to learn and education will virtually take care of itself.
  • Our legacy to our children can be measured by the quality of the life companions with which we’ve helped equip them. Life companions will bring joy and color to the path they will choose by themselves. (By life companions he means playing an instrument, practicing a sport, or any activity that is meaningful to the child.)
  • Join the local Audubon chapter and go bird watching. Go to star viewing parties. Plant wild flowers and see what develops. Learn about the fascinating Fibonacci sequence and discover the mystery and magic in numbers.
  • It is harnessing the empowering potential of other possibilities that makes homeschooling, in my judgement, such an attractive option.
  • Write down all the things he says he knows about the world. Then read it a year later on the same date and do it again.
  • There exists a far greater learning enterprise outside of the confines of the public school.
  • Curriculum of happiness demands we educate for freedom.
  • Our goals: to produce aware and alive human beings who can order their own consciousness and direct their own search for meaning in freedom regardless of external circumstances.
  • Nurturing of family-centered, child-directed learning –learning not only for the child but for all of us.
  • “The child is father to the man” -William Wordsworth

Albert is a very talented writer, he sprinkled a fine kind of humor throughout his elegant prose making him a treat to read. The format of this particular book was a collection of essays, each dealing with one particular topic. The notes above appear in no particular order. I wrote down his ideas that resonated with me, thoughts that I wanted to keep with me or ponder over. And as we conclude our first year of homeschooling in our family, I can totally appreciate the family-centered, child-directed learning approach. This is something we certainly wish to cultivate more. It’s ever so much easier and gratifying to just go with the flow, riding the joy of discovery and learning with our “Super Hero” son.

 

 

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