Homeschooling (was: Thomas Hardy)

McMullin, Elise emcmullin at
Mon Jan 10 13:21:01 EST 2000

	Fen wrote:
	"Irina -- one thing you might want to try if you have the time is
what my mom
> did... she taught me at home after school, essentially supplementing my
> education with what she thought I should be learning.  We spent an
> afternoon
> or two a week at the local library and if I had questions about stuff
> she'd
> take me on "field trips" (including a trip to chat with the dentist when I
> had some questions about teeth that she couldn't answer)."
	Yeah, I've always been glad that my learning wasn't confined to
school.  I wouldn't have liked learning much if it had been.  My parents
didn't do anything as organized as Fen's mom, but I've long been grateful
for my dad's main lesson and gift to us.  He looks on learning about the
world and everything in it like it is this incredibly vast and interesting
buffet/curiosity shop/exciting adventure.  So even though I was never (well,
never yet!) able to share his enthusiasm about math, in general I learned to
share his enthusiasm.  

	I considered the city museum my home away from home because I was
always taking classes and hanging out there.  We went to not just exhibits
but gallery openings (not *so* fancy outside of big cities), planetariums,
symphonies and folk music, ballets and Pilobolus and Mummenchanz, visited
his lab, powered up the lasers and gawked at the rooms full of mainframes.
There were clever toys, visits to All the libraries, sports, university
lecture series, foreign films, unusual (then) foods - but combined with down
to earth citizenship like picking up trash, fund raisers, passing out bingo
chips at the VFD and manning the snack booths at community events.  At the
time I was more painfully aware that I couldn't tell my classmates about
much of this stuff because they never, ever did it themselves and were
freaked out whenever I mentioned this or that.  But it was definitely the
best part of my life then.  And it worked - I wanted to learn all kinds of
stuff and it had nothing to do with school or grades or etc. Cheers to dad!


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