I’m telling you right now: The education occurring at my house this quarter is not homeschooling. It’s also not classroom teaching. It’s not even a hybrid. This is an entirely new phenomenon (What isn’t these days?) that I’ve decided to call…
This is definitely not homeschooling. Before homeschooling was a thing, I was homeschooled grades 5 to 12, with siblings above and below me. It was so.much.work for my parents. Mom researched curriculum (without the internet!), designing her own combination to suit each student. She wrote out lesson plans in spiral notebooks for all of us. She created word searches by hand to accompany lessons. If we didn’t understand a math problem, she figured out a different way to teach it to us. She even mail-ordered frogs for us to dissect!
Dad taught us how to use Bible study materials. He coached a version of baseball where everyone but the batter played a field position and we rotated spots; every hit had to be a home-run to get another player in position to bat — but somehow it worked. Flag football with tube socks dangling from our back pockets was a favorite PE game.
My parents were solely responsible for every aspect of our education, which was a heavy weight to carry, and occasionally something fell through the cracks. While, to my parents’ credit, we each ranked well overall in the achievement tests the state required us to take at a public school, I always scored abysmally low on the “library skills” portion, since the Dewey Decimal System was not part of my routine. I also somehow never grasped the concept of north-south-east-west until I was an adult and moved to Colorado where Pike’s Peak is a great reference point.
This brings me to the glorious blessing of our current school teachers and, in particular, their facilitation of the home-ECAing process! Because of teachers, Don and I have not had to write one lesson plan, make a single photocopy, dissect even an insect, or feel the weight of making sure “COMPLETE” can be stamped on seventh and ninth grade for our children this year. That’s a really, really big deal, and we are incredibly grateful to ECA teachers!
Obviously, this is not traditional classroom teaching. The teachers I know have worked harder than ever, learned new programs as they’ve taught them, and sacrificed their spring break and countless other extra hours to help students not just survive but thrive this quarter. That doesn’t amount to perfection, but it definitely contributes to the reality that I absolutely cannot say I am either homeschooling or classroom teaching, despite the learning that is taking place right under my nose.
I won’t deny that I have it pretty easy, with middle- and high-school daughters who are motivated and savvy. The biggest challenge I’ve faced is coming up with actual lunch every day for my entire household. Hats off to you mamas and papas and others who are translating teachers’ guidance for elementary students. You’re approaching my mom’s level of awesomeness. Just imagine, though, generating those Monday packets yourself, rather than hopping in the car and picking them up while the ECA eagle waves at your kiddos! (Does Mrs. Blue still wear that atrocity? It at least needs a name!)
As a tribute to our amazing classroom teachers and to legit homeschoolers everywhere, let’s finish with appreciation and gratitude this remarkable, first-ever school quarter of:
Happy summer, all!
HEATHER MORGAN – Secretary, ECA Board of Directors
The Morgan family has been connected to ECA since Don, Heather’s husband, became a student here in the 1970s. Don and Heather have two children currently attending ECA, and they are members of Village Seven Presbyterian Church. Heather’s education and experience in English and writing have opened doors for her to work for a non-profit organization, to teach English as a Second Language, and to volunteer in a variety of areas at ECA and V7PC.