Growing up I had always thought of private schools as something obviously superior but not attainable (for financial reasons, mostly). And even though we sent our kids to private schools before beginning homeschooling, that preconceived notion followed me into this information session last night. I was ready to be wowed and to feel anxious about how on earth I could get my kids into this fantastic school.
But I wasn't. I was completely 'eh' about the whole thing.
And, the thing is, it is a really good school. I know that intellectually. But what we got going on over at our house is even better. Not because I am a great teacher. Not because I am really energetic and organized. But because the stuff that this prestigious school was trying to achieve in its students are the very things that homeschool does without even trying.
- they focus on student-directed interaction rather than the old top-down teacher-imparting-sacred-knowledge-model. What this looks like is all the students sitting around a round table with the teacher and all discussing a topic, instead of the teacher standing at a chalkboard in front of rows of desks. The phrase "there is no front row" was repeated often.
- they get to know their students very well. They develop relationships with these students and, in some subjects, they follow them for two years.