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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Your Image of School

Post after post today contained pictures of homeschoolers doing their homeschooling thing. Children sitting at their desks with their math textbooks. Kids filling out worksheets. A family spread around a table, pencils in hand.

Conspicuously missing from these pictures of homeschool life is the one thing I remember from my own. Absent were the kinds of photos that pepper the Sonlight Catalog every year. I didn't see a single image reflecting the Sonlight ideal of how we learn together.

This omission reminded me of a proposed marketing theme from years back. The idea capitalized on the way Sonlight is such a radical shift from the norm. I couldn't find a mockup of the concept, so I tossed one together:

Welcome to Your New School

When I think of homeschooling, I picture myself near the couch. The sofa = school. Whether we were crammed onto it during an exciting story, or playing near it while my mom read about far off lands, or draped across it while lost in another world, the couch is the central image of my homeschooling experience.

There's something friendly, inviting, family-oriented, and literature-focused about my memory of the family room couch. And reading--together, alone, or out loud--is my image of homeschooling.

When you think of homeschooling, what image pops into your head?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

P.S. I couldn't find a picture of the "Welcome to Your New School" image, but I did find an old snapshot of myself. It seemed blog worthy to me:

Worksheets? This is Homeschool!
(said in my best Spartan voice)


Connie said...

Amen and Amen!!! We recently had to get rid of our broken down couch and it was a sad day because of the many memories attached! We had to replace it with a "love seat" or two person couch and we still -all three of us (ages 11, 14 and 49)-snuggle on the couch to read. We may need to correct this situation for the sake of the our poor garage sale find! LOL :)

Michael Ann said...

School--for many, many years--centered around our sofa, just like what you said. Now that my kiddos are in 12th and 10th grade, we still begin our school day on/around the sofa and do Bible together, then my son disappears into his room and my daughter snuggles into the recliner to begin the day's reading. We gather together again a couple of hours later in kitchen as I'm cooking lunch, and we discuss what they've read. The only time you'll catch us at the table (other than mealtime!) is when we do math. I love the casual "look" of our school!

Regina said...

We actually stopped using the word "school" or "doing school." It brought to mind a "school" of fish and makes me think of a desk and a blackboard and cafeteria food. And it so often sent a negative vibe through the conversation. So we interchange the word lessons. Like, "It's time for lessons" Or we just name the about the specific subject we are talking about. We even named our homeschool, "Educational Endeavor" to remind us that we are "educating" not "schooling".

“I've never let my school interfere with my education.” -Mark Twain

ldperez said...

Ha, this is funny because just recently I sent a picture to my family of my eldest cuddled up on our couch working on a language assignment and titled it "at school."

This is our first year homeschooling. Before starting, I imagined many hours spent together at the kitchen table. It has turned out that many of our hours are spent together on the couch. And YES! Many hours spent reading!

Unknown said...

Ha, and to think I complain about seat work not getting done!! I try really hard to at least get them to do their writing/copywork while seated at the table but they prefer the floor. Our sofa is our hot spot, just like you talked about. The best homeschool spot in the world.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I'm an elitist and use the DINING room table for most everything. But I love the logo!!

SonlightBlog Reader said...

Many, many o our homeschool memories take place on the couch. The problem is that the picture taker, me, is in the middle of the couch with the kids! Plus the few pics we do have of me working with the kids I am in my PJ's, and I am NOT posting those! One of my favorite pics is of me reading on the couch with my 6 year old sitting on my shoulders. (His usual spot.) I treasure that pic even though I look awful and am in PJ's!) :^)

Luke Holzmann said...

<smile> Good stuff, friends. Good stuff.


4veritas said...

I definitely spent many hours of school on the couch since, of course, using Sonlight (along with other literature based curriculum) I had tons of reading. Some of my first memories of homeschooling was my mom reading to us on the couch. In high school, a few years were even spent on the floor at the coffee table in front of our couch (couldn't get far away, even though more of my work now required a hard surface) Now as a public middle school teacher, one of the hardest adjustments I had to make was the harsh environment that my students have to learn in. Hard desks, florescent lighting, no carpeting--they don't realize it is harsh, but I sure did. I have tried to bring a little bit of my homeschooling background into the room by having a bookcase full of books with a carpet and a few bean bag chairs. They love it :-)

Trista said...

Thankyou to Sonlight for teaching me the joys of school on the couch! When I first started I was so terrified that I turned one of our bedrooms into a "classroom" complete with desks in a row! I was a public school kid so I thought that's how it had to be. But it was so forced and unatural-feeling. Now my kids do math wherever they are comfortable - sometimes outside on the picnic table in the sunshine. And we spend hours curled up together pouring over great literature and talking about what we read. It's so natural and comfortable, relaxed. Thankyou!

Luke Holzmann said...

I'm glad you're able to share a little bit of the joy of homeschooling with your students, 4veritas!

Thank you for sharing, Trista <smile>.


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Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
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