Hello and welcome!
Every year I decide to reinvent The Walker Farm homeschool blog, and every year I don’t quite get there. As any homeschool family knows, education means taking direction from serendipitous occurrences and moods that strike out of nowhere. The academic year 2016-17 was no different. We struggle, just as you struggle, with the great new discoveries that happen, and the awful, mediocre realities that we finally cannot deny.
One thing that struck me with force this year was how the homeschool journey is not too far from the non-homeschool journey. Nowadays it is probably more accurate to refer to ALL educational journeys as being a “hybrid” of one form or another. Brick-and-mortar kids are taking online classes, homeschooled kids are involved in brick-and-mortar classrooms. Parents can’t be passive consumers of the education marketplace, is what it amounts to. A quality education means parent plays traffic cop, and all traffic cops are confessors, therapists, and disciplinarians, depending on the need.
So I’ve decided, once again, to freshen up The Walker Farm blog. In the past, I’ve hesitated to put too much of our personal journey out there, thinking that we were too eclectic for the brick-and-mortar crowd, and too traditional for the dyed-in-the-wool homeschooler. But my younger kids are sophomores in high school, my eldest has just graduated from college, and I’m contemplating the end of my own journey as a homeschooling parent. It’s time for me to share.
Over the weeks ahead, I’ll be reorganizing this site and putting out content that reflects the realities of what we’ve done in our family, in hopes that it will serve someone out there who may be just starting the journey. My plan is to offer the whole story, because the truth is that despite our lofty goals back in 2000 when my eldest was five, we’ve never been able to adhere to a “perfect” plan. There was plenty of “I would never do X, Y, or Z” at the beginning, and I’m here to tell you—that’s not the kind of thinking that will help you in the field of education. If you want the best possible chance for your kid, you need to flex your muscles and dig deeply into the muck. You’ll have to hold your nose. And in the end, it’ll be fine.
In the meantime I’ll be blogging more than usual, so I’ll be suspending the blog post updates that go to your mailbox. Instead, I’ll switch my newsletter over to a weekly format, where I’ll write a essay and recap the blog posts for the week. I’ll also share the curriculum guides and resources that I promised last winter but never managed to deliver—they’ll go exclusively to my newsletter readers, because I’d appreciate the feedback before I disseminate them more widely. If you think I’ve missed something or if I am far off the mark, please feel free to let me know! But just sayin’—I’m a homeschooler at heart, so I might not listen. 🙂
Thanks for your support, and look for my new newsletter in your inbox soon.