HOME, HOME on the RANGE! (I love that song!)

I am a TERRIBLE singer! Anyone who has accidentally heard me while driving, working around the house, shopping, or waking up in the morning (yes, sometimes I sing when I wake up, I embody the irritating morning person non morning people abhor!) can attest, I am not just off key, but lost the keys completely after dropping them noisily and kicking them around a bit!

When I think of homeschool, I think of the song Home on the Range, specifically the lines, “Home, home on the range…where the deer and the antelope play.” I’m not sure exactly why this pops into my head every time (sometimes I even sing it aloud), but I think the analogy works for homeschool.

Homeschoolers are based at home, thus “Home, home…” makes perfect sense. “…on the range…” describes the basic wants and needs of the homeschooling families. Range has several definitions, some of them nouns and some verbs.

Here is a short list (definitions from Google and Merriam Webster):

  1. (n.) The area of variation from each extreme
  2. (n.) A flat open space
  3. (n.) A Row of mountains
  4. (v.) roaming freely
  5. (v.) to change or differ within limits

Voici! I think I can justify using the song to represent homeschoolers.

Homeschoolers seem to have all of these at their disposal. The curriculum has many variations and parents are in control of the curriculum, so they can tailor it to their student.

Homeschoolers have the freedom to explore with their parents, joining groups that discuss and experience the open spaces and the mountains if they so choose.

Homeschoolers have the ability to roam freely. From “free range children” (my apologies for the wikipedia reference, I could not find a reliable resource on free range parenting, but the link provides the basics) to parents accompanying the student on outings where their minds can roam freely over the lessons.

Homeschoolers can change their approach at any time with the limits of what the child is willing and able to learn.

And voila!

Of course the song also implies that everything is beautiful with no “discouraging words,” lots of pure air, lovely days and wonderful clear nights, but we all know the settlers of the 1800’s had a much tougher time than that.

This concept represents homeschool. The idea is lovely, teach your children the way you feel and want them to be taught. The reality is, like homesteading, homeschooling is  hard work. The payoff is excellent, but the work is extremely difficult (we’re talking about the parent here).

With this attitude, I requested to join the Augusta Homeschool Group and answered their questions as best as I could since I’m not actually homeschooling but researching. They are a closed resource group over 1,000 strong. I was accepted as a group member (thank you).

Members post about resources, curriculum, field trips and welcome new homeschooling families to the area. I am a HUGE fan of Phinizy Swamp, located in Augusta, Ga, and recently learned of their homeschool program through this Facebook page.  I’m sure eventually I will ask questions in the forum, but for right now, I’m just absorbing the information and culture.

I also looked at the CSRA Kids Homeschool Support Group Guide which lists several homeschool resources in the Augusta, GA area and reached out to another homeschool organization. I figured I’d just work my way down the list and contacted Augusta Secular Homeschool Co-op. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon, but if not, that’s ok too, I’ll just work my way down the list.

I started a “Practical TIPS as We Go Along” page and will add to it “as we go along!” Go figure, but I digress.

I learned today that contacting several people at a time is a bit overwhelming when they all call you back on the same day! So, I’m going to slow my roll, and my new plan is to send out fewer requests for contact, and use the non contact time to do more research. Balance – the key to success is keeping balance!

My point with the song reference is, I have a strong connection to my elementary school music classes. The songs remind me of a simpler, happy time, when I could sing at the top of my lungs (which is physiologically incorrect – singers sing from the bottom of their lungs), and no one judged! I want this freedom and happiness for our community’s children. I want students to enjoy school again.

And so, if you are in the grocery store, and you hear what sounds like two angry cats fighting over a broken down violin, don’t be alarmed, it’s just me happily shopping and singing!

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