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Hi, my name is Blair Lee, and this week I will be hosting the discussion on From Soup to Nuts. I would like to leave the discussion open to any of the topics I write and speak about: secular, eclectic, academic homeschooling, how people learn, science, travel, service projects, and writing.
As an educator who chose to educate my child outside the traditional venue, I represent a growing trend in the homeschool community. During the ten years I have been homeschooling I have observed that learning, on many different levels, is far superior when academics are handcrafted to fit the strengths, weaknesses, and passions of an individual and their family, as happens with homeschooling. Donít get me wrong, I am not a fan or detractor of any learning method. I am a cherry-picker of methods, using, discarding, and sometimes coming back to methods, including those from traditional schools, depending on the subject and how my son accesses information using a method. This eclectic, academic approach results in a person who loves learning and who understands how to learn, the two most important components of someone who is a life-long learner.
The question I get at conferences and via email is how to do it? Why to do it is easy. The hard part is figuring out how to handcraft a unique course of study. Iíll share a secret, sometimes when we implement something really unique, I feel like we are jumping off a cliff with no parachute! It sounds very dramatic, doesnít it? But it makes me nail-bitingly nervous. What if I blow it?!? What if this handcrafted education keeps Sean from being able toÖ toÖ toÖ I have never been able to figure out what our eclectic journey through education might keep him from, but the concern of this still creeps in from time to time. These days I donít worry as much. I have come to realize these are the best times of my sonís education. It helps that we have been at this for 10 years. I have the benefit of perspective.
Before retiring to homeschool, I was a chemistry and biology professor at community college. This is where I first began thinking about eclectic, academic approaches to learning science. It was then I realized the way subjects are easiest to teach often does not coincide with how they are best learned.
Teaching science also gave me insight into how mixed and varied peopleís understanding of science is. At the