A Community of Learners

You know what I love about hanging out with homeschoolers?

It’s not that I think they are all smarter or better or any other value judgement about the quality of their brain capacity (I think, on average, homeschoolers are about the same as everyone else). It’s not that they have similar opinions to me (most don’t), or that they are easier to get along with (that varies depending on the person).

What I LOVE about homeschoolers, is their never-ending search for knowledge. Whatever their reasons are, even if their reasons are different than mine, homeschooling parents are learners. They get excited about new information, continue their quest to understand, and are enthusiastic about information.

That’s what I love about homeschoolers, as a group. 99.9% of the homeschoolers I have met are enthusiastic about life, enthusiastic about learning.

For homeschoolers, being smart isn’t what keeps it going. Being smart isn’t a prerequisite. Being engaged is. That is the common bond between us all – even though we all have a wide variety of perspectives.

There are lots of engaged parents of kids in school, but not nearly as universally as homeschoolers. Because as homeschoolers, the payback for being involved is immediate. The payback for being engaged in learning about the world translates directly to the kids’ success. And, well, being around kids who love to learn, it’s contagious. Then you end up with a family who spends all day, all the time, learning together.

So, that’s why I love being around homeschoolers. And homeschooling or not, I love being around people who have a healthy appetite to learn more about the world. I love being around the kids who grow up in those families.

This desire to be around people who are learners transcends political, religious and cultural differences. People who love to learn find these kinds of differences interesting, not threatening.

And perhaps, that’s why, out of all my schooling, my favorite times were in Kindergarten/First grade and graduate school. In Kindy, when I was a kid, we played, and learned. Whatever. It was all good. All the kids there had that fervor for life that is so obvious is homeschooling groups, and not so obvious in school groups. (Just compare these two groups going around a museum some time.)

In grad school, it was a self-selected group of people who wanted to know more, and were extremely enthusiastic about their topic. (One of them was a homeschooler even.)

That’s what I would love to see our world be someday – one big community of learners. But right now, I’ll settle with my small community of friends and fellow homeschoolers who are learners, and continue to be inspired.

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