Innovator is my word for this homeschool year.
in·no·va·tor ˈinəˌvādər/ noun1. a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products.
I am an educational innovator. I am on the cutting edge of bringing education into the 21st century. I am in the practice of creating new methods, ideas, and maybe even products.
And I am not the only one.
The power of educational innovation rests in the hands of every homeschool parent on this planet.
Homeschool parents have some unique advantages when it comes to educational innovation.
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We are not bound by a set of common core standards or any set of standards that are currently “en vogue” with the powers that be. We have access to those standards, but we are not tied to them. We can choose to follow aspects of them, but we have fields of freedom in the implementation.
Our homeschools are not required to adopt any one particular educational philosophy. We are free to explore a Classical approach, ground ourselves in the teachings of Charlotte Mason, adopt a method of unschooling, learn with unit studies, or follow our own eclectic mix of these methods. Most of us tend toward one or two of the overarching educational philosophies, but we are free to bend and stretch the principles as needed.
But some of us are scared to do the bending and the stretching. We continue to force a philosophy, a practice, or a curriculum even when something just isn’t working. We don’t always feel confident to modify or update an approach.
But we should.
Homeschooling parents are the very people who should be ushering in a new era of education. An era that embraces the research, science, philosophy, and technology of the post-modern time period that we live in.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we reject the philosophies of that past in their entirety! Instead, we recognize the value in aspects of the educational methods and approaches of the 20th century but we adopt them and update them for the 21st century.
We are the educators of 2016.
We have fantastic access to research in the field of education, psychology, and science. Do you realize that our understanding of quantum physics impacts how we should be educating our kids? Mind-blowing. Worthy of consideration.
Technology is a powerful tool in our educational arsenal. We can learn how to use it to bring information from all over the world straight into our classrooms.
We can usher in the future of education right through our own front doors.
And while it can feel overwhelming, I mean for it to be empowering.
YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Proceed with confidence as the teacher.
(These thoughts were inspired by my time at the Brave Writer: Be Good to You 2016 retreat. Julie Bogart of Brave Writer shared her thoughts in a keynote, “Bringing Charlotte Mason into the 21st Century”, which was designed to inspire the listeners to update their homeschools specifically in regards to the Charlotte Mason curriculum and practices. She declared that “WE (homeschool parents) are the innovators in education” and it stuck with me. I wanted to elaborate here on my own thoughts after attending her retreat.)