Monday, 11 August 2014

Where Does Tiger Go to School?

We (i.e. Tiger, my husband, our extended family, and I) get this question a lot.   When we answer that Tiger is homeschooled, the immediate assumption is that the poor child:
  • never goes out;
  • never sees anyone;
  • is made to work through heaps of worksheets/workbooks;
  • is made to work at a desk somewhere in the house from 8:30am to 3:30pm;
  • does not know how to behave in public;
  • does not know how to talk to other people;
  • must be socially isolated;
  • must be developmentally delayed ("why else would he need to be kept at home?")....

Someone once commented that the homeschoolers seem to belong to some kind of secret society, that little is known about what we do and how we do things.  It's all very secretive, it seems....

Well, well, well.

So where's our 'school room', then?  Where's THE DESK?

I looked through the photos for the last academic year (September 2013 to July 2014), and am slightly embarrassed to say that I have very few photos of desk work... but I hate to disappoint, so here they are, for what it's worth:

Working on our writing desk, the dining table, the patio table.

Has anyone noticed that they are not even the same desk?  It's outrageous, isn't it?  Not working at the same desk all the time?  What's the world coming to?!  I don't know about that.  What I do know is that my son seems to prefer working on the floor.  Maybe he doesn't find desk jobs overly appealing.

Sometimes, Tiger can be found working on the sofa:

Working on geometry and reading on the sofa.

He is sometimes found cooking up magic in the kitchen.

He also has no problems working in bed, in his dressing gown, just before lights off.

Drawing diagrams to explain how computer networks work.

My husband thinks it's misleading to call what we do 'homeschooling' because, as he says, "You two are always out!"  That's true.  A quick look over last academic year's diary shows that we were out most of the time.

Do we conduct our business in 'secret'?  I'm not sure how to do that, given the amount of time we spend outside our house, going about in public places...  Anyhow, I'll leave it to the readers to decide for yourselves.  Of course, I cannot and do not attempt to represent all homeschoolers in the many choices different families have of doing things.  I can only share what we do as one approach that has been working very well for my family.

In the academic year that has just gone past, Tiger could be found learning in the following places, other than in our home:
1.  On a back lane;
2.  In a farm shop;
3.  At castle sites;
4.  At fair grounds;
5.  In a bookshop;
6.  In big corporate conference rooms;
7.  In public parks;
8.  By the road side;
9.  At a reservoir;

10.  In music rooms;
11.  At ruin sites;
12.  In art studios;
13.  In someone's workshop;
14.  In abbeys and cathedrals;
15.  In a barn;
16.  By rivers;
17.  In a science lab;
18.  At theatres;

19.  On air fields;
20.  In scout huts;
21.  In a vehicle showroom;
22.  In someone's sitting room.

Other than the above places, Tiger also spends the bulk of his time learning at various museums and galleries,

different church halls,

in the woods;

or even in cafes and on the tube!

Reading and writing drafts on the tube, journaling in a cafe.

Am I being cheeky to use this as our "homeschool room" post?  I certainly hope this post doesn't come across to be so.  Maybe, one day, when we start to spend more than 50% of our learning time in any one room, then a picture of that one special room will be relevant.  So far, the one-room-one-desk scenario just hasn't been our reality.

This post is linked up to:
  1. The Homeschool Mother's Journal (8/9/14)
  2. 6th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop: School Room Week
  3. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/12/14
  4. Finishing Strong - Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #24
  5. Weekly Wrap-up: The one without a clever title


  1. Cheeky? Absolutely but also hugely entertaining! Note to self - must take my guys OUT more!!

    1. LOL. Hope you're all enjoying the summer, Claire! :-)

  2. I love this post! I'm always surprised by others' assumptions about how we live and learn! Even people who know my children well ask the strangest questions, like, "Do they know how to do math? Do they have any friends?" etc. School is such a way of life today, people forget that it's actually a pretty recent invention!

    1. Absolutely! It's quite frustrating to get those questions but luckily they get fewer as Tiger grows older. :-)

  3. Yes you are, and it's brilliant.

    1. Oops, I hope others don't mind the cheekiness too much! :-)

  4. You are so good at these type of posts, Hwee. I think it's absolutely brilliant to use this as your schoolroom post! :-)

    1. Thanks, Lucinda! You're too kind! :-)


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