Brave Learners

Newsflash, compadres: Not every homeschool day is lollipops and kumbaya. In our homeschool we occasionally deal with squabbles, back-talk, sass, laziness, and tears– and I’m not just talking about the students.

spied this on social media recently and enjoyed a hearty chuckle

When difficult days do inevitably arise, my tried & true method of turning things about is to call on my fave homeschool cheerleader– good ol’ Julie Bogart. Julie’s enchanting perspective on education is delight-based, curiosity-centric. Her words (written or spoken) swiftly rekindle my enthusiasm for teaching, inspire me to jump back in the fray– eagerly learning alongside my kiddos versus merely enduring the drudgery, nose to proverbial grindstone.

With the wisdom of an unflappable veteran who refuses to sweat the small stuff or stifle her trademark zeal, she quells my mommy angst while compelling me to flourish in this challenging vocation. She reminds me that this vibrant, voluntary lifestyle is a privilege, a blessing– not a suffering sacrifice.

Imagine my delight, then, when my pre-ordered copy of her new book, The Brave Learner, finally found its way into my fervid fingers. I skipped and shimmied back from the mailbox with the confident conviction I’d unearth a bounty of treasure betwixt the pages.

no bookstagram here– I hastily snapped a photo right there atop my mossy, cracked driveway

I admit I was braced for a wow with this book, I just knew the Queen of Pixie Dust would deliver… Still, my lofty expectations were surpassed. Julie’s attainable, affirming advice is the empowering nudge that any mom can appreciate.

A tasty sampling of the text:

The foundation of a secure education at home… is connection– seeing the truth about your child’s interests and aptitudes, and then providing the space for those to flourish, all while scaling the study of academic subjects to an appropriate pace for that child. 

The key to a kinder & gentler homeschool is attending to the details we overlook– the coziness of our homes, the principles of natural learning, and the tenderness of our intimate relationships.

Learning is not merely the accumulation of information to pull from mental mothballs for aptitude tests. The ability to work well with others; to receive ideas and input from family, friends, and colleagues; to access information from experts and put it to use– honing these collaborative skills may be the most important work we do.

The enchanted life of learning is combustible, sparkly, mesmerizing, and a little terrifying, and eventually leaves the learner with the happy glowing memory of immersion. 

Inspiration is your fun aunt– the one who brings cans of Silly String to class. 

Traditional instruction relies on carrot-and-stick techniques– reward the student with stickers or punish with low grades. Today’s children expect something else. They’re accustomed to bells and whistles when they beat a level in a game. They want to unlock new tools and powers to attack the next challenge. 

Today’s students need to be able to think and interpret, not just recite. 

[Home-educators are] the hippies of the twenty-first century. They’re sticking it to the man and fist-pumping against institutional education. They may not look like rebels and radicals, but trust me: they are! Even in denim jumpers… they are brave, risk-taking revolutionaries. 

Doesn’t she just give you the warm fuzzies? She’s like Mary Poppins, Leslie Knope, and Maria von Trapp rolled into one!

Whether you’re in need of a motivational kick in the tuchus, or you’re simply wanting to keep your good groove going, get yourself a copy of The Brave Learner to help you find your “everyday magic in homeschool, learning, and life.”

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