Making Life a Learning Experience

Natalie - Warrensburg, Missouri
Entered on September 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Homeschooling is the foundation of my beliefs on learning. Because I was homeschooled, the K-12 education that I had was very different, and more personal than others, and my love and belief in learning grew from this. I lived at my school. School started when I woke up, in my pajamas if I desired, and was finished when my schoolwork was finished. If my family wanted to take a vacation during the school year, they did, and made it “school” by making the entire vacation a learning experience.

We took road trips and learned about almost every stop. Several times my family went to South Carolina; my parents would teach my siblings and I, about marine biology, and the history of the island we were staying at. In South Carolina, we visited all the sites that were relevant to the history we had studied. We visited Fort Sumter, and many other places that had historical relevance. My dad had a business trip in Washington, D.C., and in the weeks leading up to and after our trip, we learned about the different divisions of government. When we arrived in D.C. we visited all the memorials and the Arlington Cemetery. Another time, my dad had a business trip in Austin, Texas, and we learned about the Alamo. We didn’t have time to visit San Antonio, so unfortunately we didn’t get to see the Alamo, but we did get to visit the capitol of Texas, which, by the way, is taller than the national capitol.

My family always lived on a farm. One year my parents bought a pregnant mare. We learned about the gestational process of horses, and what the birth was going to be like. When the mare was closer to birthing, we monitored her very closely and tried to witness the birth. Horses actually try to hide their births, because in the wild it would be dangerous if a predator saw them in such a vulnerable act, so needless to say, we were not able to watch her give birth to that foal, but it was still very amazing.

My parents gave me a great gift; they taught me how to love learning. Today, my learning continues, as a freshman in college. I am not just going to college for a better career. I am majoring in Elementary Education, and my hope is that I can return the gift, showing kids that they can love to learn. The experiences I had, and continue to have should be a lesson to all.

Learning should not be restrained to textbooks and classrooms. People can learn through everything, and they should. I believe you should learn about the places you visit, the things you do, the things you like. I believe in learning.