Back when we first started homeschooling, I interviewed a woman named Andrea Hermitt for an article I was writing about homeschool budgeting, and her words have stuck with me: “You should spend money on what inspires your kids’ passions,” she said. “Scrimp and save in the subjects that don’t get them excited.”
Because, really, isn’t this the whole point of homeschooling—the ability to go where our passions lead us and to dig in, as deep and as long as we want to? There’s learning for learning’s sake and learning for passion’s sake—and I know which side of that equation I want to end up on.
So when we decided this winter that we wanted to think about offering online classes through home|school|life, passion was our byword. Like so many of our homeschooling projects, this one started a little selfishly: My daughter starts high school in the fall, and researching classes wasn’t turning up anything interesting. Classes were either core-curriculum-generic topics (British literature, U.S. history) that would be easier and more fun to do at home together, or super-casual academic-lite classes that are fun for meeting people and getting an overview of something but not really very dig-in-able. So we thought about what kind of classes we wanted for our daughter’s high school experience: smart, fun, rigorous, obsession-worthy. And we decided, what the hey, let’s build some. Maybe we’re not the only ones wishing for these kinds of classes. Maybe our daughter won’t just find the opportunity to explore topics she’s fascinated by under the leadership of amazing teachers. Maybe she’ll also extend her circle of friends to include people who share those passions.
So that’s the idea that launched home|school|life passion projects—our online course offerings that you won’t find in any traditional class catalogs. We’ve teamed up with some incredibly knowledgeable, incredibly passionate people to bring these classes to life—and really, not just classes but a whole online community where students can interact with their teachers and each other between scheduled class sessions. Over the next weeks, we’ll be sharing more details about our summer lineup—which we view as a fun sampler of offerings that will give you a taste of what you can look forward to in our semester-long classes this fall. Feel free to chime in with questions and ideas for future classes!
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.