I know that many if not all of you who homeschool are familiar with this little story, however those who are our Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts & Uncles probably haven't heard it. It's kind of the homeschool version of "How many guys/blonds/pastors/etc does it take to change a lightbulb?".
I'm sure many of you relatives and non-homeschoolers wonder from time to time what on earth we do all day. One thing that you have to always keep in mind is that for most homeschool families "school" and learning are not limited to "school time."
"School time" is when we are working with our actual curricula and doing the gotta-do's. However, we have learned not to limit our learning to that time by switching our brains to autopilot during the rest of the day. Every situation that comes up throughout the day is an opportunity to learn. Especially things like logic and the sciences.
We teach our children to ask questions about what's happening around them, rather than just floating through life taking all these things for granted:
When the little dump truck comes to drop off the firewood, why does the wood stay put until the bed is raised up to a certain height? How high does the bed have to be raised before the wood begins to fall out? Why is it that when you adjust the flue of the wood stove one way it fills the stove with smoke, but when it's adjusted another way it makes the fire grow very large and hot and pulls the smoke up the chimney? Why won't oil mix with water? How does baking powder make the cake rise? What's the engine oil in the motor for, anyway? Why don't people always like it when you wear your Union Civil War uniform around here (in the Shenandoah Vally, Virginia)? Why is that tree over there only growing leaves on one side?...............
That said, this lightbulb story is a little exaggerated (only very little, for some households!) and it in no way states that we go to all this trouble for every little event and occurrence. (Can you imagine?? LOL!!)
What it does do is paint a picture for you of our mindset as homeschoolers. I hope it will give you a good laugh, and a little insight into what it is that we're doing all day. We certainly don't perpetually sit in the corner with our nose in a book - What fun would that be??
How Does A Homeschooler Change A Lightbulb?
First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library; then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison, and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Then, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five-dollar bill.
On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five-dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.