Living As If School Doesn't Exist: Pam Sorooshian's Interview

Whenever I read Pam's name, I think of two things: math and tongue twisters.

Back in the mid-nineties, I remember reading many wonderful email list messages about learning math written by Pam. She was always out there explaining that math can be fun and doing her best to help homeschooling parents who had math anxiety, which was probably always due to previous experiences with traditional schooling. Click here to go to a nice page compiling some math wisdom from Pam.

The reason I think of tongue twisters when I think of Pam is obviously due to her last name. See, every time I sound it out in my head, I imagine what it would be like to say it quickly 10 times. I'm going to have to quit doing that though because I always end up spitting all over my keyboard and that can't be good.

Pam might be up on all the latest when it comes to math, but she's having trouble with the newest internet fads like blogging. Oh, she has a blog, she's just not real sure what to do with it. I think she has a great idea though and you can read it here.

But first, how about reading her "homeschooling is freedom" interview...

1. How long have you been homeschooling (or if finished, how long did you homeschool)?

We started homeschooling when the kids were 10, 7, and 4. They are now
24, 21, and 18.

2. One of the main benefits of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility it allows. Can you give us a few examples of how this freedom and flexibility benefited you (your family)?

We have lived as if school didn't exist. We ignored the public school course of study and never chose to use any homeschool curriculum. We focused on living a life filled with interesting and varied experience and on pursuing activities that gave us joy and satisfaction.

In the process, the kids learned all kinds of things - some that they might have learned in school and lots that they never would have had the chance to learn. They each had the freedom to follow their own interests, and they continue to pursue their passions as young adults.

3. Another benefit of homeschooling is the fun factor. Can you give us a few examples of some especially fun times you had as a result of homeschooling?

Well, the obvious is that we had Disneyland passes and spent a lot of time there. We also traveled a lot, especially to unschooling conferences which are great fun. We went to a lot of musicals, even took the train from California across the country to New York to see Broadway musicals.
We've done a lot of camping, over the years, often with other unschooling families. We spend a lot of time playing games of all kinds. For many years, we have spent one long day per week in the park, picnicking and playing with other homeschooling families from morning to night.

Every day was fun - that's how we lived.

4. We all have funny experiences while homeschooling. Can you share one of yours with us?

The girls were rehearsing for a performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," in which they played fairies. Rosie was not reading yet, but carried her script with her during rehearsals, just like everyone else.

One day, I came in from the grocery store and she was upside-down on the living room couch - head on the floor, feet up on the couch. She had her Midsummer script and was reading it with great expression - just like the actors. I was quite amazed that she'd memorized so much of it until I suddenly realized she was actually READING it.

She hadn't shown that she could read anything, prior to that, other than a little Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.

-Pam Sorooshian

No comments: