You might be surprised. For all of homeschooling–it can be both! Anything we are required to do is work. Receiving a great education is work and lots of it. Many people misunderstand the meaning of making our school time exciting, interesting and pleasurable–they think if it is interesting or fun, then it is not hard work, or that children are not learning to do hard work. Yet, consider this: You get all excited about putting in a garden. You read lots of information, choose your seeds and get your hands in the dirt. Is it hard work or is it fun? For true gardeners it is the best fun you will ever have, but you are well aware that it is also astonishingly hard work. The same is true of making a quilt or fixing a gourmet dish for dinner, or becoming adept at downhill skiing! Yes, these are all wonderful, exciting, and satisfyingly enjoyable activities, but no one could ever say they didn’t take truly hard work to accomplish.
When I was ten, I read a quote at my orthodontist’s office. I’ve never forgotten it.
“There is often much drudgery between the first enthusiasm and the achievement.”
You know quite well, that there is a lot of hard work between the first creative impulse to make a quilt-the choosing the crisp colorful fabrics and the perfect quilt pattern-and the end of the project when a finished quilt is placed at the foot of a bed. The difference is that all the hard work is for something that you are intrigued by, interested in, for something that you want–such as that finished quilt. In the same way, children come to understand that hard work is necessary for anything to turn out successful, including their education!
We are committed to making the educational process as exciting, enjoyable, and full of fun as we can, knowing that children who are thus captivated will indeed work hard during their educational time for the very reason that they are excited about learning. If our goal is to make education as interesting and exciting as possible, then it seems to me that children taught in these methods will continue to welcome many interesting, meaningful activities into their lives. They have been taught that life is interesting, that it is enjoyable and that it has a wide scope for creativity, even though they understand that it is a great deal of hard work, as well!
We also hope that the end results of an education received through such a learning approach will be children who will go on in life to find jobs that are productive, interesting, and creative, even steering away, whenever they can, from jobs that are unfulfilling. We hope they do this because they have learned a better way to live and learn.