Last week I organized a class about the Civil War for homeschoolers ages 9-14. I hired a history teacher, found space at our church, and gathered a group of kids to take the class.
The kids in the class were ready to talk once the class began. Whatever topic the teacher brought up or whatever artifact she showed to the kids, they had something to say. Hands shot up, and the kids were comfortable sharing what they knew and asking what they didn't know.
As I sat in the back of the group and watched the classroom action, I was struck by the fact that the kids knew their Civil War history, and they learned it through homeschooling. Even the students who had not covered the Civil War yet had insights and observations to make because they had other knowledge to draw upon.
The classroom experience with a teacher was an okay way to spend an afternoon, but it clearly wasn't necessary to the education of any of the kids in that room. Whatever they are doing on their own and with their families, it's working.
It's nice to be reminded of that.