He was born 1805, the only son of a washerwoman and a shoemaker. They were very poor, but his dad brought him to the local playhouse, developing his creative side by making him his own toys. He went to school occasionally, but spent most of the time reading and studying by himself. His fondest memories were that of his father’s work bench, which held many books and songs. The boy grew up to be tall, lanky, and awkward, with a love for singing and dancing, and an vivid imagination. Though he began writing at an early age, it was only in 1827 when first poem was published, and launched his career as a writer. His fairy tales of fantasy became popular around the world for their moral lessons. Some of his well-known works include The Little Match Girl, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, among many others. He became known as the famous Hans Christian Andersen.
This is the article I authored for Smart Parenting. It came out in the March 2011 Issue.
When people ask me where my kids go to school, my answer is, “They don’t. They are homeschooled.” More often than not, I get a follow up question like, “What’s that?” Being a die-hard advocate of homeschooling, I enjoy answering that question. It helps that I was homeschooled myself, I homeschool my own kids, and I ran a homeschool program in the past. I have seen homeschooling from a 360 degree angle and experienced the benefits first-hand.
Homeschooling is not easy, but it is worth it. It is not easy because it means taking on the responsibility of teaching and training your child; it may entail giving up a second source of income; it requires you to re-program your understanding of education; you need to model what you teach; and society has preconceived notions about it that aren’t always positive.
Yes, there are times when I feel a little bit of that pressure to be conventional. For example, I sometimes wonder what people think when my kids are with me at the grocery and it is a weekday morning. Other kids their age are sitting in classrooms, listening to a lecture, or maybe taking a test. But my worry quickly passes when I see the delight on my kids’ faces as we make a learning experience out of picking fruit and vegetables. So, in a sense, the grocery is our classroom for that morning.