Monday, January 20, 2014

Deciding On A School Name

     Yes, we are homeschoolers.  Just after I gave birth to my first daughter we decided to homeschool our children.  Ever since, I have been on a mission to make sure they get the most amazing quality education I can give.
     One of my favorite projects was deciding on a name for our "private school." In California it is required to file as a private school to enroll children ages 6-18 in a school other than public. This is the process for legally homeschooling children.  You would do so through the California Department of Education.
It seems complicated at first, but it is really simple and several sites give step-by-step instructions on how to file your affidavit.

     I've been thinking about a name for the past few weeks. I wanted a name that represents our family educational philosophy and something that sounds legitimate.  I wrote out a long list of words that expressed independence, art, beauty, and hope for the future. My husband helped me come up with some options and we both agreed on the name...

     He thought it sounded girly at first, haha. But I explained to him why I loved it.  It reflects my hope for our children to be educated in a beautiful and loving environment.  I want to create an educational environment that encourages passions, goals, and dreams. I want our children to be "inspired" in their education to use their imaginations and their intelligence to expand their knowledge and to make goals for physical, spiritual, and emotional happiness.

Philosophy: "Our homeschool is based on inspired interest led learning, with an emphasis on hands on experience.  We highly encourage artistic expression and innovation."

Our school will be divided into 3 different school levels:
      Inspired Play Academy (ages 3-7)
     Inspired Learning Academy (ages 8-12)
     Inspired Knowledge Academy (ages 13-17)

Fun! Fun! Fun! I firmly believe the key to a great education as a child is to play, have fun, experience games, go outdoors, go on field trips, and so forth. I like the term "play" because it expresses the joy that children should be experiencing in these early years.  Aside from the obvious basics of reading, writing and math skills we will be covering, play and fun will be nurturing the brain and giving the children energy to think and ask questions and teach themselves. A happy child is eager to learn.

The reason I decided to separate our middle school at the age of 8 is because in our faith, we believe that when children turn 8 years old, they have reached "the age of accountability." This is the age when children are given the opportunity to be baptized and will feel a sense of responsibility for their decisions and choosing right from wrong.  I believe this is a very special time for children and is a beautiful right of passage into experiencing the gifts of free-agency.   I look forward to my children being baptized and I want them to feel that they are advancing in all aspects of life. The term "learning" indicates observation and analysis.  Discerning right from wrong is a significant portion of this age range and I believe children do the most "learning" at this stage.

Once my children become teens, educational goals will begin taking on a different form.  I believe at this age, our children can start to explore their passions and what they would like to do in life.  They will be taking control of their educational direction and building their own paths. At this stage, I hope my children will begin to explore their skills and abilities. When I think of "knowledge" I think of applying education to life and enhancing the mind by setting goals.

     I love our homeschool name and regardless of the bumps, accidents, and roadblocks we will encounter, I intend for our journey to be inspiring.