What I know so far

I’ve been homeschooling for about two months. I remember when my first son was born, and I thought, after five days, “This is crazy. How could I possibly do this for eighteen years?”

Of course it gets easier. And the same is true of homeschooling – the first few weeks I thought I would never make it a month, let alone until they’re 18.

Mostly I have spent this month generating more questions than answers. A boyfriend in college told me that the process of learning is asking sharper and sharper questions rather than finding answers.

He was right. And I am learning a lot.

So I have little that I can tell you that I know. But I can tell you two things:

1. Each fall day when we walk in the pasture, goats trailing us like dogs, I’m thankful that my boys don’t spend the day in school.

2. Each day that I post a photo of my kids I am thankful that I started a blog about homeschooling, because I also started a photo album, which I never had before.

11 replies
  1. Someone in WI
    Someone in WI says:

    This made me smile. Beautiful! And yes, it does get easier — though there are some hard times, too.

    And Penelope: I really think you had me confused with someone else posting anonymously here… because I really never said anything mean to you, truly. It still bothers me that you thought I did!

    It’s OK. Just want you to know how much I love your intelligence, your amazing insights, your honesty.

  2. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    1. What are your plans for the winter?
    Skating? Snowshoeing? Cross country skiing?

    2. Now that you’ve got it happening with the photos, you may want to look into a digital video camcorder ( or start by making short video clips many digital cameras are capable of doing).

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I”m thinking about video. I’m thinking about what would work best. But your comment reminds me that what works best is when I just start something even when I don’t know where it’s going.


  3. Will King
    Will King says:

    My grandpa used to tell me “You’ll find that you’re up to the difficulty life throws your way – simply because you don’t have a choice”

  4. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Hmmm…when I saw that there were two new posts today–one on your career blog and one on your homeschooling blog–I surprised myself by reading the homeschooling post first. Is this a reflection of a changing focus for you or for me, or maybe both? Either way, both were fun to read–thanks!

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      That’s really nice to hear Jennifer. Thanks. It’s so weird to start this blog when I have a blog already that is so big. But I love the intimate feel of this homeschooling blog. And it’s fun for me that you came to this one first.


  5. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I actually know very little about homeschooling. However I have started to pick up the concepts and the vernacular. And I think getting comfortable with both is very important before you can really understand what homeschooling is all about. Which brings me to the term “homeschooling”. I’m not sure I even like it because, in my mind, it denotes teaching school subjects at home which, of course, it isn’t or at least shouldn’t be. If a child is not getting their education in a school, I like the phrase “free range learning” (more descriptive) rather than “unschooling”. So, in summary, the words that are used to describe the education of a child (wherever it may be) can be really confusing … especially if you don’t have the details. That’s what I know so far.

    • Zellie
      Zellie says:

      To me, the term means broadly that we didn’t go to school, we handled education at home. The myriad ways this can be done would be unfathomable to most people. They marvel at their imaginings.

      Family and teachers would be horrified if they knew how much school we didn’t do – how many years wasted, how much educating could have been accomplished if we had applied ourselves. I usually don’t enlighten them unless it is a person who likes discussing philosophical issues, which is not often.

      • Mark W.
        Mark W. says:

        Thanks for your reply, Zellie.
        I’m here to be enlightened … and it happens in the post … and the comments. I was skeptical of the effectiveness of homeschooling when I first started reading this blog. However, I’m now convinced that homeschooling is as “valid” an educational platform for a child as public, private, charter, or other form of learning. What works for one family, though, may not work for another so I still think all the options should be available and used to benefit the child and family as best as possible. What I like best about homeschooling is how it can be customized to make learning fun and meaningful, as it should be.

  6. Latha
    Latha says:


    This post made me so happy! I think the freedom to spend time with our family (almost) all the time doing things we all love is the best thing about homeschooling. And yes, asking questions is the best way to learn. The power of inquiry is enormous in opening doors to learning and opportunities to grow.

Comments are closed.