What does scholé mean?
Scholé is a Greek word that means 'leisure' and the Latin word scola and English word school are both derived from this Greek word. So school = leisure.
For the original Classical learners, education wasn't about providing an education focused on producing productive citizens or wage earners, it's focus was on finding the good, true, and beautiful in the world.
In today's homeschooling culture, we can look to these ancient methods of learning and apply them to our modern lives, including the idea of leisurely learning. But this might look very different in each homeschool. What is restful for an only child homeschool family (like mine) will probably be very different for a homeschool mom of many.
Scholé doesn't mean (to me!) that I'm resting in my role as a mother or in the fact that my home is peaceful. Those aspects of my life are a result of the effort and hard work that I put into finding that place of restful learning.
Leisurely learning in our homeschool
When I think about restful learning, I picture TJ and I working diligently, discussing ideas, and reading books. (Especially nice is the lack of nagging on my part to get back on task!) But reaching this point of restful learning takes some effort and a few key ingredients.
I can’t teach from rest if I am not prepared as a teacher. If I find myself scrambling to keep up with the lessons and depending too much on a textbook, I’m not in a restful place. But when I know my subject very well, I can teach and adapt lessons to my child with confidence.
The thing to remember is that homeschooling is still hard work, even when you are providing an atmosphere for restful learning. We aren’t lecturing to a classroom, but providing one-on-one tutoring sessions filled with discussion and interaction. Naturally, that is more tiring to us as teachers, and it means we must be prepared.
Mastering the Curriculum
What is running your homeschool? Does your curriculum dictate what and how you are learning?
Take back your authority as the instructor. After all, you know your children better than a textbook does.
There is a huge difference between the homeschool that is dictated to by the curriculum, doing rote assignments and checking every box, and the homeschool that uses their curricula as a tool and resource. Are you at the mercy of the publisher or are you prepared to adapt a lesson if your child does not understand a concept?
Restful teaching & learning happens when we can use our resources to teach but we are not controlled by them.
Teaching from a place of rest also gives us the opportunity to truly observe our children and the education we are providing them. When I am too busy checking off boxes and making sure we are on schedule, I lose my focus. Instead, I should be observing my child.
Do I need to change my expectations? Am I asking too much (or not enough)? Am I providing what they need? Do I need to adapt the lessons to meet their needs?
Teaching from rest keeps me focused on providing what my child needs. It’s not about completing a lesson or textbook. It’s about knowing how to provide my child with a true education.
Focusing on what’s important
Finding that place of rest also means I’m not scrambling to cover a multitude of subjects. Every year I’m learning to minimize and focus on what’s important.
We need to make time for beautiful things. With a jam-packed schedule, we lose time for those small, meaningful moments of joyful learning. Less really is more when it comes to education.
Instead of offering a broad education, focus on providing a deeper education.
Finding your place of scholé
While I hope you find some important truths in this post that you can apply to your situation, I want you to look at the big picture for YOUR child and YOUR homeschool. Don’t look at someone else’s preset standards or compare your homeschooling experience to mine. Instead, focus on finding your place of rest.
Finding that place is HARD work.
But peace comes when you trust that the hard work and effort you put in today will pay off in the future.