What Is Scholé?

Schloé is a concept I found on the homeschooling forums a couple of years ago which has gone onto transform the way I teach my children at home. It’s no secret that homeschooling can be stressful at times, yet it doesn’t have to be.

Looking back to the ancient methods of learning we can see that providing education was focused on was on finding the good, true, and beautiful in the world rather than producing productive citizens or wage earners.

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Scholé is a Greek word that means ‘leisure‘ and the Latin word scola and English word school are both derived from this Greek word. The concept of ‘Leisure school’ or Scholé looks different to each homeschooling family depending on your priorities thus achieving requires different actions.

For me, Scholé means preparing lesson plans and focusing on what’s important. I find that the preparation helps me to relax significantly during the teaching aspect, thus creating a leisurely learning environment.

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.

Teacher Preparation

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.

However, 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.

Individualized Instruction

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.