2016/2017 marks with sixth year that we have been homeschooling. I had no idea six years ago how much one simple (ok-it definitely was a not simple or easy) decision would change my life or my children’s lives. I also had no idea what I was doing! All I knew was what I did in school as a child.
Over the past five years, we have finally found a style of homeschooling that fits our family. I cannot give it a name because it is a mix of a multitude of philosophies including Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason and unschooling. With that when I read about the Taproot Teacher Training, I was hesitant.
I contacted a fellow blogger and now friend, Sheila from Sure as the World, about her thoughts on the training. She said that the training is something that she looks forward to each year even though she does not follow a 100% Waldorf style homeschooling. Lucky for me, she also was one of the presenters this year.
With Sheila’s recommendation, I headed north to Ohio in route to the Taproot Teacher Training on August 11th. My only experience with homeschool conferences was a huge venue with a ton of speakers and a curriculum fair that made my head spin. Taproot took place in Cuyahoga Valley National Park-a much different scene and feel. The surroundings were an amazing feature of the program.
With only 25 of us at the program, I got a chance to speak with everyone and learn from so many other people. The classes that were offered taught me about myself, reminded me of why I enjoy teaching at home, and inspired me to continue on this journey. My major take-aways from the training included working on our rhythm (we have a terrific morning routine but I need to make some sacred school hours and stick to them), less is more when it comes to curriculum (and to life in general), laughter is vital, music helps with learning and is fun, creativity in learning makes it stick, plan time to plan throughout the year, life is learning, and to show up everyday no matter what (meaning to always come together for school).
I cannot think of another retreat, conference or continuing education event that I have been to that even comes close to the amazing experience I had at Taproot. It was LIFE CHANGING. I felt at home with all of the people there and with the environment. I came home recharged and ready to go.