February 20, 2016 at 8:36 am

A few weeks ago someone in a homeschool facebook group asked if other families had given their schools a name. Apparently some states require this, but Arizona doesn’t. Even so, I thought it was a great idea. So I asked my kids what we should name our homeschool.

We started throwing names around, and I can’t remember which clever kid came up with it, but as soon as it was spoken aloud it was a winner. Hopeschool it is. I wanted to make a cute logo to go with it as well, and we agreed on a bird nest theme since I associate Hope with birds. Also… because I like alliteration, I decided to add Haven ’cause that’s what I hope our home/nest will always be. Here’s the graphic I put together with a pic from the public domain.

Hopeschool Logo
Earlier today I was reading Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era, by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith. Highly recommend, by the way. Stay tuned for a book review. Anyway… earlier today I read a part of the book that reinforced something I have been thinking about for a while. Having this blog for almost a decade now (!?) has probably been the best thing I have ever done for my “education” and the development of my skills and talents. As I watch my kids developing their skills and talents, I find myself longing to offer them an outlet to share those gifts with the world and get feedback. Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith gave me one more reason to do so. Their words focus on developing writing skills, but the same could likely be applied to any skill or talent:

Students need to write for a real audience. . . . When they are writing for or presenting to an authentic audience . . . whether it is their peers or someone outside of school–they work much harder to polish their work, and they seek and pay attention to feedback. Writing for a real audience, and writing about things they know and care about, are central to students’ development of an authentic voice in their work (p. 105).

My 12-year-old writes masterful fiction for someone her age. My 10-year-old is a remarkable poet. My 6-year-old excels at building things. And together they often make brilliant short films for fun. Here’s one they put together using only an old flip phone.

For awhile I contemplated creating a blog where we could share their creations, or creating individual websites where each of them could be admins and explore the world of web design. We may still do that. But for now I think we’ll have an occasional “Hopeschool” post here on my blog.

I’d love for you to comment and share my kids’ posts so they can experience the invaluable gift of feedback from their audience. And I will add our Hopeschool Haven logo to my sidebar so you can easily find these posts in the future. I’m excited.

Until next time, may your weekend be full of peace, play, and progress. :-)