Today’s guest blogger is Maggie Jacobus, a former resident of suburban Milwaukee who moved her family to Costa Rica in search of a more relaxed life.
A Life Without Homework
by Maggie Jacobus
I enjoyed your column in the Green Hour newsletter. I wanted to share with you briefly our story and what one can do when there’s no homework!
Three and a half years ago my husband and I decided that we wanted to give our three boys a different life than the stressed out, materialistic lifestyle we were surrounded by in suburban Milwaukee. We wanted to give them a real childhood, where they were free to run in nature, to play, to explore. We moved to Costa Rica from Wisconsin and sent them to the local rural school for the first year and then home school the next 2 years. They spent their afternoons free from homework and we had full weekends without organized sports or homework to go off and explore as a family.
The result? We’ve created a series of videos (and are still creating them, as we’re still here–two years past when we thought we would have returned!) about our adventures that we air on our website, supernaturaladventures.com. We’re putting out a call to ALL kids to get outside, explore, have fun, learn something, experience something and to send us a photo, essay or video about it. Our goal is to get a world-wide kid-to-kid dialogue going about nature and the environment and to reconnect kids with nature so that they CARE about it.
We’ve done some research with parents and when we’ve asked what would keep their child from submitting something to our site, we’ve been told, “No time. Too much homework.” Alternately, we’ve been told, “Only if it counts for extra-credit at school.” I think it’s just a shame that homework interferes with the real education that can happen from child-directed exploration.
Super Natural Adventures is a totally grassroots enterprise and quite literally a “family business”–my husband is the cameraman, the kids are the hosts, and I write the scripts and produce.
Thanks again for your efforts to advise not only teachers and schools, but PARENTS as well, that they have the power to give kids their childhood back.