Deb Adamson: Learning never stops

Deb Adamson

I’m still somewhat green at this home school gig. Zach is only 7 so we’ve got a long way to go before either of us is considered seasoned.

Maybe that’s why I’m so challenged by some of the curiosity questions. I’ve yet to really organize my thoughts and prepare set talking points for those inquires that routinely crop up. I imagine I must sound disorganized and often rather vague in my responses. You see by now, most people around town know that we home school and so they are naturally inquisitive.

Take, for instance, summer. Despite attending traditional school myself, I honestly didn’t grasp the magnitude of summer vacation from school and its expected impact. That is until this year when just about everywhere we go: the post office, church, doctor’s office and stores, individuals ask, “So do home schoolers get a summer vacation or do you just plow right through school work during the warmer months?” 

With my forehead furrowed and probably appearing a bit stumped I answer what must seem like a forthright question with varying responses, “Oh no, we do sort of lighten the load.” Or with slightly more conviction I stammer, “Really it’s just a different kind of learning that we do during the summer.” And then there are times I blatantly blurt, “The learning never stops.” That one must sound almost cryptic. 

But honestly, I am baffled about how to respond because unless you live it, it’s nearly impossible to articulate a lifestyle. And that’s just what home schooling is: a way of life, regardless of the seasons.

I’m not sure if this would answer the question more directly, but maybe I’d paint a clearer picture if I launched into great detail about one of our recent learning adventures: lighthouse lore and legends.

 Maybe it would all come into focus if I regaled them with highlights of a recent trek to a new lighthouse exhibit at Mystic Seaport Museum and then talked about how that spurred visits to other New England lighthouses, reading a lighthouse novel and our paper lighthouse project under way on the island in our kitchen.

If I rattle on that we’d not really planned on studying lighthouses again, it just sprang out of Zach’s summertime desire to revisit a past interest, maybe that would be the ticket. Maybe then I’d offer up a taste of what it is really like to home school throughout the year and yes, straight through summer.

Deb Adamson, who lives in Connecticut, is a home school mom who writes about the joys, trials and adventures of days teaching and learning with her 7-year-old son. She can be reached at