A Parisian Education: When Homeschooling is More Than Books


If you ask Miss H where she has wanted to go her whole life (yes, all those 8 years!), she’ll tell you Paris.

It’s interesting, because she’s wanted this before she even fully understood where or what Paris is. Before she ever knew it was the place where her papa got down on one knee and asked me to be his forever, and thus the story of our family began.

Because the cards fell into order, she gets to make her wildest dreams come true and visit the City of Lights (or is it the City of Light?) this summer.

Since we homeschool, this has allowed us to play around with our curriculum and incorporate some learning about Paris, it’s history, and the country as a whole. It’s been a lot of fun as someone with a degree in history to learn new things with my kiddos.

I have learned things about Leonardo da Vinci and his childhood that I was oblivious to. In fact, I actually knew very little about Leonardo da Vinci outside of the very basics.

We wept together as we read about Marie Antoinette’s life, and her tragic end. Mostly we wept for her young children. We wept for a past where a woman was forced to bear children she never wanted to begin with. A past where women had so few rights that Miss H could hardly wrap her brain around such things. Which led to discussions about women’s rights movements, how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go.

Miss H and Mr. B have been excited to learn about the Eiffel Tower, and they’re fantasizing about the foods served in its four restaurants (because lets be honest, they said food and that’s about the only fact I’ve retained).

We mostly do child led schooling. Although there is also a lot of encouragement for doing the the basic three R’s as well. I love when it all comes together and they’re reading books about things they’re interested in and writing me papers with facts, and eagerly doing math as they turn meters into feet and try to decipher how tall the Eiffel Tower is. And they’re learning and doing so much and all they see it as is fun.

Which is was learning should be.

I’m so excited to take this adventure for them off of the page and into the city they’re so enjoying in just a few short weeks.

But it makes me wonder: if a little girl spends her whole life dreaming about Paris and finally sees it; what will she dream about next?

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