Okay, I know this is deep, educational stuff, but
HERE is a link to an article from the NY Times about Obama's educational reforms. The article describes the ideal educational environment and educational objectives. This totally describes homeschooling and reinforces my views on education.
In my teaching experience as a high school English teacher, I quickly noticed that good readers didn't need instruction in grammar, vocabulary, and in most cases spelling. They didn't need reading comprehension tests, or instruction on how to find the main idea and 80% of everything else my curriculum asked me to teach.
I remembered from my own childhood, the education and creativity that came from reading the classics, spending time in the woods, hanging out asking questions of my grandparents and parents. The richest educational experiences I remember are probably the opportunities to create, build, draw, write, play, and craft things from my own imagination. In the years when my kids were in "normal" schools, I never felt like we had the time to read, craft, and play - much less do the important things like pray and read the Word together or learn chores. It really seemed like they were beat down by the monotony of draggy days learning stuff they already knew.
Anyway, I love it when an educational theory confirms what I am doing homeschooling. I get a little "school-at-home" this time of year and start to freak about completing all our curriculum and all the science tests we have skipped because we got sidetracked on some interest. So, it felt good to read this article and remind myself that the next yucky day we could call it a pajama day and read aloud a great book and be none the worse for the adventure. I have to remind myself that almost ALWAYS an experience beats a worksheet!
Sorry, that's my little soapbox to myself.