Back, back, w-a-y back in about 2001, I was researching the idea of home-educating my daughter who was then only a year old. I was a teacher, and she was going to a child-minder three days a week. Out of the blue one day, it dawned on me: why was I leaving my own child with somebody, while I went out to teach other people's children?!!
|Teaching your own has intrinsic rewards.|
Sometimes, we parents get into home-education because we fundamentally disagree with the education system; or because we are torn to pieces about what a certain school or even a certain collection of children are doing to our own precious one; or because we don't find traditional schooling a good fit. All of these are perfectly good reasons, but they're kind of negative ones -- we reject the norm to embrace the unusual.
But what if the unusual were the RIGHT way, and that we embrace it because it's been the best way all along?
|Learning in the "field" with the whole body|
This became clear to me one summer’s day, right after I’d left that paying job. It was such a luxury to just sit on a bench and observe my toddler. She was pottering around in the grass, shaking my soda bottle and watching the bubbles, and I was amazed how I wasn't feeling the usual urge to put her on the swing for five minutes, then help her down the slide for five minutes more, wobble the wiggly bridge for five, then take her back home for a nap so I could get back to my "real" job.
|The very moment it dawned on me|
Instead, I could just sit there. I could just be. And let my daughter just be.
|Just let her stand in the field|
and ponder the world ... that's fine.
The moral of this tale is this: home-education is often seen as a "running away from" or "opting out" of traditional schooling, but I want to encourage everyone who's involved in it to see it with new eyes. Not running away, but leaping into, soaring through, bounding ... or, if you're a quiet and methodical sort ... ambling/walking/tip-toeing along the path that you were made to follow.
|Clearly, we don't all learn the same way!|
It's a path that you travel WITH your children, not a direction you point them in!
|Life and learning are journeys ... together!|
And that's why, of all the jobs I've had, homeschooling my kids is the best job in the world!
(This article first appeared in the Home Ed Gazette, an email newsletter available by contacting the editor at homeedgazette