homeschooling · Life Skills · natural learning · Parenting · Unschooling · World schooling

More reasons to home educate… Thinking outside the box

“Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places.” John Holt, How Children Learn

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humour, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.”

― John Holt , Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling

It seems to be a custom in our culture to ask young children how old they are before jumping to the next question…do you go to kinder / school. We have now been asked several times by teachers in particular, which is not surprising given it’s what they do.

Yesterday my 5 year old was asked “do you go to school”? to which she replied “No.” Then, to the next question, which was “will you be going next year?” she simply stated “No.”

Well, to be fair…it WAS a yes or no question! It seemed to be all the man was interested in. When I comforted the family (with similar aged children, which was another reason for the keen interest) with a short explanation of “we’re home “schooling”… he expressed surprise. This was immediately followed by THAT question. “Why did you choose to homeschool?”

And so again (I thought…I better get used to this) … I replied with a comforting and non offensive, much abbreviated explanation I often give to strangers. That was… we like the freedom and plan to travel / road school. I stated that was my “short version of the answer and said there were MANY reasons we are choosing to.

He replied with…”Oh I could never homeschool… my children wouldn’t listen to me. They don’t listen to me now.” I laughed. Matt simply said… “just listen to your children”. THAT answer RIGHT there is what (in my mind) is wrong with “school” thinking! It shouldn’t BE about jamming things down children’s throats…talking AT them ALL DAY. This is one of my “bones to pick” with the system.

School is not so much about the children’s experience as it is about “programming” them to perform “average” reading, arithmetic and writing. That’s easy enough to learn at home! What OTHER reason is there to send a child to school and AWAY from the real world and ALL the people in it from ALL ages, generations and walks of life?????

We did laugh though that it seemed to be teachers with children the same age asking us the same questions. But it lead me to want to dive deeper into my answer here. See, our choice to home education / “unschool” (take the school out of learning and education), comes from our desire to allow our children’s own curiosity to direct there uninterrupted learning.

See, when a bell rings every 30 minutes or so to move onto the next “subject”, we give children a strong message that – what they are learning is not important enough to continue right now. We interrupt them and don’t “allow” them to dive deeper if they choose. With a class full of 30 or so children, how can a child be certain to feel comfortable enough to ask the questions they have.

What about when they don’t even have the “time” to ask those questions because there simply wasn’t enough time that lesson or because of one reason or another, they forgot…because there was just so much going on in the class… distracting them from their own independent thinking?

That’s the big one for us as parents! We want our children to “think for themselves”, as opposed to simply learning to conform and obey to “pass” or meet “standards” or “fit in”…all while forgetting their own curiosity. There are just so many reasons we CHOOSE to home educate / unschool. Freedom to dive deep into learning is one of them.

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