Two years into this journey, the journey of Home Education, I find myself rethinking the reasons we homeschool. Our lovely little co-op is losing two of its teachers and we are feeling really jumbled up with the change. And also, this year I will be incorporating more activites for and with the two littler men, and this change is making me feel a little nervous too. When discussing it with my beloved J, he calmly said, well maybe we should send them to school. *gulp* I will leave you to imagine my less than gracious reply. (ahem)
I wonder how it is that school "worked" for J. He thinks, on the whole, that it did, you see. He is incredibly smart and well balanced intellectually. So in that way it "worked", I guess. I just can't help but think that education is not only about one's intellect. It is so much more than that. I want my boys to discover learning with their whole person. I want them to learn that growing one's mind is dependent upon growing one's body and soul too. I want them to learn how to be emotionally intelligent and to learn to serve others and live a life of faith. Intelligent faith that is deeply rooted and applicable to life.
School did not work for me. I quickly learned that I didn't have to participate very much, that I could still get very good grades on tests and that as long as I did that no one would bother me. School was merely a place I had to go to everyday. I tried to have fun along the way, but honestly the only thing I got out of it was lots of "learning the hard way" when it came to developing and keeping friendships. I think it's so strange that people think you need to send a child to school to learn to be well "socialized"! What on earth? How does that even begin to make sense? I think what they mean is that they think everyone out to learn to be institutionalized, right? Like how to sit when it's time to sit, how to be quiet and fill out worksheets properly, how to raise your hand, and how to play on the playground without getting beaten up?
I know that I am not the most socially gracious person, so perhaps I don't get to have an opinion on how one becomes a socially gracious being....but I'm just thinking that it probably has a lot to do with learning how to be kind. How to love. (Love is patient. Love is kind....) Doesn't a loving home seem to be the place to learn this?
I also want the boys to be able to experience the freedom that comes from thinking for one's self and learning how to manage time on their own too. I want to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, to thinking, to pondering, to experimenting, to creating and then let them choose. I want to be there to guide them when they have trouble or worries, if they need me. I want to help them think on their own before they have a need to be in situations with other people that might be trying or difficult to manage with kindness and understanding. I want to equip them for every good work!
I know that I will not do this perfectly. I know that I will mess up, probably often, you know...since I'm a human being and all. But I am not about to give up just because it would be more financially sound, or because it would make us seem more normal, or because I might mess up along the way! These are our children we are talking about! I want the very best for them! The best that we can give them! They are real human souls full of joy and wonder and life!
ps. I asked them...and they want to homeschool this year again too. :)