I’m getting ready to do a lecture about how to get started homeschooling. I don’t want to go in and just talk off the top of my head. I want resources to hand out and a real solid talk. So I’m doing some new research. What has changed? What is out there for new homeschoolers? I’m reading a lot and of course I come across a lot of “school at home” type stuff. We are not “school at home” people. Watching my children unfold into young men, I’ve fully embraced the radical unschooling lifestyle…or so I thought.
When we first started I really loved the idea of school. My teachers must not have done it right because I hated being there. I would do it right for my kids! So I planned and plotted for Kindergarten. It didn’t last. I just didn’t want to spend my days coercing my sons into doing the work I wanted them to do. And besides, the more I looked at it, the more I realized what a waste of time it was. I mean, why do small children need to work on scissor skills? How often are you cutting out small pieces of paper and gluing them to other pieces of paper? Unless you’re some kind of artist, I don’t see it being important. So why would I spend weeks trying to get my kid to do it right when he really is bored stupid by it and can’t see the point. If he doesn’t learn now and ends up being a paper model maker, don’t you think he would be able to figure it out later? Is it a skill that you have to learn by a certain age or lose forever?
This argument goes for every academic skill. When you need it and see the need to learn it, have the desire to learn it, you can. Just wait. I’ve lived by that. But…
I’m reading all these articles about reading lists, curriculum, and high school credits. It shakes me. Am I doing enough for my kids? Should I make them do high school? When I watch them and not the world around me, or the world the articles present, I don’t think so. They are bright, eager, and wanting to be in the world. They follow current events and talk about the world at the dinner table. They ask questions and read articles, argue with people online. They find information they need and bring ideas to the table that I would never have thought of. So why do I sit here second guessing what we are doing?
Because that is how strong twelve years of public education indoctrination is. It is what I was taught. Much like those that have escaped a long term abuse situation have to fight to stay away and not continue to do what they escaped from, I have to keep fighting to make new habits and continue down the path I have decided to take. This is why I really do despise the public school system we have. It creates dependents that create more dependents. It’s not something you can sit idly by and take it or leave it. It is destructive to real education, to becoming a whole independent person.