Yesterday I told you all about the freak-out sesh I had regarding homeschooling. Now let’s get to the why.
Why I decided to calm the heck down and just trust what God was laying out. Why I decided that public school (and private for that matter) wasn’t going to cut it for Monkey. Why my being a Christian isn’t my only reason for going this route. Why being a single, full-time working mom won’t stop me. And why I am the most unlikely candidate for homeschool momming. I’ll go over some of the latter ‘whys’ in future posts. But, let’s go ahead and tackle the traditional school, aka Why #1.
First, let me start off by saying that I don’t have an issue with teachers. I don’t even have an issue with schools. I do have an issue with how education has become a commodity instead of an experience. I do have an issue with how learning has become synonymous with standardized testing. I do have an issue with how creativity has been scrunched and confined to sitting at a desk for hours instead of gathering knowledge with every touch, sight, taste, and sound. I do have an issue with how common core outweighs the importance of the arts, music, and recess. Yes, recess is freaking important. I do have a bone to pick with those who believe that our kids need to “keep up” and compete with other countries for no apparent reason other than pride, all while they are ironically falling farther and farther behind.
Now of course I know that every school does not fall into this category. There are some exceptional schools out there and even more outstanding teachers who see the road we’re going down and are working tirelessly to make sure we don’t fall deeper into this trap. I’ve attended public schools my entire life and am friends with a gaggle of teachers. And I think I still turned out pretty awesome.
But when we operate in this way, many kids get lost in the shuffle. And mostly because some of them don’t learn best from reading assignments and multiple choice tests. And some do. Some need real-life application, while some just need facts. Some need hands-on experiences, while some can watch others and repeat easily.
Now, to be honest I’m not quite sure what kind of learner Monkey is. If we’re keeping it 100%, I have moments where I truly feel like that girl has been here before. And I do believe that she would absolutely excel in a traditional school setting, but I trust that she will flourish outside of it. Where we’ll get to figure out together how she learns best and create a space where she feels safe in her failure.
Speaking of failure in education may sound counterintuitive, but isn’t that what learning is anyway? Being given the opportunity, responsibility, and privilege of failing over and over again until you figure out the most efficient path to success? Or possibly even realizing that most paths don’t lead to success at all. But the journey through the mistakes is what creates character and a person doing life with the intent to gain and give.
Regardless, I believe that we as parents should be responsible for raising, shaping, molding, and guiding our kids into this world. Not for the purposes of making mini-clones. That would be terrible for some of you. And selfish. But to teach them to use their strengths to their advantage and become independently curious with a thirst for lifelong learning.
For me, the most obvious way to do this is with a homeschool experience. For others, it may mean public or private school. But the beauty of it all is that I get to choose. And so do you.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6