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TO THE POINT: Why you should home educate if you can
September 25, 2019
HOME EDUCATE IF YOU CAN
I have noticed a different kind of neglect, as I am involved with children who has been in public school their entire lives; some of them since they were babies only a few months old. All of them are well-fed, clothed and have everything they need physically, yet they don’t know who they are or where they are going, and they crave attention! There is bickering and competition between them all the time, as everything said or done or achieved is constantly compared. They don’t have a sense of being proud of their own work, doing their own thing for themselves, and being proud of their own accomplishments. They only feel successful when they are ‘better’ than the others. Their sense of identity seems to be based on comparing themselves, not in being who they are.
As if this is not enough, most of the group I am involved with have lost their sense of wonder – the eagerness to learn and be interested in learning new things. I am reminded of all sorts of studies that have shown that unfortunately, the ‘school system’ does this, even though it is not the intention. I am also reminded of a 1957 study done by Dr. Harold McCurdy entitled, “The Childhood Pattern of Genius” where he examined the experiences of twenty geniuses, people whose genius spanned across a range of academics, nationalities, and eras. He discovered three commonalities among them – all of which are the very essence of home education principles: 1. A high degree of attention focused upon the child by parents and other adults, expressed in intensive educational measures and, usually, abundant love. 2. Reduced contact with their peer group. 3. A significant amount of imaginative play.
In contrast to this group of attention-craving children, going on an outing we had as a homeschool group, I distinctly noticed how completely different most homeschool children are: · eager and interested in learning new things, · not comparing themselves all the time, · having a much better sense of themselves and being more confident in who they are, · displaying character and not being ashamed to ask questions, · even knowing so much about all sorts of things that they impressed the presenter.
It is probably not the difference between homeschool or school children that result in this huge difference....it is more likely parent involvement and support of their children’s education.
It is actually to what extent parents take responsibility for their children’s education that determines the outcome.
There are children in schools who are growing up just fine, and if you look closer you will see just how much their parents are involved in their lives. But if you send your child to a school I think it is much easier to abdicate that responsibility since school easily dominates a family’s lifestyle, whereas if you homeschool you automatically need to take more responsibility in making all sorts of decisions including lifestyle and education decisions.
One can also assume that if you homeschool, you are wanting the best for your children, so you constantly ask questions such as: “Is this going to be good for my child in his/her development or not?” In contrast, if children are in a school, their parents often don’t know what they are exposed to, so the question is rarely even asked.
It is not that parents don’t care, they often just don’t know what to care about. It is a matter of trusting the ‘system’, the ‘teacher’ or the ‘curriculum’ too much, without asking critical questions, which result in children learning all sorts of survival skills just to cope in the system. In this way a lot of energy is wasted on ‘survival by comparison’, whereas the energy could have been channelled in learning things.
Although I believe this sense of wonder and identity related issues can be recovered, there is a lot of time lost, so recovery takes a lot more energy and care compared to if a child was supported in his/her younger years to keep on being interested, keep on learning new things and developing their identity naturally.
In conclusion, I am more passionate about home education than ever before, because I see what a system can do to children, and it is not their fault. My advice therefore to any parent considering home education is – if you are privileged enough to have the option of home educating at all, then do so! It will be an investment you will never regret. There is nothing like it. Even with so many ‘small schools’ around, don’t abdicate this responsibility to them. Nobody cares about your child more than you do. You are still their only and best parent, caretaker, teacher and mentor. Home educate if you can!
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Slowing down allows us to reconnect and remember what matters. (Todd Wilson The Familyman)
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