Homeschooling is something.
Teaching your kids at home is a pretty crazy idea to most people. Having your kid learn from you under your own roof or in a plane, on a train, walking in the way, well, that’s nuts to most. Teaching abc’s and 123’s to your own kids is crazy, especially when both parents want to or have to work and most sensible people realize that a lot of people for one reason or another cannot or would not even attempt this crazy idea of our kids learning under their own guidance. And even if they don’t have to work, people look at me funny when I suggest homeschooling to them, just as a passing thought. Who, me, their parent teach them the stuff I learned at school myself, are you kidding? Are you crazy? Yeah, I am a little crazy, always was. Homeschooling is a pretty daring idea even for me.
I am a homeschooling mama of five uniquely different children and it’s rather overwhelming to me even after five years of doing this. Don’t get me wrong, I love this process, this painful process of trying to figure this out for myself. I hear all about curriculums and books and stuff and manipulatives and more stuff to help me teach and to help my kids to learn. I have grand ideas about what’s going to happen every year and then, well, life takes over. People die and funerals are held or family members self destruct and life and you don’t feel like getting out of bed sometimes. We learn stuff every year, you bet, but not in the way I planned. It gets a little hairy sometimes.
And then you have curriculum fairs and conferences just for homeschoolers and co-ops and meetings and clubs and more things to keep me busy forever and ever. And I feel the wind get knocked right out of me. The hits just keep on coming from all directions, hits meant to be something good for me when well, it’s overwhelming. There are leagues and self-help books all just for homeschooling. It’s quite amazing to me how big the community really is. There is dual-enrollment with local colleges and virtual schools online for your kiddies. And I say, stop the bus or train, rather, I want to get off. I’m dizzy and fizzy and a little high and delusional with all this constant information at the homeschooling station. I want to get off the bus, sit down on the bench that holds the people waiting for the next one to come, the bus to come. I need a breath, a break, a thought, a hope that, well, I’ll really know my kids. I want to know them. Really. For real.
I gotta’ say none of this good stuff is really going to teach the most important thing…knowing how to teach and guide and lead and help your own uniquely made child. No, there is not another child like yours. Like a snowflake or a fingerprint…this soul was created and it’s one of a kind. There’s not a book out there that can teach you about your child, their specific needs, desires, and skills, talents, loves, hopes and dreams. You go crazy trying to become better teachers or buy the hottest curriculum or fad product on the market to help our kids excel and we get upset when it doesn’t work. Well, I am here to say there’s no “your child 101” course. It’s a process that defies any book or curriculum or plan for the year. He or she, your child will move forward and learn and love and grow in their own time and way. Nothing can prepare you for that I have found. God pity the kids made to be in a factory driven schools or homeschool plans or private school fantasy playgrounds where they just take a number and the one in charge must know twenty to thirty souls by heart or at home there’s just five or one or ten or twelve.
Know their everything for the time they are in charge. You the mom or dad or you, the teacher. Take your pick. It is your choice. I am biased, but that’s just my holey opinion. Holey, not holy. Moms sigh at the thought of teaching two or three of their own, but then expect one teacher, just one, to know the heart of their child and know them inside and out…their kid and twenty others. Is that even possible? Nobody knows a child more than the parents or the care giver. Or wait, maybe they can, I don’t really know. The heart of the kid that’s what matters. What they like, what their weaknesses are, where they are at in their own mind emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally. A parent or a care giver knows how to get their own child to learn to the best of their own ability and at their own pace. Don’t they? It seems like they would.
And grades are a figment of our imagination…our imagination. Our American imagination…compulsory schooling in factory style, age segregated grades is made up social engineering fairly new to the free world. Up until the last 80 or so years there was absolutely little to no compulsory schooling anywhere on the planet. If people wanted to learn, like Fredrick Douglas, they just did. They had and all children, babies have a thirst for learning on all levels. Socrates didn’t go to the type of school we purport today, nor did he “go” to school. The wide world was much wider than it is today even with all of our technological advancements we have become as narrow minded as ever when it comes to this all encompassing thing called learning. I say free your mind because your are free to think.
I must say, too, I like my kids and for me, I want them to stick around a little while they are young because I know one day I’ll be completely out of a job and I hope they, my kiddos, like me enough to come home.
Then and only then will I know without a doubt that I took the time to know them, really know them and love them. Love them into learning, now that’s something. Not sure what they would get out there. Maybe something good and maybe just that, don’t know. I just know what I want, and I’ll stop at nothing to get it, whatever “it” may be on this journey of gaining the heart of each of my kids enough for them to learn on their own and to learn from me. Hmmm, yeah.