Why does a parent choose to homeschool?
I thought I would try a little slow start with homeschooling. I began with researching what other Mother’s are teaching their kiddos at this age as well as what is expected by my local public schools.
I was shocked!
By public school standards my oldest is ready for 1st grade for the exception of writing. She’s 4. My youngest is ready for kindergarten. She’s 2.
I knew my children were above average, but I didn’t know until I read what the schools expect of children by grade just how much they had learned almost completely on their own. What do you do with kids like that?
At this rate I would have to dumb down my children for public school.
I’m not sure I’m cut out for homeschooling, but I absolutely don’t think my kids are cut out for public schools. So it’s either expensive private or me.
Schooling options I looked into:
- Maria Montessori – I really can get behind all of her ideas. The child explores and learns at his pace, but there are not many Montessori schools close by.
- Charter Schools- The charter schools here are really not much different than public by way of education although they do have language immersion.
- Preschool -The preschools around here are day cares at best.
- Unschooling- I get it, but I’m not sure the government does. That scares me.
And then I found Rudolf Steiner.
Not too long ago there was a small chance we could move to Switzerland. When I began learning their education system I was flabbergasted. They did not believe in any structured learning until 7. And then at a slow pace according to the child. Yet they have one of the best education systems in the world. I was to discover they used many of Steiner’s ideas. Here in the states it’s referred to as a Waldorf education. In the rest of the world it’s called Steiner.
The basics to a Waldorf Education as I understand it are this…
- Children should be given only simple toys that inspire imagination.
- They should not have access to any electronics.
- They should spend a large amount of time in nature.
- Conventional education should not start until 7.
- All learning experiences should fall within the seasons.
- Education should be as experiential as possible.
- Morality should be taught with positive stories, not as rules.
- Creative arts are essential.
I’m sure I’m simplifying it, I still have a lot more research to do.
I am an adult who still has memories of playing with fairies. As a child I would walk into the woods and look around to make sure I couldn’t see anything but trees and then I would play. I even remember being irritated there was a jet stream in the sky. This idea of nature and imagination being the absolute basis for everything else speaks to me. I am constantly learning and I will never stop having the desire to know more. Is this because I spent the majority of my childhood immersed in fantasy and nature?
There’s no text books, or lesson plans I can buy. It’s a methodology left up to the teacher. Me. And well….can I do it? You’ve seen my grammar and don’t even allow me to teach Algebra.
Also, I’ll admit it. I relish the idea of having the house to myself for a few hours. Homeschooling Mommies don’t get that.
I would have to completely change my children’s lives. I would need to get rid of half their toys and take away their tv. No more playin with Mommy’s phone, which is a God send when I’m grocery shopping.
My greatest fear…
I’ve already ruined them when it comes to seeing simple beauty. They watch too much tv, have way too much plastic crap and spend too much time indoors.
So I tried a little experiment. I took them outside for a treasure hunt. I gave them no instructions other than to find as many treasures as they can. I should mention this is the first day we’ve had nice weather. The snow is melting and in our back yard are untold numbers of broken toys that didn’t get picked up and trash that as blown in with the storms and been buried under the snow.
When my children began to bring their treasures to me and sort them, I cried. I cried with complete relief that my children were still in love with the Earth and I cried with guilt that I had not encouraged it more. This is what they brought me.
My children think that a pile of snow(melted), seeds, rocks and leaves are treasures. I haven’ t ruined them. Hallelujah! It also proves that there is no toy, be it educational or pretty, that competes with good old fashioned bobbles of nature.
“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent” ~ Ghandi
If you are reading this and are a homeschooler, please, I beg you, share. I was not homeschooled, I do not know a single person who was homeschooled or any homeschooling families. I would relish anything you have to offer.