Homeschooling: Aha moments
My “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment happened when I was told by the school that my son was attending that “teachers can’t force a student to learn”. No one said anything about forcing, which made me wonder why the teachers weren’t encouraging the kids instead. If no one is forcing a child to learn, but nor are they encouraging them, what exactly am I paying school fees for?
Zac was surrounded by kids his own age who seemed to never have a problem taking their Ritalin. Maybe they were comfortable assimilating with the system. My son, on the other hand had started refusing to swallow the tablet the school had prescribed and hiding the medication when we weren’t looking. That spoke volumes for me. This was a 10 year old who was kicking against the boundaries that the school system had put in place.
Homeschooling: Aha moments
You see, after 5 years at a school specifically created for kids with ADD and ADHD, my child was losing the will the learn. Why? Because he had been told that he couldn’t and, no matter what he tried to do, he was told that he was wrong. Watching a 10 year old give up hope was far too heartbreaking to watch. As it was, I was already teaching my kids when I supervised homework because the concepts they were introduced to in a classroom environment, were going right over their heads. At the end of the day, all they needed was context and the opportunity to ask questions so that they could clarify their understanding. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
But ever since the dawn of time, school has been the place where you shut up and listen. And we wonder why our kids don’t have an opinion by the time they leave school. Because forming an opinion takes conversations with people both older and wiser as well as our peer group. Learning is not a one way street.
If you had asked Zac to get interviewed on camera to talk about what he thought about anything from All Gold Tomato Sauce to his thoughts on climate change, he would have been a deer caught in headlights. But when Afternoon Express interviewed him, at the All Gold Tomato Sauce event, this happened. No prompting, no preparation from me, just him and his thoughts. I cannot tell you how proud I was of him. (Watch from 29:24 to see what he had to say about All Gold)#mindblown
And this is how I know home schooling is working for my kids. All you need to do is compare a conversation with them from 2 years ago to the way they are today and you won’t need any further convincing. Aside from being 2 years younger they didn’t have an opinion about anything because they had already learnt that they didn’t need one. What their teacher said was law and that was the end of it. (Does anyone else find that scary?)
Home schooling may not be something you are comfortable with…it may even be an offensive concept to you, but I see my kids reaping the benefits. So I’ll just continue to encourage their questions and guide them to a path of discovery and learning.
If the conventional school system works for you, that’s awesome – no judgies, all I ask is for the same courtesy to be extended to home schooling parents everywhere who want something different for their children.