“The saddest thing for me about the education system, as I have witnessed it, is that it seems almost intentionally calculated to create anxious children, parents and teachers. Matt was only four the first time I was told he was “behind the benchmark”, which I still think is an obscene and revolting way to describe any child, and this emphasis on his shortcomings and failures has continued…
It’s a big, complex question, the matter of how we educate our children, and I imagine it feels overwhelming from the inside. I am not an expert. I’m just a parent and a lover of words and stories who feels deeply sad at all the unnecessary stress and missed opportunities and the avalanche of mental health problems in children and their parents and teachers. The bold thing would be to take a blank sheet of paper and start again. Could we not do that? Could we not ask how we want to educate our children, all of them, with creativity and joy?”Fronted Adverbials Be Damned
“What if I told you that slow pace of life you crave is achievable?
What if I told you you don’t need to be a teacher, or have all the answers?
What if I told you that your children could follow their own interests instead of a standardised curriculum?
What if I told you that you could spend your days in whatever way YOU wanted? You could travel whenever you liked, and take holidays any time.
What if I told you you could do ALL of this while still giving your child a fabulous education. Could you justify sending them to school? For me, the answer was no.”
When I was trying to decide if we should homeschool, I read everything I could. I wanted to know how hard it would be, how much time it would take, what I needed to teach them, what the reporting requirements … Continue reading → Source:I Can’t Justify School | Happiness is here
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Mr. Rogers
Play is such an integral and natural part of childhood. It is how all children learn. Play was one of the main reasons we decided to home school our children.
Sara wrote an excellent blog post on why kids need messy, free, unstructured, REAL play time. And some tips for making it more manageable. Check it out at Happiness Is Here: Why Kids Need Real Play
Our daughter just graduated Salutatorian from a major university!
We home schooled all the way through high school.
I remember fearing our children would never learn to read and write. It seemed as if everyone’s children where reading novels and writing novels while our children where busy with self directed imaginative play and artistic activities.
Our children were what some would call late bloomers. But were they really late bloomers or did they simply learn to read and write when they were ready physically, cognitively and emotionally in their own way? In my experience, the later is most certainly more accurate in the nature of how children learn.
Being a parent, you worry; compare your children to those of others. Seemingly, there is a cultural push to prepare children academically to excel in school at a very young age. David Elkind wrote extensively about the pitfalls of “The Hurried Child” and the importance of play.
As I look back through our home schooling years, I now marvel at the ease our children learned to read and write despite how much I worried. We read to them starting at a very young age and continued to read to them well into their teens. Books, magazines, newspapers and maps filled the house and were always accessible to our children. Because we surrounded our children with the printed and spoken word, they understood the value of words ~ that words mean things and convey thoughts and ideas.
If you are considering homeschooling or currently homeschooling and worry about how to teach your children to read write and do math, trust your children. They will learn to read, write and do math in their own way given the freedom to do so. Who knows, they may graduate as Salutatorian one day! 😉
Articles of interest on the subject of “The Hurried Child”:
- David Elkind: The Hurried Child Syndrome
- David Elkind: Learning Through Play
- Learning To Read The Waldorf Way By Barbara Dewey of Waldorf Without Walls We had the pleasure meeting Barbara Dewey on several occasions. She is a fantastic teacher and mentor ~ so patient, wise and kind. I shared with her my concern about our children not reading as compared to other children we knew. In her calming demeanor, she assured me that our children will read when they are ready and encouraged me to continue to read to our children and to relax. And that we did! Both now read and write mellifluously.
- Self-Directed Education and Late Bloomers by Patrick Farenga
- Joseph Chilton Pearce (Author of The Magical Child): Play Is Learning Excellent interview with Joseph Chilton Pearce!