Friday, September 21, 2007

Reasons to Consider Home Education #10

I merely mentioned the story of the guy who is prison because someone else
suggested that 'all' HE adults were well adjusted individuals, which is not
true. ALso, on that topic, someone also said that most people in prison would
have been sent to schools - but that is another point which is hardly worth
mentioning, since most people go to school. Therefore, you cant compare it. Its
not about where they were educated that makes them a criminal or not.

Absolutely. Now I see why you mentioned the story it makes more sense.

I think we should all be concentrating on what our children want and need to be happy and fulfilled now, and equally what we ourselves need to be happy and fulfilled now. Put our creative problem solving into that rather than worrying about whether this particular educational path will stop our child becoming a rocket scientist one day or whether either HEing or schooling our children is more likely to make them heroin addicts - it's going to be much more complex than that, but being unhappy is a good indicator of future self harm one way or another...

I'm not saying anyone else isn't concentrating on happiness of all members of their families, it's just a little unrequested homily for you.

Did I ever tell you the story of my childhood friend who read English at university, then swopped to theology, then went off to become a monk, then decided not to do that yet, then did 3 science A levels in a year aged about 25, then did a medicine BA, then changed his mind about becoming a missionary doctor in south america, then went into a Dominican seminary, and eventually became a priest?

That's what life is all about - doing what is right for right now, and finding ways to chase your dreams wherever they take you, and even if the road is not straight.

If a child will be happier not going to school today, send them tomorrow, or next week, or next term, or next year, or in 5 years - send them when it makes them happy.

I just feel that I dont want to deprice my child of any of the skills she
will need to cope in the real world, and I think the classroom is the
safest place to expose them to situations that will teach them these skills. Its
not foolproof, of course people get bullied and so on. But you gotta do what you
think is best, and I think that as a parent my first option will be to send my
child to school, and if that doesn't work out, then I will consider other
options. HE being on the list, but definitely not the only other

I think the real world is the best place to learn skills you need to cope in the real world. It's all the real world, but the subsection of it within the classroom is an artificial and arbitrary environment with codes of behaviour completely different from those one encounters in society at large. What you get good at in school is learning how to be good at being at school. A glib answer, but a heartfelt one.

Maybe its about independence? Is that part of the subtext here? That children are going out and coping alone without Mummy/Daddy's apron strings to hold on to? Again - I have an unusual philosophy on this one. I was brought up to believe that independence is something you take, for yourself, as and when you are ready. This is one of the reasons I have no idea when I left home. I gradually spent less time there, I gradually moved beloved objects to my other place of residence. My mother says she remembers vaguely a time when I said "oh, feel free to chuck them out, I'll never wear any of the clothes in that wardrobe again" and that for her was the moment when she thought "Oh, I guess her actual home is where all her clothes she actually wears are, now!" but I'll have been in my mid-20s by then and largely living independently for 5 or 6 years already. I have never regretted leaving home, there was no wrench, and I know it's still there whenever and if ever I need a place of refuge. That's unconditional parenting, that is. And, from the inside, let me tell you that there is nothing like the confidence engendered by choosing for yourself how and when to take steps towards independence, small and large.


Leo said...

Nice. But isn't it just one reason, really? That your child(ren) might prefer it.

The rest is more of an explanation on it's better objectively and how to make it a good experience for the family.

Are the quotes from that weird forum you go to?

Anonymous said...

yes, you're so so so right. Bottom line: you should consider it because your children might prefer it. But many people are not used to considering what their children might want, and need someone else to point out reasons why their children might be right.