Education can be a School-Free Zone:Homeschooling in 2016 is coming into its own. There are many reasons for this. Many parents in the US who entertain home schooling are doing so due to political pressure to accept an open-ended government mandated vaccine schedule. Parents are understandably and justifiably reluctant to proceed with a one-size-fits-all plan that potentially puts their child in harm’s way.
What is Child-Centred Education?When it comes to a child centred education, there are no two paths alike. Given how diverse and multi-faceted people are, we shouldn’t expect real education to be possible in a cookie cutter world.
Elon Musk (the founder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX) describes his children’s home based education experience as ‘Unschooling’. Education really isn’t about teaching (sorry, it just isn’t). Education is about watching the child and recognizing when to supply resources only an adult can provide. This can be acquiring a tool, providing a charge card, providing a ride, making an introduction, buying a technology…
Learning is not always connected to teachingChildren are naturally curious. Children naturally want to know what makes things; and people tick. Children naturally want to conquer and achieve. They set goals and then race to achieve them. This is the true learning that is natural to the human condition. As guardians, we don’t need to supply the information; but make possible the resources to search the information.
Hey parents! In the best of all possible worlds, you get to stand back in pride and watch these beautiful beings unfold like a flower. Don’t sweat it. Trust your kids.
- Real education occurs in life, and that has its origins and its anchor in the home and community
- Public school education is a supplement to real education
- Public school education is not a replacement for the home centered education
- Public school education is not inherently superior to child centred education
Get Out of the WayParents just need to provide resources the child can’t provide for themselves, and get the ____ out of the way. All you need to do is let your kids know that you are ready to help them with their goals. Do not set those goals. Our educational ministries have yearly milestones they expect of our child. Get those suffice and get them out of the way in the day as soon as possible. Then your kids can get to the serious business of fun learning in a real life setting.My child’s passion was theatre (this may be more available in the school setting, but an amateur theatre company fits the bill too) and art (this was more available in the home environment and through community mentoring). Computer skill development was more available to her in the home too. This was because we decided to budget more money into the technology, whereas the school budget didn’t allow for the upgrade in equipment.She was in school 4 days a week in grade 8 (she worked with a stain-glass designer and a stain glass window restorer on day 5). She was out of school completely for her grade nine year. She was in the school part-time for a year, and then in school full time for the next year. She went on a student exchange program (learned to speak French badly) for 10 months.
She came home and got a six month job in a project that was funded through a youth initiative.She moved to Montreal (like Europe, but cheaper) where she learned to speak French from her two Francophone roommates; (one from Quebec; one from France). Once home, she was short a couple credits and picked up two French language credits in Adult Education classes. She was shortlisted in a bi-lingual Scenography program (one of 11 interviewed Canada wide) but didn’t get in. They said she was too young. She applied to a university Independent Studies program and came out of it with a ‘BA of smart’ and translating ancient Greek. Who knew??
20/20 HindsightGiven what I know now; about her capacity to learn and about my ability to champion her, I wish I had taken her out of the system sooner.Most of her first six months at home was actually an ‘institutional detox’. I was concerned until I talked to other home-schooler moms who had noticed this same ‘crash’ with their older children.Once I knew it was normal; I relaxed.
Child centered – home based education is a reasonable alternativeMany people feel inadequate to home school, even if they themselves are college and university educated. In truth, it takes about 300 hours in total to develop a solid foundational in reading, writing, arithmetic and research skills.
Education is the Following of PassionDoes it matter what? No. Following passion is the education. Education follows passion. Passion is learning’s North Star.
We don’t have to light our child’s fire. That is not our job or our business. They are born with fire. Our job; our only job is to protect that flame and help feed that fire. Like tending a real fire, it requires a supply of raw material.
Apathy is a SymptomIf you have a child or teen who is apathetic about life or learning, know that that child has already been exposed to fire-dampening, soul sucking experiences. Time out for healing may be the first step.
What homeschooling really requires from the parent-child team is mutual trust. Education in the home may be achieved more easily than you think.
The whole of Life is an brilliant experimentIf what you are doing isn’t working, be willing to consider a child centred education. It will be challenging for sure, but it can also be the most interesting path, for you and your child. It might even be more fun than you ever imagined. No matter what the outcome, another path chosen, this is an experiment. The outcome is not certain. There is no right or wrong way. There is no one way.
I am curious about independent learning and creative learning. Do you have a story about an uncommon education path?
I’d love to hear about it. Please share this with anyone you know who is sitting on the fence about home based learning.Nelda McEwen has been practicing as a Medical Intuitive in SW Ontario for over 25 years; counselling individuals and families, as well as offering her signature ICH training to other Medical Intuitives in the health field. Nelda’s professional research has been acknowledged and published in the Professional Kinesiology Practitioners Manual. The PKP program is recognized through the International Kinesiology College of Zurich Switzerland.