the question

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(Boy child made me lunch today.  An apple garnished with thread.) 

A good friend of mine is considering homeschooling for her son.  I'm listening to her today, as she is considering all the angles, about talking to her son's current school teacher, talking to all sorts of school boards about full time vs. part time, worrying about curriculum and how to structure a homeschool day and how will they know he is learning the same as his peers and otherwise being a thoughtful, responsible parent blah blah blah and I'm all trying to be patient and understanding so I don't jump on her and yell that's she is over thinking a very simple process.

Dude.  Relax.  You're talking to an unschooler.  Education, man, it's like breathing. 

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Very basic question in all of this is:

Should I educate my child?

The answer is: Yes.  Regardless of whether or not they are in school.

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We are all in charge of our children's education. Whether they also go to school is a personal decision. 

Let me say that another way.  A parent or guardian who has a child in school does not stop being responsible for that child's education.

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(We love these people.)

In my mind, worrying about whether or not the child would benefit more from your direct involvement or letting the school take the lead is false choice.  There is no choice.  You are directly involved and you are already taking the lead.  To also send the child to school is a separate sort of question, one of benefits.  Is school beneficial to my child and his education?  That is for each family to answer on their own.  

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The biggest worry then, my friend, is that once you and your child are at home together, with no educational multivitamin school to pop into the boy five days a week, what are you going to do?

Well, what did you do when your son was learning to talk?  To walk?  To run, construct, swing, jump, work, play?  The same thing you'll do now as a homeschooler.  You'll make your world as rich with opportunity as possible, safe (with some crossed fingers), set some limits and generally try to give him everything he needs to get on with it.  He'll let you know what he needs.

How do you know if you are doing a good job?  That's easy too.  Is he involved, is he excited, is he engaged and planning and doing and chillaxing?  Does he talk your ear off one minute and then disappear to work on something for a few hours?  Does he spend silly amounts of time daydreaming, playing with his toys and his friends?  Is he in any way begging you to take him back to school?

You can tell if your child is happy or miserable.  You can see if they are thriving or not. At the heart of it all is trusting yourself and your child to do this thing.  The rest, though not always easy, works itself out.

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Charity. This is such a great way to explain the "mystery" of homeschooling (and unschooling). I hope your friend hears you.