Trust The Children

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Map Is Not the Territory

What we see on a map, we often blindly believe is an accurate representation of the reality of the earth itself. True, with satelite photography, maps can be more accurate. But even so, streets change, natural disasters occur and you can easily find out that trusting the map has it's perils.

Cyndy ran into the same kind of thing, being trained as a public school teacher. The instruction she received made assumptions about teaching in the public setting. The things taught are generally accepted as fact. However, as Cyndy actually taught in a grade school, she immediately could see that it was quite different than what she was trained to believe. She saw the light in their eyes go out. And when we began teaching at home we saw that the "school room at home", was more a product of her training, than it was of the best way to help our children to learn.

This has led us, over time, to realize that the limiting factor in home schooling is the map parents have in their minds of how home schooling "ought to be." The map parents have in their minds is often a result of their own experience growing up. It's only natural. The result of this, is parents creating a personal expectation of the "job" of home schooling that they can never live up to. It is parents creating an expectation of their children's learning that is again, hard to live up to. And in the end, it often leads to children back in school full time and parents discouraged with themselves.

The good news is that the map we often have in our minds can be folded up and put away. A new map can be drawn that matches the real territory you have in your home. Your home, your children, your map. As far as the educational side of things, you have all kinds of resources you can reach out to, and one step at a time, create your own map that will, in a wonderful way, meet most adequately the needs of your children in a way, that will be successful and effective in the lives of your children.


  • As a young mom of a 2.5 yr. old and a 10 month old, you wouldn't think I would be thinking about my approach to homeschooling already. Yet, recently this exact topic has been on my mind. Though I was homeschooled, I don't know if that is exactly the way I want to approach the education of my children. A lot of the methods used to teach me in my early years were structures and approaches that could be seen as a public school just in the home and minus homework.
    I have a few more years to create my "map" and overall picture of how to begin this home education process. One of the things I have felt is the need for me to unschool myself and by so doing I feel I will be a better guide and help to my childrens natural desire for knowledge.
    Can you share more about UNSCHOOLING????

    By Blogger Tamarah Bartmess, at 10:01 PM, April 02, 2006  

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