Trust The Children

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Reasons WHY, Change Over Time

We are holding a beginner workshop for home schoolers in our home this week, and as a result, I was looking on the web for some material I had read once. In the process, I found so many wonderful quotes, ideas and perspectives I was blown away. One of them really struck me. Here is an except:

"Our reasons for home educating our children have changed. Even if given the most perfect public school there is, I'm extremely doubtful that we would enroll our children back into that system. Just by the very fact of removing ourselves from that system, our horizons have broadened. We are much different people than we were three years ago. We have learned to question more and accept “expert opinion” less. We have learned that our own “instinct” is quite often the best answer we can find. We have learned to seek our own knowledge and to view things very differently from mainstream society. Not only are we adults learning to “think outside the box”, but our children are learning that there is no box.

I think that many of the "newbies" in home education will experience the same growth. They will seek out the "school-type" opportunities for their children less and less and listen to their inner voices more and more. They will develop their own philosophy about education. Their reasons for home educating won't be just safety issues anymore. Who knows? Perhaps they will be the ones grousing in ten years about the influx of all those new homeschoolers leaving the public school systems out of fear!" Karen M. Gibson June 1999 Valid Reasons for Home Schooling

What was a leap of faith at first turned out, over time, to grow into a really secure feeling about this choice. It changed for us over time. And it changed for the better. I echo Karen's sentiments. I don't know that I could ever go back to a total "government school" approach, no matter how much it might improve. I really believe this is just fundamentally a better way.

A key reason is that I see our children still very much loving reading, learning and growing on their own. Sure we have struggles from time to time. For example, we have one son who has a really hard time putting in the effort on Algebra. He is great on Geometry and Trig, but Algebra just doesn't turn his crank. Yet, as a 16 year old, he knows he needs to give math some seat time in order to be prepared for the SAT and ACT. However, we spend hardly any time with them as they go through the Saxon books. They do really well on their testing as a result of this approach, so even though we have to be creative in how we "help" them get the job done, the rest of the package that comes with home schooling is just so much better.

I credit Cyndy so much, for reaching out in the beginning. She really become a student of home based education in the early years. She was like a sponge. She made sure she was part of a support group. She read John Holt's "Growing Without Schooling" as each issue came in the mail. As the support group went on activities together, ideas were exchanged and week by week, month by month, she became stronger and more confident. I hope new home schoolers take this example to heart. Reaching out, becoming a student of the art, and processing with other parents.

Reasons for beginning home schooling are highly individual. Yet over time, don't be surprised if your trust of your children and yourself, becomes such that you too find that home based education is just a better way.


  • Thank you for your insight and thoughtful acknowledgement for the newbies, we are learning as we go and it is often times "on the fly."
    I can only imagine that my children will employ some of the responsibility and desire to learn as you have shown us.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us!
    ed b., wes and jon

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:45 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • I am so pleased that you enjoyed my article! When I wrote that, we were three years into our homeschooling journey. Now it is eleven years, two of our children have graduated (with one of them a freshman in college) and one still homeschooling. But as my daughter remarked the other day, at 21 she feels she is still an unschooler. Once an unschooler, always an unschooler!

    By Blogger Karen M. Gibson, at 10:04 AM, November 16, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home