The question of WHY has been coming up a lot the past few days. Why do you choose to homeschool? on twitter, and even the Pagan Blog Project has teaching as a topic. Maybe the universe wants me to blog about this, then again probably not. Teaching is by definition, showing someone how to do something and that’s what I do. I teach the girls, but I also teach them how to teach themselves and to enjoy learning not just memorization.
My 140 character response to the question is very simple,
‘I homeschool because I know them best and how to provide lessons that are tailored to their varying personality/skill levels’
At many points in our day I will notice things that would lead to issues in public school. I realize they would not do well in a setting that requires strict adherence to ‘acceptable behavior’ and would likely be in trouble and labeled with a learning disability or in need of medications. I’ve SEEN what happens when they get bored in even a basic school setting such as religious education in our previous church-they became disruptive, and wouldn’t follow directions. Boredom. Simply moving up to the next class which was a year ahead (and grouped a year or more older by age) solved the problem.
Beliefs, our religion is just something that comes up. When out for a walk and we see a dead animal we can have talks about death, reincarnation, totem animals, decomposition, what that animal ate, etc. There is no distinction between religion, and lessons. It’s just life. We use The Rede for writing practice, and study the various Gods and Goddesses from all over the world. We find dead and dried butterflies or beetles and it becomes an entire morning of anatomy, life cycles, and symbolism just from a walk down town. It’s hard to explain to someone the integration of spirituality if they don’t practice it themselves. Some days the girls just feel the urge to chant and dance, or to meditate.
If you’ve never been the odd child out you probably don’t know what happens in a group of kids, to that person. Ridicule, insults, bullying are the most common. Often the object of of the attackers attention begins to alter their personality in hopes of fitting in. I’m basing this on MY observations of course, but it is not something I would subject my kids too. Even in middle school as an open Pagan I was ridiculed, told I was going to hell, my beliefs were ignorant. I had students AND teachers, for lack of a better word, interrogate me about my views. Art teachers when I made a clay pentacle, keyboard teachers when they notice my necklace, even history class when I would offer more information on a culture’s Gods that the teacher had missed.
I’ve never been told directly that I am not preparing them for the real world, but I DID just read another person’s blog and their experience being told this. Frankly, I find it baffling that someone would consider public school anything like the real world…I found it the exact opposite. They don’t lack for ‘socialization’, and I have no issues saying I am glad they aren’t exposed to the crap behavior of so many other kids. At an age where children are sponges and adopt behaviors of others around them, of course I don’t want their personality tainted. It’s my job to protect them from it, to develop themselves before dropping them into a ‘lions den’.