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Wednesday April 4th 2018

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Homeschooling: Leap of Faith Required

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Homeschooling: Leap of Faith Required

By Linda Dobson

FlyingBoy homeschooling

Homeschoolers learn they have wings, and they soar.

Reading about a teacher-turned-homeschooler who saw that schooling greatly interfered with family rhythm is a great way to start the day! I love that, once again, it was a young child’s simple and innocent questions, “Why can’t I go to the pond to catch frogs with you? Do I have to go to school?” that got this mom trying – in vain – to come up with a good answer. Like many of us, she couldn’t.

Again, as for many of us, the newbie angst sets in. Can I really do this? Do I have enough resources? Should I buy 10 more books? Will I ruin my children forever?

But then, this author and her husband came to the real bottom line: “My husband and I talked about it, listing pros and cons but finally realized there was a leap of faith into unchartered territory involved.”

Homeschooling and the Required Leap of Faith

Ah, the homeschooling required leap of faith.

Like it or not, we’ve spent a lot of years consciously and subconsciously being “trained” to rely on experts, and part of the pile of experts dwell in the realm of education. Often, without a second thought, we turn over the care and feeding and education of our offspring to said experts. It’s part of the cultural landscape. Our parents did it. Their parents did it. The experts know best.

Homeschooling Requires Faith In…

…two areas. That’s right; just two.

1. Yourself

Relax. Take a deep breath. You can do this. Now ponder: At some point in the distant past, someone unknown to you decided that upon reaching the age of five, your child needs to be sent away for someone else to teach. But up until then, you were your child’s teacher! Without external interference, your child learned to walk, talk, go potty, throw a ball, kiss, hug, set up blocks and knock them down and, quite possibly, wrap you around his/her little finger.

When you decide to travel down the homeschooling path, all this really means is that you will continue what you’ve already been doing very well…not teaching, but helping your child learn. You take responsibility, and this is the aspect that gives us the heebie-jeebies. Have faith that you can continue what you’ve already been doing and you will learn to embrace the responsibility. By doing so, you allow your love for and knowledge of your child to guide you to offering an authentic education unavailable in any school in the world.

2. Your child(ren).

Truth be told, children in our society get little to no respect. At best, they’re often treated as works-in-progress: one day they’ll have value, but today they’re lacking.” At worst, they’re considered nuisances who shouldn’t be tolerated in public places. This is probably what allows us to so readily send them off to be locked up in an institution 180 days each year – out of sight, out of mind.

See also “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means to Your Child

The granddaddy of homeschooling, John Holt, said it very simply. “Trust children.” Have faith in them as complete beings who aren’t buckets to be filled up with information that needs to be regurgitated on some test, but rather curious, passionate, imaginative, sensory beings who naturally enjoy learning and merely require experience in the world in order to understand it and successfully be part of it.

Imagine for a moment how different your life may have been if, instead of being sent off to an institution where respect and faith cannot endure, those who loved you embraced the ongoing responsibility of helping you learn, had faith you could do so, treated you as a whole human being, and surrounded you with trust.

This can be the way your child experiences life, day in and day out. Yes, homeschooling requires a leap of faith. But you know what families around the world discover when they leap? Homeschoolers learn they have wings, and they soar.

To all of this year’s new homeschooling families who aren’t going back to school but staying with life, take the leap of faith, spread your wings and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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