Thursday, February 16, 2012

To School or Not To School?

There's a lot of talk going around about unschooling, homeschooling, free schooling, and other terms, theories, and philosophies when it comes to schooling kids. Concerns about Socialization, sports, music, 'opportunities', testing, colleges, expenses, blah blah blah.

Sure, all this stuff is important to consider, being careful to keep your individual kid in mind and striving, as with all other issues, to determine what is best for the child, the parent, and the family.

Truth is, times have changed. Playgrounds are more 'safe', (where are the swings?) subject matter is 'easier' to grasp (or dumbed down so they don't have work hard), adults can't 'emotionally or physically' scar children (while I'm all for no knuckle bruising, swearing at your teacher shouldn't get the teacher in trouble).

I haven't settled yet on which 'method' to adopt when it comes to 'teaching' my child. she's already taught herself so much without me doing much more than modeling behavior and singing Old MacDonald.

Nonetheless, these issues are lingering in my mind's dark corners exactly for that reason; she has taught herself so much! She knows colors, animals, how to count on her fingers, play a guitar rhythmically, sing, interact with other beings, cut food, potty on the big toilet, put away her laundry, feed the dog, make cookies, flip pancakes, water plants, dress dolls and nurse them and take them potty, work puzzles, stack blocks, climb ladders, and so much more! She's not even 2 yet! At this rate she'll be captaining a submersible by the time she's 10!

All this is swimming in my brain and the mess leaves me pondering the following:

•Emagene will learn
•what she wants to learn will stick
• getting an alphabet puzzle may help her learn all her letters in a fun way
• I could probably handle teaching her until she's in 3rd grade as long as she continues to take music, dance, art or other weekly group activities
• I want to send her to an arts school or Montessori at that point
• I love and the idea behind never-at-home-schooling
• I may have to put myself on a schedule
• a garden is a must!
• its much easier to travel as she gets bigger. As long as we are smart, atypical tourists we could learn on the road from the real thing (if the world hasn't imploded and humanity calms back down).
• if schools don't exist in 10 years, I'll hire a tutor and take them with us on the road
• the way things are going, I'll probably end up in handcuffs or jail at least once for either adding to the delinquency of or neglecting my child,according to someone else's idea of how I should parent/instruct/live.

1 comment:

  1. These are very wise musings, Sara. Children often learn the most when they are not 'being taught', and when the are excited and engaged by something, or someone. There are pros and cons to each educational system. So far as I can see the best way is to have multiple ways of learning, multiple uses of input, and plenty of rest to process it all.

    It sounds to me like you are laying an amazing foundation for your child, especially as she is already picking things up at an excelled rate. I recommend continuing to listen to her needs, let her passions guide you, and continue to get her out there. It is possible to choose one kind of schooling and then change later. So don't be too worried about choosing one kind and feeling stuck. I went through public school for many years, then to an alternative program. I also did soccer, dance, theatre, music, science camps, outdoor camps, and more. In each of these experiences I learned different things, and also learned that aspects in life are related and influence each other.

    In short, keep up the good work. You are doing just fine.