Hello again! It’s been many moons since I checked in on HSM. I’ve been busy gardening, propagating succulents, reading all I can about investing (such a 30-something thing to do, right?), and homeschooling my Kindergartner. We are “unschooling”, so that basically means just continuing to be curious and do life together. I’ll share more about unschooling in the future.
So why am I homeschooling? I think my reasons aren’t the typical ones. I am a devoted Christian, but I’m not homeschooling for moral or religious reasons. I’m not homeschooling to shelter my children from bad cultural influences, either. I’m not homeschooling because the public schools around me suck (they don’t- they are very highly rated.)
For me the decision was easy. My education priorities can best be accomplished outside of the traditional school setting.
- Sunshine, fresh air, immersion in nature on a daily basis.
- Preservation of sleep cycles and slow daily rhythms. I want my kids to sleep in, nap, enjoy a healthy, leisurely lunch without rushing. The go-go-go lifestyle just doesn’t suit HSP parents or children very well.
- No busy work. My kids have more important things to do, like play.
- Cultivating a natural love of learning! This means let learning be the reward, instead of sticker charts, grades, pizza parties, etc.
- More hands-on learning. Internships, field trips, classes in the community with people of all ages, starting their own small businesses from a young age.
- Travel-schooling/world-schooling. Our dream is to spend large chunks of time in other places, and a regular school schedule would only hold us back.
- Permaculture education. In 3 years, we will be designing and building our own straw bale home and permaculture garden!!! What could be more educational that building your own home?
- Risk-taking, free-thinking, even failure, will be encouraged. I’ve read a lot of inspirational autobiographies and they all say the same thing: take risks, learn from your failures, don’t play it safe. The typical school tells you what to do, how to do it, and expects you to do it well, if not perfectly. This is too much pressure for conscientious HSPs who already veer toward perfectionism.
- Steering clear of the rat race. I will not be teaching my kids that the key to a happy life is to study hard, get good grades, go to a good (expensive) college, get a good job, buy lots of nice things, and work forever to keep buying nice things. I believe that’s the path most schools train you for. The rat race begins in Kindergarten. I hope my kids aspire to more than that.
- I just want to.
I’m not gonna lie- there are some things about homeschooling that make me nervous. I wish I could say I’m 100% confident in my choice, but I’m not yet. We’re just starting out, and figuring things out as we go. Sometimes I wonder…
- Could homeschooling cultivate laziness and lack of discipline?
- What about socialization? Social capital?
- If my kids decide to go to college, will they be ready and qualified for it?
- Will my kids be isolated from other races, religions, and socio-economic classes?
- Will I get worn out and wish I could have a break?
- Will outsiders judge me if my kids are not learning the same things on the same timetable as everyone else?
- Will my own interests and passions bias my children toward my passions instead of their own?
I believe there are solutions to each of these worries. I hope that as I find my groove, they will no longer be an issue. But right now I have to process them. I welcome any thoughts!