Friday, 30 September 2016

What do you need to Home Educate?

What do you need to Home Educate?

There are many things that would be amazing, that I would love to have. A large house, access to nature, a pool, unlimited craft and art supplies... but in truth you only need a few things to home educate your kids.

Passion, curiosity, engagement and being able to let go of what you think things  "should" look like and embrace how things are. It is grand to have some stillness, some gratitude and a sense of humor too.
If you want your kids to care about the world, and education is usually story-telling (all teachers are story-tellers reciting the same stories in different ways) then the passion you have drives that engine. Home education has a more raw and visceral nature because often it in nature. It is not restricted to stories of living but in living it's self.

"If Jane has three pounds and want to pay for four apples, how many oranges can she also buy?"

Well with money in hand the context seems to have a point. It also allow far more variables and allows a hundred more interesting questions at the same time.

"If Jane has three pounds and wants to pay for four apples, how many oranges can she buy, and what does Fairtrade mean? What does organic mean? What does profit margin mean?"

The narrative of the education story, the depth and breath that is possible with almost nothing but curiosity is Home Educations biggest joy.

While having internet help (from Google to Khan Academy) public libraries and thrift store books are  treasure troves. Parks, gardens, wild green space are a boon too. So are warm coats and walking boots or wellies. Yet it is being able to be flexible, and curious and passionate that allows you to see the benefit and opportunities all around you. It takes a special kind of courage to walk away from something society says you "should" be. It takes something stronger and more fierce to refuse to allow the system to hurt your child, love.

The fear and guilt and shame poured on us from a great height to "make your child conform" to standardised shapes and ways of being make you question your bravery, sanity and self.
Yet if you were to drag your child, crying, screaming to a community of strangers; where you left them knowing that violence, verbal abuse, sexual assault were common place (if not a expected and a "normal" part of life) and you left them there, day after day, week after week, year after year and it wasn't called "school" would you be being a "good" parent? A place where what you wear is more important that what you think? A place where you can't pee when you need to? Drink when you need to? Eat when you need to?

School seems so strange to me now, from the other side. It was guilt in the end that won over shame (you must be a difficult parent, maybe she is bullied because you are weird). In truth maybe I am still de-schooling. Still healing.

To home educate you don't need to be rich, or have a teaching degree, or a degree at all. You need to have a sense of wonder, curiosity and fun. You have to give yourself permission to step away from shame and blame and move towards connection with your child and to the world.

Home education is a process that can teach you amazing things. It can shape and re-shape how you see the world, one experience at a time. One book. It can be profound and uplifting, messy and unexpected. It allows from stillness and play. It embraces courage and excellence, failure and mistakes into a learning process that transforms and grows more quickly than almost anything else. It's pretty good for the kids too!

Home education is far too important to take seriously!

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