I’m feeling rather passionate today…
Each year we learn so many new things about our children, don’t we?
For us, our first child loves math, puzzles, logic, theology, entrepreneurship, photography, reading, writing and drawing books and creating games.
Our second child loves working with her hands and loves storytelling, arts and crafts, nature, animals, bugs, baking, music and imaginative play.
Since we homeschool, I know they’ll never burn out or be pressured to pursue something they don’t love.
But why do they love these things?
Of course they were created uniquely, as all humans are. But there’s another deeper reason I’ll share with you in a minute.
For now, I have no idea what it would look like (nor any desire) to send these two unique souls to a formalized classroom for hours on end with one teacher trying his or her best to manage and appeal to each child’s learning style – let alone each child’s personal abilities and passions.
I’m not saying this to shame parents who choose to send their children to school – there are many amazing schools and incredible teachers out there.
But witnessing the unlimited potential each child has in a comfortable (versus a competitive, peer-pressured and often far too fast-paced environment) offers all of us the opportunity to support and encourage each child to be who he or she already is, and help them evolve without pressure to veer away from their unique path.
Children are born persons – they are not blank slates or embryonic oysters who have the potential of becoming persons. They already are persons.
– Charlotte Mason
When you step outside of a conventional classroom long enough, you start to wonder why on earth they were ever created in the first place. I won’t go into American history because I’ll never persuade anyone who isn’t willing to do their research on how conventional schooling has dramatically shifted and often crippled generations of children.
Just think, how many times each day do kids make a decision based on what their peers think of them at school? Do they carry that weight home? Yes. And then we as parents have merely minutes to help recorrect the lies they continue to hear all day.
It’s easy to think they’ll do their own thing – keeping true to his or her self – but even homeschooled kids deal with peer pressure in their co-ops and classes and we as homeschool parents see little changes of character in our kids each time they’re around their friends.
Some of this is a natural process of growing up. But I venture to say the majority of peer pressure is not natural, conducive or helpful to our growing young with character foundations yet to be built.
For us, one of the best parts about homeschooling has been allowing our children the opportunity to live and learn authentic to who they are without this pressure.
This doesn’t mean it’s always a breeze. Oh no. They still do things they don’t want to do.
But it’s presented with their unique personalities in mind by someone who loves and knows them, surrounded by siblings who care about them and want the best for them.
It’s not enough to sit them down, have them read and rehearse just for a test. In order to really retain wisdom, children must make personal connections with what they’re presented with and discover answers for themselves. Otherwise, it’s in one ear and out the other.
For our children to grow into themselves unashamed and wholly, they must be given an atmosphere in which there is zero competition, a space to be who they were meant to be, and life-giving resources at their disposal.
It’s not enough to sit there and conform to society’s standards as parents. Our children are worth more than this. Our future world is worth more than standardized tests and expectations that have nothing to do with our child’s inner heart and character.
Going back –– Why do our children love the things they love?
“The reason is because knowledge, classically understood, and especially as understood in the Christian tradition, is always personal. But school makes knowledge impersonal.” – Andrew Kern, founder and president of The CiRCE Institute
This is one of the many reasons we homeschool.
We do it so our kids can have a personal connection with what they learn and therefore, retain it much longer than if they had an impersonal relationship with what is being taught.
This personal connection shapes their hearts and minds into their authentic selves.
––– If you’re considering homeschooling, I’m happy to send you a booklist to get started researching the benefits. This topic is just one of many and obviously, I’m quite passionate about it.
As always, With Love.