I recently met a fellow home educating mum. She is originally from Sunny California but now lives in the UK. She has that laid back, “Tell it as it is” and a very “Progressive” attitude, which I have noticed many Americans from the West Coast seem to possess. I like her.
When I asked why she had chosen to home educate her daughter, she told me she had sent her daughter to school for 6 months and she had watched her turn from a bright, outgoing child to one who was withdrawn and pale. Then one day, at the age of 4 years old, the girl said to her mother, “You know Mum, I just don’t get school…..We have to stand in line in Alphabetical order. We can’t eat when we want to. We have to freeze like statues when they blow a whistle in the play ground AND that’s just the rules I know about!”
It was then that her mother knew school just wasn’t going to work for her daughter.
Both of my highly sensitive children also find school a bizarre concept and the more I sense into it and hear children’s stories, the more I see the similarity between school and PRISON. Frankly, they seem to be run on the same princples….scary thought. Schools do not encourage free thought or free expression, unless you are lucky enough to attend an “alternative” school.
Both the home educating mother in this story and myself, do not use a curriculum to educate our children and gosh, does that bring stuff up for some people! Instead, we allow them to follow their own interests and learn through “Play”.
My role is not to “teach” (unless asked too) but to support their interests and passions. And of course, most of their learning takes place in the REAL world not in an artificial institution.
But, something exciting maybe on the horizon, ANOTHER American woman in our area is hoping to start a “School without walls” based on Democratic principles, in other words…. giving children a say in what, where and how they learn.
We need to stop trying to “Educate” our children with facts and instead, help them to “Explore” the world and who they are within it.