This seems to be a common problem here the mothers seem to be much more receptive than the fathers in this area of nurturing a love for learning.The best way is to list down his fears one by one, and address them the same way. One mother recently brought her skeptical husband to one of our talks where he got to hear it from a father’s mouth, and he was immediately “converted”! So I think that hearing from other dads on this topic is important for men. Here are some common questions raised. We are opened to comments and feedback.
If I homeschool : 1. Child will be overprotected and unable to be independent.
I cannot see how that could possibly happen unless parents keep the kids home 24 hours a day and have everything done for them including their homework! What I see is the other way around – school-going kids (not all but quite a few) know and care for only one thing: study and do well in exams. School takes up a big chunk of the day where they do classes most day, which means sitting down quietly and listen to teachers talk. They come home from school and food is on the table, the maids do everything for them, and all they need to do is homework and study. In their free time they watch tv and play computer games. Weekends parents take them to the mall.
Most homeschoolers make a conscious choice not to have maids. Household chores are part and parcel of living and learning. Cooking a decent meal is a pre-requisite to survival and hence every child needs to learn it from young. Children experience the real world out there when most other kids are cooped up in schools, oblivious to what’s happening in the country or around the world. Engaging children in the day-to-day running of the household is part of our learning in discipline and responsibility. Engaging them spiritually in personal development is an important practice in self knowledge. Engaging them to be socially aware of injustices happening around them, is opening their eyes and ears to others, so that they place their focus not on themselves, but outside of themselves. In this ME generation where everyone is too focused on himself, we need to reverse the process by guiding our young in a holistic and peace-loving way. Homeschooling allows us to engage with our children to engage with the world.
2.No discipline (too fexible as in waking up too late, no schedule, do whatever the child feels like doing)
Given a choice, would you rather wake up at an ungodly hour to get stuck in traffic snarls just to get to a place where learning is believed to be done, and no where else, not even at our own homes? Or would you trust yourself and your internal clock to wake up at a time your body tells you to, because that’s the adequate hours of sleep your body needs to recharge for the new day ahead? Because we have all been conditioned for so long that we can only function well to a robot-like schedule (as in a factory production) that if that were to be taken away, we would not be able to be “productive”. Young children are not getting enough sleep and are put into overly structured environment too early. They eventually lose their spark of curiosity, the wanting to know mind, and succumb to the system that does not tolerate differences.
If we did not have to go outside to work, do we loaf the whole day doing nothing? We are humans and humans have a natural desire to create things, to make things better, to express our hearts and souls in words, songs, art, music, drama, inventions, explorations, technologies, etc etc Would children do nothing all day? I think only people who are imprisoned can do that and I do not think they find that very pleasurable at all! We must not let our minds be imprisoned by wrong views, prejudices and narrow-mindedness. Otherwise, we are our own prisoners.
3.Mom can’t teach all subjects-professional teacher can do a better job
True, moms (and even dads) cannot teach all subjects. Not even teachers! DO we want to teach everything there is to be known in the world to our child so that he or she is deemed to be smart and knowledgeable enough? Or do we want to find out what is unique about our child, the talent that he or she is born with, and help to nurture it and grow it so that it can one day find expression to fully come into form? This would be his strength, his unique contribution to the world, because he does not need to struggle to master it. He just needs to express it in his natural ways. And we just need to allow him to do it!
Industrialization is crumbling at our feet but we are still clinging on to the old ways of doing things. Millions of graduates around the world come out of the factory assembly lines called the university cannot find jobs. If they do not reinvent themselves, they will just perish. We have to prepare our students to face the new world, and this new world of ours is making sweeping changes to the way people live and work. We are in denial if we resist change! Look at the changes happening around us. They are unprecedented and it takes a lot of insight and creativity to steer towards new ways of doing things, of running a business, of running a country! If all the knowledge in the world cannot help us, what can? Perhaps we need to search within instead for the answer.
Teachers can’t teach every thing anyway. Knowledge and information is so dynamic. Can we create an environment where we can harness knowledge rather than to depend on information to be fed to us. When I was a student I excelled in subjects where the teacher did not “teach”, they engaged in discussion and instilled the interest to know more. Can we create an environment where our child’s interest to learn is continued to be amazed at new knowledge?
4. More expenses had to be spent on extra courses, buy extra books, resources and so on.
What we spend on good quality resources is just a fraction of what many spend on school-related expenses, private tuition and even private schooling!
Have anyone done the maths? I definitely save much more compared to the time when my daughter was in school. Some parents send their home school kids to more programs than they can cope. Not necessary.
5. Child unable to adapt to society.
Let us just examine what kind of society we have today. People lie through their teeth and get away with it. People use aggression to get what they want and get away with it. People bully others and get away with it. Big kids bully small kids; teachers bully students; students bully teachers; principals bully teachers, students and parents, the list is endless! How do we want our children to adapt to this kind of society? To be like them? That seems to be the only way!
If our kids are more engaged in our activities eg work, friends etc would it help in their social skills? The ans is yes. My kids follows me to my office (no, I do not run my own business) and they interact with all sorts of people. They see and learn how I interact. This is learning cannot be taught in school. Our kids meet more people of different levels of education, age and inclination than a school going child does. Homeschooling is not locking up our children at home and learn with the parents alone. It is much more than that. Experience to find out.
6.School is a proper and necessary process for a child to go thru ( even if they have to suffer because in real society you need to suffer to survive)
Oh yes, let them go through hell so that they know how to give others hell! There is enough suffering around us, why perpetuate it? If we can get out of the cycle and embark on a more peaceful and less aggressive way of life, shouldn’t we take it? We need to see deeper into things and not just seeing the surface. True education is nurturing young minds – not killing them!
If we love comparing ourselves to the wild so much, then let us really learn from the wildlife. It’s a jungle out there and we need survival skills to survive. But do you see the mother birds throw their young down from the high nest before they are ready to fly? Do we see the penguins throw their babies into the freezing waters before they grow sufficient fur to venture out on their own? DO we see the monkeys push their babies down the trees before they are ready to climb on their own? No, all these mothers care for and protect their young, teaching them true survival skills and showing them how to use their in born talents to the max so that one day, WHEN THEY ARE READY, they will venture out and feel the pulse and dangers of the wild.
But we are not not animal, are we? We do not need aggression to survive in this world. We like to think that we are civilized people who use our minds for positive things rather than our fists to get what we want. But are schools instilling that kind of holism in the education of our young? Or are they perpetuating a very aggressive way of getting the herd to follow instructions so that they are easily controlled?
The answers lie within us. It is up to us to accept them or not. But we can do ourselves and our children a favour, by trying to see the bigger picture and not be content with the one given to us from years of conditioning that is miniscule, narrow and distorted! We have to un-condition our conditioned minds!
Sometimes, we get a lot objections and in trying to answer the directly may not solve the issue. We need to fix to out the problems they trand and to understand the real issues are and resolve them.
It is okay to take your time and explore alternative, open you minds and heart!