The first thing that I wish for the homeschooling movement is freedom.
Freedom to not know.
Freedom to explore.
Freedom to grow.
Do you know what I feel sometimes when I’m in the homeschool context? Shackles. There is this unwitting need to lock down our homeschool experience under some “rules,” some system that somebody else set up for us.
“Oh, everybody has a morning basket. I need to have a morning basket!” Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re the kind of person who sleeps in till 11 everyday and homeschool doesn’t really get off the ground until after you’ve had a good lunch. You get to decide.
If I had one gift I could give every home educator, it’s the freedom to simply be the homeschooler you are.
To grow, to learn, to revise.
To put a whole bunch of ideas together and see if they fit. To say “no” when you’re in a group and they make you feel bad for a choice you’ve made. I want you to feel freedom, first and foremost.
One of the reasons that you signed up to homeschool was so that you didn’t have to fit into the constraints of the local school system. For me, those constraints were:
- waking up early,
- making lunches every day,
- putting my kids on a bus,
- filling out all that horrible paperwork that school requires you to fill out,
- supervising a plan that I didn’t create (like homework for things I didn’t understand),
- showing up for all the PTA meetings I didn’t want to go to.
That’s not what I wanted. So, I liberated myself and I home educated.
I got into the world of homeschooling, but suddenly there’s a whole new set of shackles. People saying you had to have a schedule, maybe you should get up at 9 and make sure the kids start with chores, make sure your kids are learning all the classics before you let them read anything modern. Then there were people who were telling me, “You shouldn’t do any of that. Just let your kids do whatever they want. That’s what will lead to the best education.”
I felt bullied by homeschool philosophies that were every bit as pushy as the local school district. I don’t know about you, but when I envisioned my homeschool experience before I got going, I didn’t know that there would be these controllers out there telling me what it should feel like, look like, be like. What the content “should” be.
So, what’s my number one wish on a star for homeschooling? Freedom.
I wish to see people resisting the temptation to define what homeschool should be for another person. Freedom to change, grow, and learn. That’s number one.