Your child needs you
Your child needs you, not a scope and sequence. Not tests. Not assignments.
You brought your child home to opt out of a system of cups and pounds, inches and altitudes, teaspoons and litres.
Your child grows…whether you help or not, whether you interfere or guide, support or neglect.
Measuring growth doesn’t cause growth. Sometimes, all it does is cause unhelpful worry.
Growing is the job of children—to get tall, to acquire language, to peer into an intriguing world, to sprout beards or body curves.
Your kids will read better, calculate more easily, handwrite with less effort, produce quality insights more frequently, and show curiosity about the fascinating ideas and activities they discover along the way to 20 because that’s what human beings do.
This all happens—while they sleep, and when they wake, and while they bump along, doing what they’re told, doing what they do when no one’s watching, doing what they love, and resenting what they hate.
Sometimes they grow a quarter inch in an entire year (that was me, in 6th grade).
Sometimes they grow 6 inches in 12 months (that was me, in 11th grade).
Sometimes they can’t read, can’t read, can’t read…and then they read. At age 7 or 10 or 4.
Sometimes they tell you they hate grammar…and then major in linguistics.
You can’t stop the growth, even with lightning or flash freezing or wishing they would stay young, adorable, innocent, and easy a little longer.
You can’t make it happen faster by forcing a program that is more advanced or requiring more or worrying and hand-wringing.
Your kids need you, though. They need you to be amazed by their leaps and bounds, their first steps and first essays.
They need space to “get it” and new ideas to help when they don’t.
They need your confidence that they are doing just fine, that they will get there, wherever “there” is.
They need your investment: of money for lessons, of patience for their challenges, of heart when they must be brave.
They need your faith that the work you do together is enough, that you can’t stop them from being the fabulous people they are destined to be, even if you tried. They will grow, grow, grow and all you can do is jump in the passenger seat, open the sun roof, and turn up the radio on the joy ride.
Homeschool allows everyone to grow at the only pace they can: theirs.
Homeschool allows you to be present to who they are today, rather than worrying about who school says they should have been by now.
What a privilege.
Cross-posted on facebook.