This one is going to be hard to write. It would have been so much easier to leave this topic off my list. Why didn't I think off that?
Oh well, here I go... A family's parenting and education philosophy is a deeply personal, carefully thought out set of ideas. To then put it out there fully for the world to view can feel rather vulnerable. I can't imagine sharing every single point that has shaped our philosophy, but I will cover a few things.
Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, I have seen the village and I don't want it raising my child. ~Unknown
That would be my husband's short answer if you were to ask him why we homeschool. He cuts to the chase. Of course, this is partly in jest, though not entirely. It's a weird world out there and not one that we feel supprts or fosters the human potential within each of us (speaking from our experience, in our community - actually, please understand than any and all ideas in this post are simply are own, in no way do we think others need to feel the way we do.).
"May you live all the days of you life." ~Jonathon Swift
My immediate and extended family has learned more than we've cared to about life, loss, and starting over through the last eight years. We don't always have the control we'd like over the circumstances in our lives, but the intention that we meet each living day with is ours 365 times a year. For us, it doesn't feel right to have Emily spend the majority of her time in the system, going through the motions. I don't need her to be "good at school" to prove her worth. My hope and goal is that her love of learning and life runs so deep that her potential each day is fully unleashed, not to be contained.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~Mary Oliver
Many, many things I hope. I want Emily to feel life's unlimited potential now, as well as in the future. I don't want her to feel life begins someday, after a certain course of study has been completed, graded, authorized, and a piece of paper stating those things has been issued. If we are to truly get the most from higher education, doesn't it seem reasonable that the years prior are spent developing an open-minded, inquisitive nature?
"Dumbing us down..." ~John Taylor Gatto
Okay - so this appeals to the conspiracy theorist within. But seriously, seeing as we are the richest nation in the world, and not one industrialized society is impressed or inspired by our educational system... I don't know... isn't it possible that a system carefully crafted to produce poor results and undereducated people could ensure a corporate government's need for an oppressed society? Can you imagine the threat of an ultra intelligent, free thinking nation? Yowza.
"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world." ~Maria Montessori
What more can I say? I have held these words close since our family entered Montessori school eight years ago, they've been a guiding light ever since.
"Sometimes, some people, just need a low stimulus environment." ~our Homeopath
There is a vibe to our homeschool that does not exist down the road amongst the 600 plus middle schoolers. This energy is a tonic to my girl's days. I don't expect most people to understand the value of this for our family. Interestingly, I have a hard time understanding the need for speed and the general (accepted) pace of life today. To each is own, right?
Honestly, this could be a never ending post. Our reasons for homeschooling right now are truly many. My intention was to share some of those reasons, I've certainly done that! Thank you for keeping an open, supportive mind as you've read through these personal thoughts. It is important to remember that no matter what our differences are, that we still support one anothers beliefs just as we hope others support our own.
Have a great day everyone... and if you are wondering... yes! The prints of my owl painting are here and will be in the shop around noon today. She is a cutie.