Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why We Homeschool

Not to hide from the world. Not to seal up our children hermetically in Catholic shrinkwrap. Not because I like long skirts and patriarchy.  Not because I couldn't get another job. Not because we're too lazy to get up for the school bus. Not because we prefer ignorance. Not because we suffer from subclinical agoraphobia. Not (your favorite homeschooling stereotype here).

No, truly, the reason we homeschool is this:

. . . two women were discussing a mutual friend who seemed to be very uncertain of herself. She rarely chatted with the others at their meetings, never volunteered for anything, and would not venture to give any opinions unless coaxed. 
The one woman was inclined to call this friend incompetent and dull-witted, but the other saw it a different way. She knew the home life of their mutual friend, and the requirements and expectations that had been perpetually placed on her, and she made this insightful observation: “She hasn’t a chance in the world to be a person. It must be awful: to have what you aren’t equal to thrust upon you, and no chance at all to do what you are equal to.”
And this, from Charlotte Mason:


“The central thought, or rather body of thought, upon which I found, is the somewhat obvious fact that the child is a person with all the possibilities and powers included in personality” (Vol. 1, Preface).

And this:


How many of us know adults who did not excel in the traditional school system as children? They are very talented in many ways, but not in the particular skills that were required in that system. They weren’t wired to play the guess-what-the-teacher-is-thinking game and memorize the expected answers at the expected pace. Yet that system was thrust upon them. And when it became evident that they were not equal to those skills, they were sometimes made to feel less than a person.

And all the rest.  

5 comments:

priest's wife said...

yes.

Wimsey Productions said...

So well put! I wouldn't change my homeschool upbringing for anything. I guess that's why my sister and I have started a film business. Our parents never told us is wasn't possible!

Sally Thomas said...

Go you! That's fantastic.

And incidentally, it's really, really lovely to hear a young adult/former homeschooler say what you've just said. The internet is full of homeschool graduates bitter about their upbringing for one (sometimes completely valid) reason or another, and convinced that come what may, they won't do things the way their parents did, which is pretty much a standard 20something stance, which I remember perfectly well holding myself . . . . I read these perspectives because I do think it's important to remember that these *are* people I'm dealing with, not projects, not extensions of my own philosophy or utopian vision or whatever, and that they will have their own take on the parental decisions that shaped their lives as they grew up. And that take may not be gratitude.

But I've read a lot of that kind of thing lately, and it's really nice to have someone come here and say something positive. Thank you.

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julia sophia said...

Very nice information. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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