Wednesday, July 25, 2012

my children-our journey

Homeschooling is a journey-and a very personal one at that.
I think my favorite quote is "necessity is the mother of invention"
that quote best describes me and the way I move through life...some may not agree with this way of living and may think it downright absurd to actually live this way...but for me-it's the only way...

When I became a mother, I made some radical lifestyle changes-some need not be written in this blog post, but let's just say that I decided it was time for some changes-being that I had a child (2) to care for.

Somewhere along the line I started reading all sorts of books about learning styles and education...Waldorf and Montessori to name the top 2.
I became increasingly interested in all types of philosophies about nurturing healthy development, individual learning styles and whatever I could get my hands on. I read every book I could, I wanted to know all about Maria Montessori, Rudolph Steiner and bio dynamics.
    At the time I also became increasingly interested in herbal healing-it all tied in together. I just dove into as much of it as I really could.  I was on a mission to be a conscientious parent. I'm not sure if I was fully aware of that mission, but looking back at how I went about it, it was some serious dedication and stemmed from necessity I wanted to raise a healthy, well rounded children -and be the kind of parent I never had. 
 I wanted a close relationship with my kids. I can't say when I knew for sure, but somewhere around year 3 with my first child I knew that homeschooling was in our future. It came about a few ways..
first, she just wanted to be with me and I was not comfortable pushing my child away when I'm the safety net at such a young age....and I read the Continuum concept. That book solidified all my intuitive parenting ideas and was like a permission slip to be the parent I felt inclined to be, free from societal 'norms' and standard parenting 'tips' and childhood benchmarks/pressures.
 I am not a fan of all the rules and regulations...I don't think the schools or government knows better than me what my individual child needs-and honestly, I don't believe the government has my best interest and health in mind when they are busy making rules/laws that don't include health care and food additives, so WHY should I trust them with my kids?  Have you seen the junk foods they serve at schools? in point...
off my soap box now....
so-the truth is there are so many ways to home school it's dizzying. However, I personally do what feels right. I have had to really search into myself to define my values and to follow them as well as pass them along to my children.  I make mistakes and own them when I do.

We do not do a traditional curriculum as many other families do-we just don't feel it necessary, we do more child led interests. The kids choose from a pool of classes of their interest.
As one of the founding members of the Family Learning Center at Southwest community center  It's really easy to provide them with opportunities-we live in a city full of it! The SHG (Seattle Home school group) is an invaluable pool of resources with over 450 families from all over Seattle and outlying areas. There's NEVER lack of activities and classes offered.
 I want to mention another book Under Pressure ...a book that also gave me permission to allow my kids to be kids, not managed-and I gotta just say-I've heard it from hundreds of people-all ages and stages-my kids are kind, well adjusted and well socialized. They know how to communicate with adults and how to express their thoughts and feelings, clearly.
 I have not been the wonder parent and don't feel like i know any better than anyone else how to do it any better, I only know our  way has worked and it's still working, so I'm in no hurry to make any big changes.
 The Desire to home school led me to the information I needed to follow the path I have chosen and trust that things will work out just fine. And so far-it's been a wonderful rewarding journey. I wish that for everyone who decides to take the road less traveled. I have learned so much about myself and that is probably the best reward. I trust myself more now than ever. My kids and I are very close.  Teaching was not my goal. We have a mutual respect for each other. We have trust. That was my goal.