My mom keeps on asking when I am going to start homeschooling, she doesn’t get that the boys are already learning and that we won’t be doing much different, that I won’t be setting a curriculum, doing school at home, teaching the boys the same things that their peers are learning at the exact same time, in the same manner but in a different location.
I, of course, was brought up in one public school after the next. I went through 9 schools by the time I hit CEGEP, then 3 after that… One of the schools that I went to was a Waldorf school… at the time it was just starting out and was still a tiny school with not many students and I wasn’t there for long but it was the school that taught me the most about learning. In the short time I was there I learned to love learning and then school started to be tortuous.
When I got to the next school I was behind by their standards and needed a tutor for math as it was not yet part of the Waldorf curriculum for my age group. The problem though was not that I was behind because I didn’t undertand it, but it was because I had different ways of getting to the answer. Sure I didn’t know my “times tables” by heart like all of the other students, but I am not good at memorizing… I did know however how to figure it out and I got the right answer but just not the same way that others did….
Of course it wasn’t good enough and because I didn’t have the same way of figuring out the problem I often failed and over the years of having the same “problem” I lost interest and patience.
I vowed that I would never put my children in that position when I was to have children.
So, I have always known that I was going to homeschool my kids. On the first date that I had with Simon we went to the old port in Montreal and literally talked the day away. I remember telling him on that day of wanting to be a mom, stay at home, and homeschool… I remember him asking questions about it… the answers that I gave him were all in the line of unschooling, yet I did not have a label for that yet.
After Xavier was born I dove into the world of the internet and alternative parenting and realized that my visions of homeschooling, learning through life, with no set curriculum, no grades, no deadlines, learning what interests you in the way that you understand it, learning life skills though life etc… were not just weird thoughts that I was having… it was not just part of my black sheepism, but what many other families were doing and it was all part of a whole movement of people learning at home. Unschoolers.
Though I know my goals for guiding my children through learning I have felt the need to go through an unschooling process myself. Society has brainwashed me and others to believe that learning is something that is done only through teaching, whether it is a teacher in a school or a mom at home. However, learning through life is different. It is the child that learns and guides themselves with help from others when they need and want it. I have felt the need to remind myself that there is no fix age to learn how to read, how to write… when they are ready they will make it clear and will not only catch on quicker but will catch up to where they need to be.
It is still hard at times to get out of the mindset of learning at home is not just school at home as it is for many. It is more. It is learning through living life.