Week one of this Unschooling Summit was like a breath of fresh air for me. Most of the speakers (I have to admit there were a few that I half-listened to) left me feeling inspired and thinking that Homeschooling might be the perfect thing for my little guy starting in “First Grade”. The freedom, flexibility, individuality, sense of family and adventure that homeschooling provides are the things attracting me to this journey. I know that not everyday will be easy and there will be many challenges to overcome. But something about it feels right, at least at this point in our lives.
One of the speakers last week, Debra Snyder, spoke about energy and intuition and how important it is to acknowledge your intuition and follow what you feel is right. She pointed out that we know and love our children better than anyone and so we should trust our instincts when it comes to making decisions for them. I know my son. I know his temperament, his learning style, his sensitivities, his passions and the things he finds challenging. I know that when he is interested in a topic, he wants to explore everything about it. I know that he needs to work at his own pace or else he becomes frustrated and shuts down. I know that he has a huge sensitive heart and cares so much for all of the people and creatures around him. I know that when life seems too challenging or stressful, he pulls into his shell. I know that he has an amazing energy, inventive spirit and he is always looking at ways to solve interesting problems. I also know that he is shy and it takes awhile for him to feel comfortable and open up to new people and situations. These are all wonderful qualities that make him who he is and I want him to learn how appreciate these great qualities and learn how to utilize them to learn and grow.
The way that public education is set up today, there is little room for children to explore their interests. The main focus is on learning to read and preparing for testing and with large class sizes I fear my little quiet guy would get lost in the shuffle. His LOVE and passion for learning and life might be hindered and I’d hate to see him pushed to do things that he is not developmentally ready to do. It would break my heart if he ever considered himself a failure because he is not yet ready to read or write at the level that the school thinks he should be at.
So I continue to research this way of life and learning. Between this conference and the Waldorf Global next weekend, the many books I have out of the library and on my kindle, the research I have done regarding the laws and procedures of our state, discussions I have had with other families and of course my own family. After all I am married to a successful product of homeschooling and the wealth of knowledge that is my husband, mother and father in-law and sister in-law is so very valuable. I am so very blessed!