Monday, September 15, 2008

So We Can Mentor Our Own

Written by Claudia

It's been four years since I have come to the solid decision to home school our children. Because the journey has been a long and hard one, I have felt the time frame has been ten times that of what it has really been.

I have been on the brink of making the decision to send my children to the public school system a handful of times through out this journey, sure that homeschooling them would only withhold from them the many opportunities only school could provide.

This is no longer the case. Nor will it ever be unless some terrible catastrophe strikes our home.

I used to think that homeschooling is not meant for everyone. But, even after attempting to avoid a stout opinion, I am now convinced that most people should be doing it.

I used to think that allowing our children to dawdle away their time would only result in a lazy, naive, and unintelligent character and mind. I now realize giving a human true freedom to the agency they are rightly endowed with only allows for true growth, true self education, creating an authentic character, and, if one chooses to use their free agency at its best, it will admit one to use them self in improving this world because of having been permitted to discover their mission(s) in this life.

I used to hope children could naturally motivate themselves into learning and discovering so I wouldn't have to feel the weight of their upbringing on my own shoulders. I now understand how vital it is to be a mentor for our own children. No, not a mentor in every subject they are excited to undertake. But a mentor of learning and discovering.

To assist in explaining this, in his article, To My Fellow Homeschoolers, Dr Larry Arnoldsen said, "The 'teacher' does have something very important to be doing: engaging in one's own learning and self development. The effective teacher/parent is a model. The effective teacher/parent, teaches what he/she is.

'Thinking' can be learned from a 'thinker', 'patriotism' from a 'patriot' and so on. The teacher is a great learner!!!!"

Adding to this thought, in John Taylor Gatto's book, Dumbing Us Down, he said, "In centuries past, the time of childhood and adolescence would have been occupied in real work, real charity, real adventures, and the realistic search for mentors who might teach you what you really wanted to learn." (emphasis added)

I used to think the home schooling life we have chosen for our family would always feel like a thorn twisting in my side, constantly reminding me of what I should be doing differently, constantly keeping me aware of where I may be lacking, and if I was lacking or if I didn't make changes, if I didn't know how to do it just right, the future of my children's successes lay in my hands and I would surely fail.

This isn't so.

A mother, a father, a family, who have their sole interests in the achievements of one another, who are always engaged in joint and solitary learning, and who trust in God, will always succeed.

No comments: