17 September 2012

The Homeschooling Wobbles

Now that Imp is five, the question of schooling is starting to permeate our bubble in many different forms. Most are innocent comments from well minded people and family who generally assume that she will attend the nearest school. Some feel to be more than just a case of genuine curiosity.

We attended our usual playgroup a few weeks back and interesting conversation ensued while the children were playing. It started off innocent enough with the question of where Imp would be attending school. When I suggested that we would most probably homeschool, the politeness of the conversation soon unraveled. I was informed that I was doing my child and other children a disservice by not putting Imp into school. That others would benefit from the wonderfulness that is my child (that part I do agree with, Imp is so very awesome) and I was being selfish by keeping her to myself.

Sigh.

I tried to explain that the reason my daughter has the personality she is does is because she is not in a place where others attempt to shape her into something that THEY demand. To force her to conform to a certain way which pleases the masses. However, it was dismissed. Then when asked what style of homeschooling I was thinking of doing, I mentioned that I was seriously looking into a Steiner based education. Closed minds and deaf ears felt the need to mock. To state that Steiner children were odd; they didn't know how to socialise in the real world; that the sooner the schools change their curriculum to fit in the rest of us, the better off they would be.

I felt shattered. Angered that I had to even attempt to justify my position. I found her bluntness to be extremely hard to handle and it took a lot of strength to not blow a gasket in front of everyone. Then the worst thing of all happened, it made me question myself.

Am I doing the right thing by Imp? Most children her age are already on the educational conveyor belt. I haven't even begun. Where do I begin? How do I begin? I have frantically searched for solace from other homeschoolers. I look at the fantastic blogs like Bowl of Stones, Like a bird, and Owlet and all I see is the effortlessness that these fantastic Mamas are just getting on with teaching their children. Smiling faces, enthusiastic learning, the joy and colourful world that is these individual families feel almost unachievable.

Imp is now asking about school. A game of pretend at the moment for her is putting on her back pack and going to school. She tries to rope me into this by calling me "Teacher." I feel myself resisting this because I am stuck in moment of self doubt. Fixed on a seesaw of deliberation. When homeschooling entered our world, it was really out of left field and it was a necessity as The Eldest was suffering where he was. It was nothing that I had really wanted to be a part of but, he needed me to step up for him so, I did. However, now that it is mostly up to me and Husband to make the choice, I found myself wavering. Most definitely wobbling.




Joining the amazing Owlet today for Unschool Monday

6 comments:

  1. Amazing effortlessness!?! Um...

    We need a chat!

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  2. I don't know a homeschooling family where these thoughts don't pop up. And you know what we blog is often the yay rather than the nay of the day, right? ;-) It's much nicer to put all the gorgeousness that happens down on the screen than the tanties everyone had, the mouldy bread discovered in the cupboard, the throwing across the room of delicately textured craft supplies (by parents) or any of the other stuff that happens invariably to every. single. one. of. us. I think doubt is essential in everything in life to keep us honest about what we're doing. I wish you more supportive surrounds though!

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    1. Thank you. I wish for more supportive surrounds myself. I think this is our biggest stumbling block, to be honest.

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  3. I hear you, my munchkin is 5 too and we are getting questions now mostly positives or shocked into saying nothing at all. She is happy to say that she is home schooled. We are not official yet, just walking the walk and finding out way before we register next year. I have had "that" conversation. I had lots of well worded responses after the fact of course but at the time iwasps so confronting and personal it did not go well and I also
    walked away questioning myself. I don't feel like that now. Now with another 18 months under my belt I am confident that it what will work for us. Like most home schoolers we don't really fit a mold. A little Steiner, a little radical unschooled etc. My biggest tip is find like minded people, and try to stay away from the negative ones where possible, at least till you feel more on your feet and confident in your decision. Hugs xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Allana for your beautiful words. Finding like minded people has been the biggest struggle for us and it really does make us feel despondent after a while.

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