Thursday, 25 September 2008

I don't know

Had a few 'I don't know' days. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something I find quite annoying, this habit I have of never being totally sure that I haven't got things completely wrong. I can see the value in being open to other people's ideas, but I do envy people who appear to have it all sorted in their own mind, and know where they are heading and what they believe. I always have this sneaking suspicion that I've missed something vitally important.
This is a recurring theme through all areas of my life, so of course applies to home education too. Even though I know this is the best thing I can do as a parent for A at the moment, there are still moments of panic when I wonder if I've got it wrong. I try to tell myself that its important to keep questioning and evaluating my reasons, and therefore healthy to feel this way, but to be honest I'd prefer to be more sure of myself.

A few people who I've spoken to about HE seem very concerned about having a 'curriculum'. I usually mention the fact that I can easily 'keep an eye' on the 5-14 guidelines, and that seems to satisfy them. It occurred to me that it might be interesting to actually have a look at them, so I did. My main reaction was 'why?' - and this again confirms for me that I don't think mainstream school is the best place for A. Why do we want children to all reach the same standard at the same age? Why do they have to attain specific skills by age 6, or age 8 or whatever - why is this the ideal? And once these standards are in place you cant help but get into the mentality of comparing kids and it all becomes a big competition. Maybe that works well for kids who are naturally very competitive (or maybe it just appears to as they manage to jump through all the hoops and 'achieve'), but A doesn't respond well in a competitive environment. Some kids just don't.

A has spent a lot of time painting this week (I sometimes think she would happily spend all day every day painting!) and came up with a whole series of 'modern art' pieces. Very interesting. Not something I'm particularly into - modern art - but I think we may have to go down this avenue ;o)


Home Edutainer said...

Hi K,

I too experience the 'I dont know' days and moments of panic! I think most parents do at times whether their children are in school or 'otherwise'.

As for the debate on HE children having a 'curriculum'/parents using one as a guideline - why does it cause such concern to others who dont wish to follow/refer to it? Afterall, there are many reasons why parents opt for HE so each educational philosophy will be different! Each one unique to each child's individual needs.

HE is a lifestyle choice. There is no one way and thats the beauty of it. We all have the 'freedom' to provide our children with what we as individuals see as an appropriate education, despite HEdders sharing the same belief to not send our children into a 'school' environment.

To end, I would just like to say, follow what 'you' feel is right for A. Thats your right as a parent.

Rebecca x x

K said...

Thanks Rebecca,

On the 'good' days I do know what I'm doing is right. I suppose the fact that some of my choices seem so radical compared to mainstream society (whatever that is!?) makes me feel off balance sometimes. There are moments when I wonder if it would be easier to just conform, but thats not something I've ever managed to do ;0)
I think as time goes on (and its still very early days for us) I'm feeling much more comfortable with how we're developing as a HE family, and I certainly feel like a better and more tuned-in parent.

Kara X

Home Edutainer said...

Well I for one have enjoyed your blog posts and think you and A are doing just fine...

x x