Yesterday I wrote a piece (Why Deep Down You Don’t Want to Send Your Kids to School) on unschooling in which I said “Human beings are perfectly equipped to raise children on their own without school”
And I got a comment on Twitter that said “Eh, I disagree. I can only teach what I have knowledge and experience in.”
When I was struggling with the decision to pull my kid out of school I thought the same thing. What the heck do I know that it so special that I can teach to my kid? We all want our kids to do better than us. How can that happen when we are the sole teacher?
Well…we don’t have to be the only teacher. Learning is all around us…and…kids are pretty persistent when they see something that they want.
Here’s an example.
This is my unschooled kid. She’s standing in the middle of a 22 acre farm that she has planted over 40 varieties of vegetables in.
This is me…a blogger who spends most of her time inside on the computer. I grew up in the Florida Keys (a chain of small islands on the Southern tip of Florida). I’m an island girl. No farms anywhere near where I grew up.
Now…how in the heck did this 14-year-old know how to do all of this?
She had a curiosity and a desire to learn about something she was interested in and she had parents who let her explore her options instead of being chained to a school desk.
First…she went to our local Extension Services office. They knew of an absentee owner who had 22 acres in our town who was looking to lease it out. She and her dad met with the fella and he agreed to give them a 1 year lease on the land.
I had a blogger friend up north who I remembered had blogged about her CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It “is an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA also refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box. Many CSAs also sometimes include herbs, cut flowers, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat.” (wikipedia)
The lady at the Extension Services office handed my kiddo a book on growing vegetables. (Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida 2012-2013 from the University of Florida IFAS Extension) Hello 14-year-old learning college courses. She read it and researched which vegetables would grow best in the soil conditions and local climate. She had the soil tested. And then she went online and found a seed company and ordered seeds.
Next stop was YouTube. Lots and lots of hours of research on YouTube to find out how to plant the rows. How far apart each seed needed to be from the next. (People always ask me how does she learn math…well here’s your answer) How far apart the rows needed to be. How to put in the irrigation system. How to keep bugs away. How to keep birds away. Government rules and regulations on being certified organic. Which crops are fall crops, winter crops, etc.
And then she applied everything she learned and that picture above is the result. We have already seen a few of the crops popping up. Corn…beans…zucchini…butternut squash…crookneck squash…collards.
So you see…your arguments against why you can’t homeschool are just small roadblocks that you can’t seem to find your way around. I’ve tread that scary road. I’ve thought those same thoughts. And you know what? I believe you can do it. And I believe your kids can do it too. You just need to give it a try.