Written January 11, 2022
“My kids will never do school.”
That is what I told my Aunt today at a crafting party. It may sound strange, but it’s the truth. School teaches kids to dread learning. What do I mean by school? Let me illustrate with a story.
We were driving in the car and Mommy asked Elliana whether she had finished her Puppy Place book (by Ellen Myers). No, she had not. Mommy said, “It’s been two weeks, you’re not doing enough school!”
While at the craft party today, Mommy said the art, “counts as school!”
What my mother means by “school” is the mandatory study of certain subjects done in a systemized way in order to comply with certain requirements, guidelines, and most of all, cultural expectations.
Being a homeschooler is counter-cultural enough, so it can be difficult to break away from any other cultural norms. I mean, just look at the word “homeschooler.” The word “school” is part of it!
This is what inspires me to write. People have good ideas, but they just don’t go far enough. There is no reason that you have to raise your children according to other people’s expectations, though you should still listen to their ideas.
Here is another example:
My brother and I invited a friend to join Crazy Writing Week–a free, online event put on by the Young Writer’s Workshop. But our friend said she couldn’t afford to write “for fun” because she was too busy doing school! She said that she still hasn’t started a writing class that she needs to do. My brother paraphrased what she said in this way: “I’m not writing because I need to write.” In addition, she has put aside drawing (she is skilled in making cartoon and anime figures) in order to do more school.
Some would say that this is a wise use of time. But I would ask: Why not study something diligently that she is going to do voluntarily anyway?
Honestly, I am still figuring out what organized learning outside of school looks like, but I will write more about the practicalities later.