I think kids are inherently curious and want to learn, because humans are inherently curious and want to learn. I have faith in children’s abilities to learn what they need to know. I have watched my three children progress through the toddler/preschool stage and each time I was amazed by how much is learned, how quickly, how joyfully, and I want to help them retain this joy. I believe in slowing my pace to match a young child’s need to explore and investigate. I hope to support my children in their unique learning journeys and cultivate the attitude that this journey lasts a lifetime.
I’m homeschooling my middle child because I saw him detaching from education entirely. I was spending an inordinate amount of time cajoling or outright fighting to get him to a place where he was bored, disengaged, and not learning much at all. He melted down repeatedly at home around the subject of school, but, I was assured, he was “fine when he got there.” It was separation anxiety (said). It was my parenting (implied). Reports to home, however, informed me that he only put effort into an assignment if it interested him (and very little did). That he required one-on-one help to complete assignments (“it’s less boring that way,” he told me, with a smirk). That reminders to stay on task didn’t work because he told the teachers he would do things on his own schedule. This school, which is working out fine for my oldest child, was turning into a disaster for my middle child. While our other option for public schooling may have been a better fit, I felt that no school would work at this point; first, he needed to separate from the idea that he hated school (and by association, learning).
I am homeschooling so he has the time and space to connect with his innate curiosity and love of learning. I am homeschooling to do the patient work of healing the angry, oppositional child and uncovering the happy, creative, charming kid I sent to kindergarten. This is an incredibly valuable use of my time, but I also feel it’s an imperative use of my time. I’m homeschooling to save this kid.