My Counter Culture, Part II

As a child, I struggled in school--not academically, but socially and emotionally. These were my problems, but when I became a mom, I surmized that my children might turn out somewhat like me. Homeschooling sounded like something I could naturally explore for them and for myself.

Like a refugee newly sprung from totalitarian regulation, I envisioned a different life for the children God gave me. Whatever it took, I didn't want them to suffer the way I had. Teaching them didn't sound difficult. In fact, it made sense that they would be free in the bosom of our home to learn, much moreso than in the confines of a public place populated by strangers.

My desires and reasoning, then, were educationally based. Right or wrong, I was attracted to the homeschool movement out of a philosophical bent toward individualized academics. I didn't go as far as the un-schoolers, who give most traditional/conventional curricula or methods the boot. And yet I grew fonder as time went on of experimentation with easing the rules I'd adhered to so strictly as a kid. Follow your inclinations. Do what's in front of you. I moved in the direction of those sorts of principles.

As it turned out, my daughter and son blessed me by being students who learned in a variety of situations. They did well at home (don't get me wrong, though, we had our share of false starts and bad days), and then, when I needed help to teach them I found a plethora of resources. Even a place called Homesource, where parent-taught classes gave us computer technology, Latin, Marine Biology. Homesource received some public funding, and at this date the money's being taken away by bureaurocrats, but that's fodder for another day's post. A huge gift, though, of homeschooling was and still is adventure at the edge of learning.

You may wonder where my faith in God came into the picture. Did I pray about teaching at home? Did I agonize over whether or not we were following God's will? I have to say no, I didn't. Many families I've met got started that way, and I'm not saying it's wrong. Though from experience I admit the homeschool weirdos I've met or heard of tend to fall on the religious side of the philosophical fence. There is a sense in the collective evangelical Christian mind, to which I'm not immune, that we can and should make our children and families better than the others around us.

From a biblical point of view, however, this life is not about besting the world but about coming to see what's real. The most real being, God, has given us interesting choices and amazing life-journeys getting us to the paths on which we find ourselves. I homeschool because all roads pertaining to education led me here.

And I'll always thank God they did.

Comments