Don’t see your child thriving to their full potential within their current educational model? Following your intuition to keep the little one by your side, but not sure where to begin on their educational journey? A plethora of alt-education and non-traditional schooling models exist that fall under what is culturally known as homeschooling and unschooling.
Most parents and children cite the practices of public schools being vastly incongruent with how the natural world operates.
Public schools tend to un-naturally begin and shift topics of learning regardless of how each child accesses information, deciding for the child what they should learn about, and how.
Additionally, they require excuses for absences regardless of the say of the family (meaning, the quality of time you spend as a family is dictated by the state), they train children with the sound of a bell, and they require them to ask permission for basic human needs (such as using the bathroom).
Faced with these conundrums, I spoke to Katie Phipps Hague, homeschooling mom of seven children, homeschooling consultant, writer, and social media manager. Hague finds that the hardest thing for parents to accept and be comfortable with is the notion that they are not required to replicate school to effectively teach their kids.
“None of us wants to screw up our kids’ lives,” explains Hague. “None of us wants to make our kids outcasts who can’t measure up to their peers or who feel insecure about what they know. Most parents who are educating their kids at home are, themselves, products of the very system they’re pulling their kids out of. So there are a lot of preconceived ideas about what education is ‘supposed’ to look like that parents have to dig out and toss before they can find peace and success in home education.”
When making the decision on whether or not homeschooling is right for the family, Hague suggests parents ask themselves a series of practical questions such as:
“In what other settings do we expect all people of the same age to have memorized and know the exact same facts? In what other setting do we segregate people by age and allow them to associate only with those in their group?
We can easily accept that plants and animals need unique circumstances and environments in order to grow, thrive, and learn — so why do we find it foreign to apply that same thinking to children?
Hague says the purpose of home education is to create an environment in which each child can grow into an adult version of the unique being that they already are. And there is no one as committed to their learning, as invested in their success, as in-tune to their uniqueness, and, therefore, as qualified to teach them as a parent.
“Through all the doubts, worries, and anxieties that parents feel as they take the step into alternative home education, the most important idea they can become deeply converted to is that there is simply no one on this earth — regardless of education, specialty, qualification, or awards — who is as qualified to teach their children as they are,” Hague explains. “Once they accept that mantle, parents, children, and families thrive in an alternative home education environment.”
For more resources on homeschooling, check out the following:
The organization holds seven multi-regional conventions throughout the year to educate parents on how to teach their children. The organization is dedicated to the non-filtering of information — they believe that all homeschooling topics should be presented and that parents are fully capable of making intelligent decisions for their families.
Karyn and Meg, both homeschooling parents, tackle tough questions such as what to do on sick days (especially if a parent or child experiences a chronic illness), how it’s completely possible and common to be both a working and homeschooling parent, and dispels fears about homeschooling through high school.
Gatto is a NY State award-winning teacher and education advocate known for his life’s work in educational reform and advocacy by exposing what he has referred to as “the government monopoly compulsory school system.” He has delivered over 1500 speeches and published multiple books on the history and preponderance of the outworn public education system. Visit John Taylor Gatto TV to hear various lectures or search his noteworthy books.
Authored by California-native-turned-Utahian, Connor Boyack created the Tuttle Twins book series to fill a void in the system, offering tangible content for children to teach them about freedom and economics, while helping to build confidence in parents to learn and teach concepts that schools no longer teach. Regardless of the educational model your family participates in, this series fits in as primary or supplemental curriculum.
Started by two dads, Mike Farris and Mike Smith in 1983, the Home School Legal Defense Association is a non-profit legal group that protects your family’s constitutional rights to self-educate your children. With an annual membership, the team offers 24/7 assurance that your rights will be protected. View your state’s homeschooling laws here.
Christine Dionese, co-founder of flavor ID is an integrative, epigenetic health specialist, as well as a wellness, lifestyle, and food writer. She has dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health by harnessing the power of the epigenetic landscape. Check out her podcast with the fullest, Well Examined.