|Valentine's Day drawn by Tiger|
I can understand and relate to her having to face opposition from family, but I was surprised to learn that she did not have her husband's support. When I asked her why her husband did not think homeschooling their son was a good idea, Mrs. W told me the reason is because her husband is a "traditionalist" who thinks that their son is not learning unless he is seen to be writing in workbooks. I offered some words of encouragement and comfort, but I couldn't help thinking to myself the following:
- some people's idea of learning is dangerously narrow
- being schooled is NOT the same as being educated
- "conformists" would be a more appropriate term to describe those who do not question the 'that's-how-it's-always-been-done' way of life, even if the-way-things-always-have-been isn't working for them anymore
Do you hear what's really going on behind these words? It's fear. Mr. W is clearly so overcome with fear of the what-ifs that he would rather put his son back into the drudgery of school (where he had suffered miserably before) than to support his courageous wife to seek a new and better educational solution for their son. This fear of the unknown is so illogical yet especially crippling to the creative essence of anyone.
If working through workbooks were the only way to learn, as Mr. W thinks it is, then by this misguided and very narrow definition, Tiger hasn't been learning anything for a very long time. Especially when it started snowing again this week, Tiger has spent most of his time outdoors playing in the snow.
He has not gone near anything that resembles a workbook. Instead, he has spent many happy hours throwing snowballs,
building a snowman, only to dismantle it by sculpting and burrowing in it,
looking and identifying 'mysterious' tracks,
marvelling at how intricate the ice crystals look on the car window,
and generally living and experiencing the snow and frost.
Is this not worth more than filling out pages of workbooks? A few years ago I might have felt slightly worried (fear again) that Tiger was not 'keeping up with the school children'. Nowadays, I see much more value in choosing to project love rather than fear onto my child --a love for life, a love for learning, a love for real first-hand experiences, a love for nature, a love for wonder and freedom....
I hope Mr. W will find it in his heart to let go of the fear that is preventing him from seeing the tremendous opportunity that lies in front of his child. Choose to be guided by love and it will turn us into the wind beneath our children's wings; fear will only make us become wing-clippers. This article might just enlighten Mr. W a little bit.
This post is linked up to:
1) All Year Round Blog Carnival: Winter
2) Hearts for Home Blog Hop #4
3) Homeschool Mother's Journal: February 15, 2013
4) Hobbies and Handicrafts - Feb 15
5) Collage Friday- The Literature Fair
6) TGIF Linky Party #63#
7) It's a Wrap
8) Weekly Wrap-Uup: The One with the Video
9) Share it Saturday
10) The Sunday Showcase - 2/16/13
11) Hip Homeschool Hop - 2/19/13