Okay wait, hear me out before deciding I’ve lost it completely. We have not yet decided where or how our children will be educated. We have an almost three year old and a 6 month old. I am simply considering homeschooling and wondering if it will be the best option for us. There is no one box fits all and I am sure that both approaches to education can and do produce happy, educated children. For the purpose of this blog, ‘Homeschool’ refers to both ‘Homeschool’ and ‘Distributed Learning’ educational approaches in British Columbia. *See end of page for explanations.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Do you homeschool your kids already? Are your kids in the public system and loving it?
If we do choose the traditional school approach, it will not be for the purpose of preparing them for the ‘real’ world. Let’s face it, School is nothing like the real world or at least the mostly civilized society we fortunate people live in. School is a war zone. It is an inadequately supervised, overcrowded cluster of societies best and worst at the most vulnerable and emotionally immature time in a person’s life. That’s what it was in my day and from everything I’ve heard, it is what it is today. In your entire adult working life have you ever said to yourself “Wow this is exactly how it was in school”? So why do it then? I know for me, I’m honestly afraid of the responsibility of educating my children. A huge part of me would rather delegate that role to someone else but I don’t think that fear is a very good reason to do anything.
It does not mean locking your child up 7 days a week in order to produce a pale, socially awkward, strange adolescent. From what I have read and heard, it is a very social and community driven means of education and one that can be tailored to the specific talents and aptitudes of each unique child. It also doesn’t mean that you must spend every waking hour with your kids either (thank God, right?!). There are numerous programs and classes available specifically for homeschooled children. Read more here:
I’m talking about bullying, drugs, sex, bad teachers! I am not saying that I’d like to eliminate negative experiences. Encounters with unhealthy peers and adults is a normal part of life. I think the majority of us would agree that peer influence is at an all time high. Bullying is so much more harmful than it ever was and I should know. I am a Counsellor here in Nanaimo and I’ve worked with youth from most of the high schools. We as adults do not have a complete handle on what, how and who is influencing our children. Through home schooling, parents stand a better chance at guiding the type and quality of their kids social environments, both on and offline.
Human intelligence is extraordinarily diverse and until our education system transforms to recognize this, children will continue to suffer and potentially never even know their own brilliance. I don’t need to say anymore on this point as Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk says it all.
“Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not – because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.”
This blog is an education for me too. I’m including numerous useful links to online resources I’ve found. From what I am reading, it looks like BC is the place to be for any family looking for alternatives to the traditional school system.
- BC Home Educators Association – Everything you need to know
- Nanaimo Homeschoolers Community – This fantastic group hosts monthly meet-ups at Oliver Woods Community Centre.
- The Canadian Home Schooler– More great tips and resources.
* Homeschooling definition BC – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/ways-to-learn/homeschooling
*Distributed Learning definition BC – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/ways-to-learn/online-and-self-paced-learning
Photo Credit – Little Bear Photo