Education is commonly defined as, the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, esp. at a school or university OR receiving an enlightening experience. My children both attend schools, one attends a Science Academy who recently switched to common core approaches and the other attends a Montessori School. I was home schooled followed by life experience and University education. I can say from experience and by simply ASKING my children what they want, that what may work for one will not work for all.
My son has autism, a real mental difference from us “normals”. He thinks, sees and perceives his surroundings in ways that most “normals” cannot comprehend and do not try to understand. He jumps, flaps his arms occasionally and is quite specific in food tastes and clothing feel. He is brilliant and can do math in his head that many adults cannot do with an entire notebook of paper. He remembers scientific facts and recites history by rote. He cannot spell nor write in a legible manner, forgetting punctuation, capitalization and much more regularly. As a result he is seen as deficient by many in the “education” system. As a result it falls on his parents shoulders to educate his “educators” as to what works and what doesnt with him.
He attends the school he does because we pay them to follow a prescribed pattern of approaches and adjust as necessary throughout the year. His education is at best what others would see as a C+ student sometimes a B student. And yet, he is without a doubt far more intelligent in many areas then most normals I know. He is 11 years old and can do math easily that leaves most college students stuttering. If he was tested using a standard IQ test he would show in the high double digits but not much further, simply because he does not think like normals do.
My daughter is not autistic, she is “normal”, however, she is also quite brilliant, as long as you dont try and put her in a box. She is four years old, and is doing second grade addition and subtraction word problems daily, as a game that SHE made up! She is learning to read and write and is allowed to express her creativity further enhancing her ability to grasp archaic educational approaches as well as advanced approaches. She is a genius, and if tested would easily test at 140+ on a standard IQ test for her age. I am proud to say that she is more intelligent then I am, and I harbor no ill will in fact, all I can do is continue to promote her desire to learn new things.
If she asks for music lessons (which she has) I attempt to set them up for her, if she asks to go shooting, we go shooting. You see, because honesty is the most important essential ingredient in our family we are able to do more then most families. Trust is not an issue when even on the off days and one of the kids stumbles a lie out, it is easily found out, sadly nodded over and let go. Trust is not an issue, because we are honest with each other.
So here is my voluntaryist approach to schooling with my kids and if I was placed in charge of other children it would be for them as well. Educate them based on what they want and what they need. Show them by example how we should live our lives, if we want a clean house, clean the house, if we want manners TREAT OTHERS WITH THEM. If we want them to trust us and communicate with us, LISTEN when they talk regardless the inane nature of the talk, trust them to make decisions. Guard them against obviously dangerous decisions. Letting our 4-6 year old walk down a city street alone is stupid, however, letting them walk down the street a couple doors with you watching shows you trust them to do it alone, but still care enough to PROTECT them.
Education folks, is NOT a one way approach or street. My daughter asked my wife last night if she could cut coupons, not because we have her do it, but because it is something my wife does and my daughter simply wants to be LIKE HER PARENTS! One way is not the best way, with eating, dieting, living, moving, life in general. WE ARE individuals, and as INDIVIDUALS should never need to conform to ONE WAY!
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Free the mind and the body will follow.
- How Easy Was Unschooling? (activistpost.com)
- The Methods of Homeschooling (orthodoxmom3.wordpress.com)
- Benefits of Homeschooling Autistic Children (blackchristiannews.com)