That’s the line that has been rolling around in my head for a few weeks now. I’ve known all along that it was a blog entry waiting to be birthed…but it’s also an examination of a life-philosophy that needed to happen.
It occurred to me one day as I was reading about someone else’s homeschooling family. Their ‘school’ was much more structured, much more curriculum-oriented, than my own. But, that doesn’t bother me at all. I figure, just like parenting, we all have to homeschool with whatever style and materials that work for us.
And that got me off on a mental exercise (something I am very likely to be doing at any moment…I like my mental vacations) thinking about whether you could make some broad generalizations about the personality of the primary homeschooling parent based on how they homeschool.
Is this possible, or a gross over-exaggeration?
Here’s what I observe. The most laid-back homeschooling mamas I know (I don’t know any homeschooling papas IRL) are also the most laid-back people I know. The most ‘organized’ (i.e. not ‘let it flow’) homeschooling mamas I know, are also on the more structured end of the spectrum within their lives.
These are not intended as value-judgements…only observations.
Because if there is a disconnect between who I AM and how I homeschool, then I want to look at that and ferret out any problems for myself.
I believe that our organic-learning process comes out of who we are. If I am not fully in-touch with who I am, and liking what I see, that will reflect on how I relate to my children in all ways — not just the educational ones.
So, as with all else, when I ask about what I see ‘out there’ I’m really using it as a catalyst for investigating self. This is not because I am overly self-possessed. Only because I want to be very self-aware.
So, is there a disconnect?
Six months ago, I would have said, ‘yes.’
Today, I don’t think so.
And that brings me back to the post title, Intellectual Independence.
I value intellectual independence. I demand this for myself. I see on a daily basis how my approach to learning is an outgrowth of this priority.
To demand my own freedom of thought and belief, but to deny my children the same, would be a deep and hurtful hypocrisy.
So I have chosen to stand as a barricade between these young people and the rest of the world (schools, more-structured homeschoolers, mainstream media, people who scoff about the efficacy of unschooling) because I believe that my ‘job’ is to protect their right to think their own thoughts.
I believe that along the way they will acquire the ‘academic’ skills needed to make their way in this world. And they will do so with their heart, soul and intellect fully belonging to themselves.