Homeschooling VS. Parenting

Let’s go back to how education was back in the day.

The concept of homeschooling has roots in many ancient cultures and societies, where children were often educated at home by their parents or tutors. The concept of a formal school system is relatively recent, compared to the long arc of human history.

In the United States, before the public school system was established in the mid-19th century, most children were educated at home or in small community schools that resembled what we would now call homeschooling. These early forms of education were often conducted in one-room schoolhouses where a single teacher would instruct children of varying ages and grade levels. Much like a mom is able to teach her own children of varying ages at once.

Homeschooling, at its core, is a holistic extension of parenting.

It’s a means of taking the natural learning process that begins at birth and continues it throughout the child’s life, integrating education seamlessly into the family dynamic.

Homeschooling can be seen as an extension of parenting because it allows parents to have direct involvement and control over what their child is learning, how they’re learning, and the values that are being imparted to them. Instead of entrusting this role entirely to teachers in a traditional school setting, homeschooling parents can shape their child’s education to align with the family’s beliefs, values, and lifestyle. This continuity between home and school creates a seamless learning environment that can foster a child’s holistic development.

I heard this quote:

“If children started school at six months old and their teachers gave them walking lessons, within a single generation people would come to believe that humans couldn’t learn to walk without going to school.” -Unknown

That quote has stuck with me, because I do wonder how true that actually is. Homeschooling allows parents to address their child’s individual learning needs in a way that mass education systems might not always cater to. A parent can adapt teaching methods, pace, and content based on their understanding of their child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and disposition. Homeschooling thus enhances the parental role from not just providing love and care, but to nurturing a love for learning, cultivating curiosity, and developing skills and knowledge in a manner that aligns with their child’s individuality. It takes the natural process of parental teaching that starts the moment a child is born and continues it throughout their schooling years.

Think about it.

YOU were the one responsible for teaching your child to sit.

To crawl.

To hold a spoon.

How did you do that? Sure, you may have read a parenting book or two, but most of all, YOU read your child’s cues and knew your child enough to know when they were ready to progress to the next “milestone”. The guide of a parenting book or pediatrician might have helped you know “okay.. now is when my kid should be walking..” but if your child wasn’t walking perfectly at exactly 10 months, what did you do? You tried it again. Waited. Tried again. 

Google tells me a child should be walking between 10-18 months. Y’all. Do you realize how big of a span of time 10 and 18 months is? Why is it when a child isn’t reading by 6, they’re labeled as “behind” in school? 

Mama. They’re not. 

Every child is different and will progress at their own pace. YOU as their parent will do your research and guide them along the way, trying and trying again. Just like you did when they struggled to walk. You are the best advocate for your child because you are the only one that knows them best. 

Here’s how parents can understand how homeschooling is simply an extension to parenting:

  1. Shared Responsibility: In homeschooling, parents take on the responsibility of educating their children in a direct and hands-on way, just as they do with other aspects of parenting such as teaching manners or instilling values.

  2. Customization: As parents, we naturally adapt our parenting styles to meet the unique needs of each child. Similarly, homeschooling allows for a high degree of personalization in education to cater to a child’s specific learning style, pace, and interests.

  3. Life Skills: Just as parents teach children life skills like cooking, cleaning, or managing money, homeschooling often integrates these practical skills into the curriculum, making education more relevant and applicable to real life.

  4. Values and Beliefs: Homeschooling allows parents to incorporate their family values, beliefs, and traditions into their children’s education in a way that is not typically possible in traditional school settings.

  5. Family Bonding: Homeschooling often strengthens family bonds as children and parents spend more time together, not just living life but learning together. Shared experiences and discoveries can create lasting memories and deepen familial relationships.

  6. Flexibility: As with parenting, homeschooling offers the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, whether they be the child’s evolving interests, family travel, or unexpected life events.

  7. Socialization: Parents naturally guide their children in understanding social norms and behaviors. Homeschooling extends this to a broader range of social interactions, encompassing multiple ages and settings, rather than being limited to the same-aged peer group in a classroom.

Homeschooling can be seen as a natural progression of the parenting journey – a way to nurture a child’s curiosity, foster a love for learning, and guide them into becoming a well-rounded individual. Guiding them in the right direction based on your own knowledge of your child.

If you know they thrive on being around others, you as their advocate will find them co-op groups. If you know they focus better during the night, you as their advocate will make sure they get enough rest during the day to be able to learn at night.

I didn’t say it would be easy.

Getting to know a whole person and intentionally fostering and guiding is a BIG job – a job that YOU are way more than qualified for.

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