Most parents today were raised attending public school which means we were also conditioned through our culture that in order to learn we need to be in a school or institutional environment. However, when we study the history of the education system, we begin to realize its priorities and can better understand why the mass education system is not working. It’s helpful to homeschooling parents to make this connection with your own educational history so as not to repeat the mistakes of public school in the home.
In order to make real learning happen we need to awaken a New Educators Mind. You’re embarking on a journey to live your whole life and with a love of learning. For most of us, a love of learning is a foreign concept only because of the relationship to the past many of us hold on to, going back to our public schooled youth. A love of learning is not just for the children but for you, your spouse, your community and the world. This means letting go of our old ways of thinking and opening our minds to broader possibilities. I came from a place where I didn’t know anything about education. If I can do it, you can to.
When most people think of homeschooling they see a picture of a school practiced in the home, fully equipped with desks in a line, chalkboard, globe, flags and a teacher to give lessons and grade papers all day long. Recreating a “school” in the home is creating a full time job. This is not what homeschooling should be about. The way of learning for a New Educators Mind begins with letting go of the old and welcoming the new. You will learn to follow inspiration, educate oneself, inspire and mentor your children while they learn to educate themselves, building self-confidence and leadership mindsets along the way. This is the core of a New Educator’s Mind.
You’re responsible for modeling that which you want to see in your children while you provide, guide and step aside. You will not be standing in front of the room lecturing or even “teaching” lessons, instead you will be mentoring and inspiring your child. The student’s responsibility is to work at educating himself. Your responsibility is to point them down the path and encourage them to keep going. You’ll provide them with the tools necessary for their education as well as an atmosphere that is conducive to their success.
Mentoring is the very first organic model of educating whereas a teacher in a classroom is an artificial model which separates the child from the real world and creates a void. This void or interrupt in the natural learning process of self-education creates a learning dysfunction.
“All of the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.” –Martin H. Fischer
When I began homeschooling, I did what I knew how to do and that was create a public school at home. After all it was what I was familiar with and I soon discovered the very system I was avoiding had found its way into my home. It wasn’t just me. Most every other homeschool family I associated with at the time was doing the same exact thing.
When you begin to understand the differences between institutional style schooling and real education, your homeschool will begin to flourish like never before. If you have ever suffered from burnout, it’s simply the remains of trying to create a teacher/classroom artificial environment. Mentoring and self-education are organic styles of learning and each supports life. We learn because we love to learn, not because we “have to” learn.
Life is messy; it’s cooking and cleaning; it’s caring for one another, being involved with infants, toddlers as well as elderly, experiencing the birth of others, as well as death, growing and gathering food, experiencing daily discoveries and adventures with siblings of all ages. It’s about a parent gently guiding their child in the direction they need to go. It’s being available and present when a child seeks wisdom or guidance.
Think of how much living is spent apart from parents and other siblings when kids attend a school away from home. At home quality time is available and studies are able to be completed with much less distraction. Less time is needed and more time is available, especially for worthwhile pursuits and that of developing talents and gifts for preparation of living out one’s purpose.
In your home you already have the assistance of many Greats right at your fingertips. A child can gain an excellent education spending their days with Jefferson, Plato, Goethe, Shakespeare, Milton, Gandhi, Emerson, and the like. If allowed, these authors speak directly to your child, educating them into greatness.
When the mind is turned onto real learning the mind is open, a love for learning is ignited and the student cannot help but become a great thinker and leader. Our duty as parents is to keep it as simple as possible for the child so as not to overburden them, but provide them with enough keeping them progressing forward in their pursuits.
Every child’s purpose is different so each child’s learning and curriculum will look different. That’s why it’s so important that you mentor according to inspiration so as to provide just the kind of tailored education each child needs in order to fulfill his unique education in preparation for living a life on purpose.
Remember, the child can only learn that which he chooses to learn. As the parent and mentor we respond to the child in an encouraging way, positively, smiling and discussing with honest warnings but in a manner of praise. You can be the example and set the tone by doing your own studies. When the child witnesses you enjoying reading a book, taking notes and writing about it, talking about marvelous stories you’ve read or sharing new discoveries throughout the day, the child can’t help but want that excitement and adventure for himself.
As you become more comfortable in breaking the chains of your old school ways, you will feel free and begin to see the world as your classroom. By removing the artificial education methods from your homeschool model you will move from striving to thriving and burn out both for student as well as parent will be a thing of the past. The love of learning will be on fire for the entire family and you will be carried to new heights of wisdom previously un-imagined.
“Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.” –Marva Collins
Parents Inspired to Action:
It’s time to re-evaluate your homeschool. Have you unknowingly reproduced the public school model at home? Are you using classroom methods that have you standing before your kids, teaching, testing and grading papers? Take time to step back and reevaluate your homeschool methods. Think about the long term success habits you would like to instill in your child as a foundation they will build their life upon.