When people ask me if anyone and everyone can homeschool, my answer is always “NO“, with capital letters.
It is not about how educated the parent is, what is the economic status of the parent or whether the parent has undergone training for teaching. It is about learning to trust our children, breaking rules and questioning the standards that you grew up with!
If you are a parent with fixed and fixated ideas about how things should be then homeschooling is going to be a bit difficult for you. All of us have different styles of parenting, and to say one style of parenting is better for homeschooling would be so wrong. But think about it, if you are not ready to let the child make a mess, explore or get hurt, it is going to get the child to learn at home. How can one think of learning without any of this? A child that makes a mess also learns to clean up and that is a part of learning too.
It is not about waking up at 9:30 am every day when the rest of the world is up at 5 am. It is about waking up at 4am to take a flight or to watch a meteor shower or to make a rangoli for a festival and waking up at 9:30 on days that we don’t feel like it.
My children are up at 7 am on days when we have Italian class. When I say “class”, it is actually unstructured and taught by a 73-year-old neighbour of ours! But we don’t ask him to do it at a later time because we value his time as much as we value ours.
As a parent with OCD, someone who used to clean up every time the baby napped knowing fairly well it will all turn messy when the kids wakes up, it is difficult for me to let go of a lot of things. But homeschooling has taught me to push my boundaries. It has taught me that it is not the end of the world or life or death. It has taught me to talk about/do things I am not comfortable with.
I now go to sleep many days knowing fully well that getting into my living room next morning is going to be so tough for me. It would be a difficult task to step on the floor without stepping on Lego. But that is life. Cleaning up lego can wait, but bedtime with children cannot!
Last night my discussion with my children was about a child having two mothers – be it same-sex marriage, adoption, surrogacy or polygamy. We spoke about artificial insemination, sperm banks, etc… I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that chat for anything, not even for a clean house!
Homeschooling is not about just not going to school, it is about breaking stereotypes be it age, race or gender. As I am typing here my son is making appam for himself and his father and sister, after which he will go to ballet class and I will join him too!
Less than a week before I was flying to Florence alone with my kids, we went on a playdate with our friend Deepa’s daughter at the tower park. The kids were running around, climbing trees and then all of a sudden it poured out of the heavens. My son and Deepa’s daughter had a great time on the sliding board calling it the water slide.When that was done, we stepped out and had ice lollies! As a normal parent, I shouldn’t have done any of this, but I have done my research with my kids and know that getting wet or eating ice lollies is not going to make them sick and we were fine to accept it and move on and have fun!