When I initially began writing this post, I titled it “Four Things Public Schools Aren’t Actively Teaching Our Children” and found that my tone sounded negative — almost as if I were accusing schools for what I thought to be their shortcomings. I had to scratch all of it and start over because that was not my intention. My intention was to inspire consciousness and the need to honor our families’ individuality. My intention was to remind other moms that going against the norm is not wrong. I’ve realized that doing what feels right for my family is the best way for me to find balance, harmony and happiness within my household. I want to affirm to other moms that it’s okay — and often better — to do what feels right instead of what others suggest you do.
What brought me to write this post was the fact that my oldest turned 4 — preschool age. It had been at least a year of being asked where my son would be attending school. It only took me being asked once to begin stressing out about what school I’d have to force my son into. (I began feeling like I’d be forcing my son into a school because my options did not satisfy my wants in a school.)
I had made multiple attempts at enrolling my son in a Head Start program, but became jaded by the reasons they’d give me for rejecting my son. I quit actively researching public schools and found myself uninspired to continue. One night, as my sister and I conversed about schooling, she asked me, “Why don’t you just homeschool?” The idea of homeschooling was something that sounded like it could work for my family and me, but before I making a decision, I decided to reflect on why I felt homeschooling would suit us well. The following are some of the main reasons I came up with.
4 Things I’m Incorporating in Preschool Learning
1. One-on-one attention. I prefer one-on-one — or as close to it as possible — attention when it comes to teaching and learning. This way, lessons can be individualized, better moderated and supported. In knowing my son well, I can curate teaching methods that work for his learning style. Because of large class sizes in public schools, individualized learning is not guaranteed to be available. This first reason, I believe, is the main reason why the following cannot be taught to my child as I’d like it to.
2. Accountability. It is very important for my son to learn to be accountable for his actions and emotions. I believe that teachers do their best to teach accountability for actions; however, I don’t think they have the time or resources to include emotions. Emotional accountability is extremely important to me and is something I am confident I can continue supporting at home.
3. Vulnerability. I believe having the ability to be vulnerable is a vital life skill, and it takes practice. I want to ensure my son is learning the importance and practicing vulnerability early on.
4. Self-love. We all learn how to share at a very young age. I remember being taught in school that it was very important to be selfless, to put others first. As important as I believe this to be, I also believe that learning to love ourselves in early childhood can help us feel more successful and happy regardless of our social status. This is what I want my son to learn. Before ever learning how to spell, read or define big words, I want him to know how to be a happy, confident and compassionate human being.
I would like to make it clear that I am not against public schooling. I simply want to ensure that at least in his first year of systematic learning, my son learns the basics of being a good and happy human being before anything a textbook can teach.
What are your thoughts on this? What is one characteristic you wish to see taught in schools?—Jasmin