As I’ve written on our About page, we’re pretty eclectic in our approach to homeschooling. There are many aspects of a variety of philosophies and approaches that appeal. Naturally homeschooling is something of an extension to parenting and it is not a simple matter of divorcing your parenting style from your homeschooling style.
So every now and then, when I read something new or, like today, listen to a different perspective on how things can be my conscience gets a bit of a pricking. It makes me question my assumptions and my choices. This is totally uncomfortable and unpleasant. In a good way.
Once pricked, I spend time assessing why I feel uncomfortable and thinking about what it is that is doing all that prodding. Sometimes it is a no-brainer and I take on board the ideas I have read or heard. Other times I partially agree, but can’t quite see how it would work in real life (in my home). And then there are times where I may think an idea has merit but I can’t (yet) overcome my existing prejudices or set way of thinking and experiencing to embrace it.
Today I watched an interview (sort of) with Radical Unschooler, Dayna Martin. It made me uncomfortable and prodded me in all sorts of places and ways. I’m not really an unschooler, despite wishing to follow my children’s interests in order that the learning experience is self-motivated and fulfilling for them. I want them to be intrinsically motivated to learn. That was one of my initial motivations for choosing this lifestyle.
But like many people, I am taking a path that is new to me, and opposite to the way I was brought up and schooled. It takes quite a bit of work on myself to stay even slightly near my parenting & schooling style goals. Some days I feel something akin to a human metronome, swaying from my traditional upbringing and the prevailing bog standard parenting culture over to something closer to the attachment parenting/humanist world view that, when I stop and think about the sort of parent (and person) I want to be, is my preference.
I just wish that I could find someone to read or follow who has chosen a different path from their own upbringing, and doesn’t make the change sound like one day they woke up and were miraculously the sort of parent and teacher they wanted to be.
How about you? Do you follow the conventional wisdom, or do you question it? Are you your parent reincarnated, or have you consciously morphed into another type of parent? (And was it easy, hard or still a work in progress?)