Home educating my kids is an education I get to experience.
Don’t know how I did it, but when I went to school, I missed a lot. Did I miss more than the average person? I can’t really answer that as I am repeatedly hearing the identical message from other people, whether they had graduate degrees, no post-secondary training, great grades, terrible grades or anywhere in between. Just cause someone taught me something, doesn’t mean I learned it.
I would like to believe that whenever I tell my kids something, they will hear, digest and regurgitate it on command. For a good long time, I was parenting on that premise. Deep down, I still hope it’ll take hold.
I’ve learned otherwise though, the hard way; the way that requires me to be more patient.
Not that they are incapable of regurgitating something or memory work, but I’m not guaranteed to have my interesting tidbits of knowledge stuck in their little minds. We can’t put information in, like a computer hard drive, and expect to get that information out like writing a few keywords in the Google bar. Of course, I wish it were that simple.
Curiously, I think I’m possibly learning more than my children during these last five years. I’ve had a refresher in all things: basic math processes (still my least favourite), and grammar.
I’ve learned far more than I have reviewed. I’ve chosen topics like Latin to increase my vocabulary and spelling abilities (and my kids too). I’ve read about musical composers and periods of music history. I’ve studied art history and studied some Spanish, Italian and French. I’ve studied chemistry, botany, geology, astronomy, anatomy and zoology. And British and Canadian history and World War history (a topic I’d never imagined I would pick up with curiosity).
I’d say the same about my children…their education is diverse, specialized and interesting. But their education isn’t primarily about tidbits of knowledge that get pocketed in their brain; more often than not, it’s character training: how to get along with difficult people (often their siblings, sometimes their mother), how to engage others in their world (grocery clerk to customs officer to friends’ parents), not to complain, be able to apply themselves in an organized, clear manner.
I am, most certainly, learning along with them. Different stage of life, but definitely learning. Knowledge tidbits added to my mental roster; and plenty of character training, or shall I say patience training?
I might be their primary organizer of education, their supervisor of studies, their temporary life tutor or teacher, but I am most definitely student, right alongside them.