Imagine the perfect school for your child.
Each class is tailor-made to your little one’s interests and abilities. Though the teachers don’t know everything—because nobody can—they are happy to teach your child how to find the information they need. Even better, they are willing to go the extra mile by helping them reach out to those in the community who would better be able to help your kid answer their questions.
The school is small and does not have a lot of facilities but what they lack in funds, they make up for in enthusiasm. They use the interests of the children to plan field trips—sometimes close, to a local pond with a pocket microscope to see the organisms living in the water near the banks; sometimes far, to an art museum cities away for an exhibit showcasing the work of kids your child’s age who have honed their craft.
You rest easily at night because you know the teachers care deeply about the well-being of your little one. They know the dietary restrictions, the likes and dislikes, the attitude changes. You know that to the best of their ability, they are always responding sensitively to your child’s cues.
This means that when your kid starts to get overwhelmed, they are given a chance to take a breath and calm down. Maybe the teacher has even given them a secret sign so that when other children and adults are around and their heads start to feel a bit too busy, the two of them are able to communicate without risking any embarrassment. There are never punishments; only discipline–a teacher helping a child to build skills when they lose control of their emotions.
Real World Skills
Classes are mix-aged and different students show up on different days depending on their interests. The teacher often stands back and lets kids handle their own disputes. You are always shocked to see how gentle the older students are with the younger; how they want to protect and care for the smaller ones in the group, rather than take that opportunity to bully and show their strength as you remember in school.
Teachers help your little one learn skills that will actually serve them in life by including them in the daily running of the school. While a child may learn what the capital of Idaho is, they are also learning some more fundamental skills: how to balance expenses and income, how to cook a basic meal, how to contribute to a community, and how to cope with failure.
Your favorite thing about the school is that the teacher’s give your child time to delve deeply into subjects that interest them. Instead of being shuffled from one class to another every 40 minutes, breaking their focus as soon as they get the time to settle in, your child is allowed to spend days, weeks, and months on whatever most keenly interests them.
And time spent outside? So much of it. Again, the facilities aren’t great—actually, they don’t have any at all. No baseball field, no tennis court, no trees to climb. But the teachers all know the research and make it a point to take field trips to local parks frequently or just let the kids burn steam off in the front yard.
The student to teacher ratio is perfect. 1:1.
How much would a school like this cost?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about homeschool. All of this (and more) is possible when you teach your own. You don’t have to be a genius or a certified teacher—actually, famous educational philosopher John Holt says a degree in education would be a detriment. You need the desire to do well by your kids and a bit of resourcefulness.
How much does it cost?
The math is tricky. Tuition is on a sliding scale.
How much do you make?
How much would you pay to watch your child grow up and discover the world?
To me, it is priceless. We will make the sacrifices necessary so that our son can educate himself instead of having schooling be done to him.
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