The Right Education

After having had another conversation about the many “issues” of homeschooling I decided to let my mind cool off browsing Facebook for a moment. I needed that little distraction because I felt fired up. Fired up for hearing the same uneducated remarks over and over again. Fired up because yet again it came from someone who doesn’t know my children well enough to even think about judging. Fired up because I truly believe in “what works for you works for you but doesn’t have to work for me too”.

But I also felt proud. Proud because I did not let it get to me. Proud because I did not engage further. Proud because I let her slide into the wall without pushing her. Proud for not letting me get to the point where I got defensive.

It’s been one of my issues ever since we started homeschooling. I always felt I needed to explain our decision, felt I needed to defend it. But I don’t and I realized it finally.

I don’t have to explain anything and for sure don’t have to defend any decision we take in regards to our children. 

On my way home from this little encounter I thought about all the issues I heard about other parents have with their schools. Bad teachers, bullying, pressure, too many kids in classes, lack of engagement of the teachers, drop off and pick up issues, unhappy kids, stressed out children. I remembered what one mom once said to me: My child became an entirely different person than she was before school. She has lost her empathy and it will be a lot of work to make her find it again.

Besides everything else I heard before and after, this was most probably the most shocking thing I heard so far. The mom decided to take the girl out of the school she was in shortly after and taught her at home while researching to find a better school. She moved her to another school eventually and it worked totally fine from then onward.

Kids can get screwed up by the system. As much as they can get screwed up if we as homeschooling parents don’t do our job well enough. While we have to trust in the system and can’t change certain things we for sure can influence what we do, what we teach and how we guide our homeschooled kids. The pressure is entirely on us. No excuses if we screw up. No teachers to blame, no classmates to take into consideration. It’s just us. We are responsible. We teach, we screw up or we succeed. As simple as this.

So far I have not met a single parent who wants their kids to end up being uneducated or as screwed up individuals. But I have personally been taught by an extremely disengaged teacher who gave a rat’s ass about what we actually learned but just showed up. I had one teacher who told one child that he will never get anywhere and that he is just too dumb for anything.


Nothing infuriates me more than hearing that kids need to experience a bit of rough love from their peeps and maybe even teachers. That the vanilla kind of bullying is important for them to shape into strong adults. That they need to learn to deal with harsh criticism. At the same time the internet, bookstores, all kind of social and old style media preaches engaging in a “can do” attitude and that we need build up our confidence.

Now I put it out there: When and why do we lose our confidence? For sure not when we get told how well we do stuff or how fantastic we are. Right?

We lose it when we constantly hear criticism, when we get talked down. So tell me again why kids need to be bullied and deal with harsh treatment in order to grow into confident adults?

I get it. Life is not easy. But just because you are not constantly been kicked in the gut when you were young doesn’t mean you can handle kicks when you are a grown up.

Going back to the “can do” movement: There is another one too, which, just like the “can do” is close to my heart. Obviously I’m not the only one though, as it is all over everything as well: The desperate cry out for more empathy and kindness!

And I ask you again: How can kids learn empathy, when they need to build a wall around themselves in order to not getting hurt? How can they turn into kind individuals if harsh treatment is considered important for their development?

I’m just tired of hearing the same arguments over and over again. Especially when they are so thin.

So back to the beginning of this post: I surfed the internet, spent time on Facebook and in between some very funny animal memes there it was. This post about schools in Denmark, teaching empathy as one of the subjects from Preschool onward. It made me happy on one hand side because finally something is done. It made me upset because obviously we live in a world where empathy and kindness have been taught.

It made me think that there is no one gloves fits them all. There is no one way. Education has to be right for the society involved, for the people involved. For the family involved. There is no right or wrong in regards to education. Just a right way for some and a wrong way for others.

It made me shake my head over the remarks that things have always been done in a traditional way. As if the traditional way is the only right way. Because yet again there is proof that something can be done in regards to the aggression out there if you keep an open mind. Teaching empathy in school as a subject is out of the norm and still it’s done. It’s introduced to society and it’s accepted. Well done, Denmark!

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “The Right Education

  1. Exactly my thoughts. Similar to what I told a family friend just last night. Over here, mostly, it’s culturally wrong for a parent to apologise to a child, even when they are wrong. As far as our culture is concerned, our parents are always right. Told him point blank that cycle has to change. You make a child say sorry when they are wrong but when you are, you expect the child to show love regardless, after all you birthed and raise them. In my opinion, that’s BS because you had the option of dumping the child in the bin if you didn’t want to raise him or her. Now that you didn’t, it gives you no right to insult that child in any form and expect they should be okay with it because you are the parent. Smhhhh. I love this piece, glad you realized you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Don’t let the trolls ever get to you my sweet sister from another mama. Much love.πŸ‘

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    • I totally agree. Kids deserve respect just as much as adults do. There is a whole bunch of stuff I do not agree with as far as raising kids. I think our world tends to make kids into little idols (just watch the olympics) instead of letting them be themselves and grow up to be what they were meant to be. Instead, parents force their ideas and what they define as “success” on their kids and put so much pressure on them. Yes, kids need to learn to bounce back and be resilient, but that doesn’t mean belittle them and try to control them in anger. I totally agree with your statement here.

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      • Thanks Elle, I must admit I havent tuned in to watch any part of the Olympics games since it started. I have no idea why, I just read about it here and there. The pressure is excruciating, its enough that they get pressure from outside forces, to get them from inside is devastating to their health.

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  2. Going on year 12 here. Last year I caved and put one kid in school. That was so hellish she begged to come back home. Now here we are. And guess what? That child that wanted nothing to do with homeschool last year is now an advocate of it. She realizes she can learn and do what makes her happy and they don’t conflict. All I saw at school were a bunch of kids with the emotional IQ of a narcissist. I will never send my children to school. Sorry, don’t care what they are teaching. It isn’t for me and it isn’t for my kids either. As much as they might TRY to be well-rounded, they can’t really do a wonderful job because they have too many students. It’s basically just trying to keep the madness under control with an air freshner so when the parents ask, they can say “Hey it smells pretty good to me!” UGH.

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  3. I agree Sandra. It is so important, that our kids learn about empathy and kindness. There are several schools in Denmark, who teach about same, but they are private schools. Not many public schools have the abundance to do the same.

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  4. That’s great to hear about Denmark. Schools here “say” that they teach this, yet my son still comes home often saying that he’s been bullied at school. Whether a person enrolls their child in the public school system or decides to home school, the choice needs to be what is best for that particular child. If my son’s Autism didn’t impact him as greatly as it does, causing him to rely so heavily on therapies through the school, I very likely would have home schooled him. You can learn empathy and the “hard lessons” of life anywhere you are. The world itself will teach you that. It’s certainly not something a child should have to learn in school. Just like home, school *should* be a safe place. I’ve known many kids who have done amazing through home school – much better than they ever would have done had they had to deal with all the many distractions of public school. As you said, there is no right or wrong. It’s simply a matter of what works best for who. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this comment. Yes, I believe it’s the most important part of everything: It needs to be right for you and not for others. From what I know about Autism stimulation is an important part but it needs to be right too. So I totally see how your son needs the therapy and what they can offer him in school. And yes, life and the world itself will teach our kids the hard lessons early enough. I believe that the longer they can grow into who they are and get centered the better they will be able to handle what they will encounter later in life. They will be set in themselves and it will take more to throw them off. That’s at least what I’m hoping for.

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      • I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I’ve seen happen exactly what you said. A couple of young women I know have been home-schooled since day one. They had all those years of growing up to fully grow into and establish themselves. They knew exactly who they were and what they wanted and expected out of life before having to face the “real” challenges of life. Because of that, they remain two of the most steady people I know. There is no right or wrong, but for some homeschooling is certainly better.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a kwote that goes with this. “It’s your journey; no explanation required.” I absolutely love what you say here about empathy because it fits adults and children. You’re right. How can we learn empathy, if we’re building a wall around ourselves, in order to not get hurt. Brilliant!

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  6. Pingback: Posts Of Note (Week 20) – A Kinder Way

  7. We homeschooled through 7th grade and then our son continued on at a College Prep Virtual school. We made the switch because the laws in a Texas were very different from the laws in Alaska. We were not comfortable with those changes. He was still home and I was still hands on.

    One thing I will never forget was how often I was asked about socialization. It was as if they thought my son was going to be locked up in his room all day…every day.

    The best part about this was the fact that we were always out doing something social when this was brought up.

    Great post. I shared it in my Posts of Note today. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes! It’s always the first thing. I usually look at the one asking and ask back if they think my children are not social. They usually don’t know what to say… I’m not sure what it is… But then listen to people talking about kindergarten and Early Learning Centers and so on. They always claim it’s about socialization. As if 9months old baby needs socialization yet…

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