Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's a Blessing to Know

I had recently signed up for eHomemakers only to find out that I had signed up before but had forgotten my password. It's a good thing though, there are some interesting networks going on in there, especially for mothers / WAHMs.

I was browsing around the forum and naturally I clicked on a discussion about education. I was actually in search of other homeschoolers for playgroups with my children. Unfortunately there weren't any so I continued reading the existing sections.

That was when I stumbled upon a thread on "knowing what your child was doing wrong" (something to that effect) and a mother had posted a query on how to get her daughter's maths grades up as she was falling below 80%, (read as, falling below grade A).

Her daughter was still in primary school and she was worried that caning was no longer working. Ouch.

I'm reminded why I homeschool. The other mothers were quite supportive, though they agreed that they could not always about know what was happening in school. That's quite obvious. If your child is away from you for a few hours a day, there is no way of knowing exactly what happens during that duration, even if she or he tries to tell you in detail.

I notice that parents who send their children to school do worry about what their kids do not know and it's expected as this void reflects the fear of not knowing what they know, about their children.

When speaking to Coachsha the other weekend, besides her normal advice:,"if you have a choice, homeschool," she also said that one big difference between homeschoolers and outschoolers is that homeschoolers, know what their kids know.

Simply said, homeschoolers tend to concentrate on what their children know. And it's easy to know what they know, because we educate them ourselves. We notice their development at minute level and champion them on.

We don't dawdle around the areas that they need coaching in, getting stressed out and frazzled. Sure, it can poke on nerves, but we know what our children know, and that is enough to provide assurance that they are developing. Development does not necessarily have to happen in accordance to what is stipulated by the State.

Homeschoolers recognise development from a holistic point of view, where learned principles are carried out through living, and not just by book.

That alone realigns priorities on a custom-fit route for each child. We slowly encourage them to improve at their own pace filled with positive affirmations and support. This gives us, homeschoolers, the time and energy to focus on our children's strengths, which generally represent their interests - and children - as adults - are the happiest when they are engaged in the activities that interest them the most.

For the mother on eHomemakers, I believe her worries stem from not knowing what her child is knowing - translating it into the concern for her child's B's in mathematics. She could be scoring A's in all other subjects, but this mother was more concerned than ever about what her child could not do.

I think I was a bit agitated after reading the thread so DH asked me to quit for the night. It's good to take his advice and it helps when spouses support each other when educating their children. Homeschoolers are generally teams. Very rarely are mothers able to homeschool alone with peace of mind. If their husbands are supportive, the task becomes lightweight - lightweight and rewarding.

But it's also nice when both parents are in the know of their children. It's hard enough for one parent to keep track of a child's education in a institutionalised setting, so for both parents to know of their child's daily milestones in intrinsic detail is definitely a blessing like know other.

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