I don’t really know how to define our homeschool philosophy, I guess it is a bit like my personality… manic?! 🙂
Seriously though I guess I am just more into natural learning and seeing the journey as an evolving learning curve for myself more so than for my children… this parenting gig, no matter who or what you are, is going to throw up some serious questions in ones quest for life’s meaning.
That’s the thing I have found the most profound since I deregistered my teenage son from secondary school approximately two years ago. Previous to that moment I drifted along with society my whole life. Sure I was a bit (ok a lot) rebellious, especially in my teen years but I honestly believed the way through life was redeeming myself through college, university and then into a career as an upstanding citizen of society. That being a good employee equalled acceptable adulting levels for me to be considered an ‘ok’ person.
Except so much more defines us as a species than our grades and our conformity to a system in a learning capacity or a job arena. Even historically, since when do our strengths revolve around our ability to sit still and close our mouths?! Evolution has done a backflip!
It is our compassion, empathy and acts of kindness that display our true selves, not our ability to win a 100% attendance award or an employee of the month certificate. We can’t all excel at sports or revise ridiculously long words that we will never use in our deepest conversations with friends. What we can all do though, be us public school student, worldschooled teenager, office worker or self employed craftsman is accept and embrace one another provided we are all coming from a place called kindness.
Now the issue with my point of kindness wins the Universe becomes apparent time and time again when those caught up in a ‘system’ feel the pressure of the restraints of the one size fits all straight jacket. You see, a system is structured, uniform, there are rules to a system. Why does subject A’s collar not abrase his neck like it does subject B’s collar? We are not allowed to question it, it is just so! The way it is. How the cookie crumbles… No need to adjust, loosen or remove! We must all wear the same, says the system! Equality! Oh wonderful just equality! This is what we have fought for! Treat us all the same!
Now even though subject B is not allowed to speak out, question the feelings of discomfort, is told he is being difficult and disruptive to the order of ‘the way things are’ he cannot shake the discomfort of his straight jacket. He twists and turns, is accosted and so more subtlety wriggles and twitches when no one is looking yet still on the odd occasion gets criticised for his lack of composure. He is the black sheep. The thorn in the roses. The bad apple.
Within him all acts of previous kindness fade. A distant memory of a friend helping him get back up, or his mother carrying him when legs are tired, instead his beam of kindness dims and in its place grows the cells of resentment. They spread like a cancer. Observing his fellow subjects who sit in uniform rows, unfazed by the pressure of the jacket, the heat of it in the summer, the restriction when jumping, climbing, running, he boils inside, not from the heat now but from the indifference to his feelings. His opinion. His individual perspective.
He is the mechanic who overcharges.
He is the cashier who does not acknowledge.
The doctor with the God complex.
The father who discards his pre-schoolers art work as a scribble.
The husband who never appreciates the birthday treat.
His neck blistered then scarred over the years until one day he dives into the cool pools of individuality, when he could not take it any longer, ripping the claustrophobic webbing from his chest, the cold fast air hits his skin. He drowns in spontaneity and abandon, sucking in his last breaths of air, water fills his lungs as air depletes.
What they say is true, life really does flash before your eyes at the moment of death.
With every mouthful of murky water an image appears, his wife sobbing at his lack of acknowledgement, his daughter scribbling out her ‘rubbish’ attempts of creativity, a lonely elderly neighbour he ignored, his mother awaiting a call back he never makes…
He awakens on the shores of rebirth, enlightened and restored except he is not a boy but a man, still the same man, the same age, the same body, the same time and place. Grateful but aware of the fact ‘if only I had known what I know now when they fastened that straight jacket, I would have struggled and fought more’…