Wednesday, February 15, 2006

When I'm feeling discouraged...

I'll remember my 5-year old's face the other day. It was lit up with pure joy, and total pride in his achievement - he had just read his first word. This is one of the reasons that my children are learning from home and not in some institution. It's really selfish isn't it, wanting to be the one to experience those moments, instead of hearing about them from Mrs So-and -so.

Today my 8-year old daughter (the only one among 3 boys, poor thing), who has been pretty ambivalent about going to school, said to me that she thought it was good to be homeschooled, "because you don't have to be somewhere else if you want to be with your mother".

I was at a meeting recently, where the issue of educational freedom was being discussed. The people involved came from different parts of the spectrum, from religious homeschoolers, through eclectic homeschoolers and unschoolers to representatives of the Sudbury system and children's rights activists. For many of the latter two groups, this was their first introduction to homeschoolers and they struggled to fit this lifestyle choice into their worldview. One young Sudbury schooler made the comment, "I can't understand why someone would want to be at home all day long" (as if that were what homeschooling was about!) There was also the perception from this camp that parents would find it burdensome to participate in their child's education.

I think it's really cool that my children like my company - my 11-year old son (12 in one and a half hours) likes being with me and seems to value my opinions, unlike the son of a friend who just thinks his mother is so stupid. I like being with them. It's hard to explain to these people who think such a parent-child bond is some kind of crazy aberration.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Clonlara school in Germany

Clonlara school, which I mentioned in an earlier post, now has its own German webpage