Awhile ago I had considered homeschooling my son. I really wanted to pursue that route, but because of down talk from family (read: My mother), I decided to trash that idea. I'm not sure if it was completely absurd to her that I wanted to keep my son out of the public education system, or if it was a lack of faith in my abilities to educate him myself.. either way, her disapproval smashed my confidence and drive.
But then I think, wait.. this is my child we're talking about, not hers. Do I need her approval? Hell no! Although, the borderline in me says otherwise... because me being me, I need reassurance from a multitude of people before I make a big decision like that.
Anyways, in my internet travels yesterday I stumbled upon unschooling. I'm not quite sure how I missed it while researching homeschooling, but somehow I did.
And yesterday, it was just like... a light bulb turned on. THIS is what I want to do.. this is what I want for my child.
Elementary school, as I remember it, was BORING. I'm not just saying that to say it, it literally was almost painfully boring. The only interest I got out of it was once a week when I went to a difference school for my "advanced" learning class. I was always "above average" on standardized tests.. I was reading before Kindergarten.. and I started doing most of my school at home in the 5th grade. Of course, that was due to health problems (migraines) preventing me from functioning in the classroom, but still. I didn't really go back.
The next three years, my middle school years, were mostly done at home, and I taught myself. I had a teacher bring me certain assignments and then I did those assignments on my own. I guess in a sense I was homeschooled, but I homeschooled myself.
My freshman year came around, and I registered for school. Then the first day of school came, and went. I didn't go. By then, of course, I was suffering from severe social anxiety, depression, and all that fun stuff which probably heavily influenced my decision not to go back to public school. Halfway through the year, I decided that I needed a diploma, so I enrolled in an alternative highschool, because I really saw no other option. I didn't want to get my GED because, .. honestly, it wasn't good enough for me.
Had I known I would have been fine with my homeschooled education, I would have skipped highschool and jumped right into some college courses. But I was told, as we are all told, without a diploma, without a highschool education, you will be nothing. You will amount to nothing, and you will never be able to get a job. Right?
Did highschool prepare me for my future?
I will tell you what I learned in highschool.
I learned to smoke cigarettes. I learned about different things you can smoke marijuana out of. I learned all about popping pills, huffing, and hard liquor. I learned that you can't trust anyone - even people who say they are your friends. I got pregnant, got arrested, and started hating myself more.
But did I get a diploma? You bet your ass I did. And that's all that matters, right?
I have no faith in the public education system. I do not disagree with it and I do believe that it does more good than harm. But is that what I want for my child? Do I want him to spend the next 12 years of his life being taught what they think he should know, what they think is important in order to mold him for a future in the working class?
I am all for education. But I think our public education system needs to be heavily revised and it just tears me apart inside to think about putting my son in public school when I feel so strongly against it.
I have proposed the idea of unschooling to Ron, who wasn't exactly thrilled about it. I have said nothing to my mother, as this is still something I am mulling over..
And Kindergarten registration is literally the next three days.. maybe it's a last minute sign..
Or maybe I will cave and let society tell me what's best for my child.