As the holiday season is getting over, Mothers all over the world heave a sigh of relief because kids are getting back to school. On the other hand, Homeschooling parents like me are always relaxed because our children never go to school. For us, there is simply no difference between a Monday or a Sunday, holidays, exams or school days. We love learning each day. We love to play each day. We never learn to be judged in an exam. We simply learn because that is what we like to do. In essence, we have only two spaces in life – one in which we are learning and one in which we are not. In fact, the latter rarely exists because everything that we do has some form of learning for all us. Whether it is baking a cake, taking a stroll or causing accidents with cycles, there is something to be learnt in everything. This is our Homeschooling Life. It is meant for those who cherish learning and growing constantly.
One of the reasons Homeschooling is not valued is because a lot of parents/caregivers are uncomfortable with having zero boundaries between studying and playing. How can one learn while playing? Is the child assimilating anything if there is no structured sit down learning? If there is no discipline of getting to school at a certain hour and sitting down for classes at length, how will a child cope with office jobs when he grows big? Unless, he is used to following instructions as a child, how will he follow instructions as an adult? How will he ever perform and hold a job?
These are all good and valid questions. But honestly, these questions are just misplaced in time. These questions applied to our parents and to some extent our generation as well. However, the Millennial generation is already changing the way we work. This generation is also called the Internet generation because they work anywhere, everywhere and are connected to work all the time. They check emails before sleeping and answer office calls even while on the potty seat. Even though they are always connected to work, they value work life balance the most. They work hard and party harder. There is a growing clan of Digital Nomads/Travelers who travel the world and work from remote places, simply using the internet technologies.
If you do the Math, the Millennial generation is easily 20 -30 years ahead of our children’s generation. If they have already started to erase boundaries between work and fun, our children will definitely not be tied behind desks for doing their jobs. Roughly, 30% of the jobs in the today’s world are held by freelancers. This trend will only increase in the coming years. This means that in all probability, our children will be their own boss, choosing the skills they want to pursue and how many hours (including which hours) they want to work. In this context, does it really matter if they learn to sit down in one place long enough or get ready at a certain hour each day? Does it matter, if they learn all the subjects at the same pace? Does it matter if they don’t like math or science or history? What should matter is whether they know what they love to do; whether they are getting enough time in doing/learning what they love to do; whether they have the passion and energy to complete the work that they have chosen to take up.
Through homeschooling, I am building an ecosystem in which my child can constantly work on what he loves to do in a way that he never feels that he is actually “working” or “studying”. Homeschooling has also given me the opportunity to “work” on what I like best – children. When I “work” with tens of children coaching, mentoring and teaching them I am learning more than I have ever learnt. At the same time, I am enjoying “working” more than I have ever enjoyed before.
In the end, I will just say that times are changing rapidly. It is time that we shed age old notions about learning and working and embrace the changes happening around us. Our children will be happier and wealthier if we as parents are open to a larger set of options including alternate forms for education, alternate forms of earning and alternate forms of living.