A question to start your children’s education in the New Year: Is it more important to focus on where your child’s going than where they’re at now and who they are?
I say this because it can easily become unbalanced, especially if school is in the equation. Although we need to keep longer term goals in mind, if we place all our attention on them we end up drilling the kids for something that is so intangible at present it’s meaningless, especially if they’re very young. And that spoils their education.
If you think about it, we can’t predict the future anyway. We can have ideals. But much more importantly we need to keep our ideals in line with who our children really are in themselves, rather than what everyone else’s children are. What our children are interested in now. What are their strengths and weaknesses. How they learn best now. What’s important to them and what we feel is important for them.
This is the way to keep their education in line with their particular needs, rather than in line with an agenda which others’ needs might dictate!
When we were home educating I could easily slip into a way of thinking about their learning that wasn’t in the best of interests of my child. But in the interests of teaching masses of children as per schools, politics, league tables and parental competitiveness.
None of that was relevant to my children. And none of it was relevant to our educational approach which paid attention to the individual rather than the masses.
We wanted our individuals to love learning and go on loving learning, to be able to communicate and integrate, to be both individual but relate to the wider world and to be able to contribute to that world, build lives that were fulfilling and confident and happy.
And we reckoned that the best way of doing that was not to have an irrelevant educational agenda based in an unpredictable future, but to make the present the best we could. And having had an experience of best the children could then build it for themselves.
So, perhaps a good New Year’s educational resolution would be; take care of the now. Because if you do that, the future will take care of itself!