Wish we could get the heart back into learning

I miss having children around. I miss being able to show them things and take them places and those quiet little cuddles at any time.

The former village school – now a nursery

It was wonderful watching their amazement as they learn and enjoy the world and grow. In fact, I’ve even missed them so much I’ve thought of returning to teaching.

Then I come to my senses when I remember.

I remember all the reasons why I left. Like my unhappiness at having to force kids to do stuff that didn’t seem appropriate or relevant or worth anything. Like having to drive and pressurise and push until they got the required points. Like having to teach stuff in certain ways when I could clearly see it wasn’t what the child needed. Having to implement stupid policies devised by  some idiot who knew little about the needs of kids. And worst of all, watching their keen little faces glaze over with apathy as another boring objective is confronted; practices that just made kids feel bad and switch off. And worse still, giving them the blame for their failure instead of acknowledging that the fault lay with the approach not the kids.

And that was years ago – it’s ten times worse than that now.

I used to think I was just a cynic. But current remarks from parents and colleagues and recently one new young teacher who was so unhappy because what she felt she was required to do to kids wasn’t really ethical, let alone valuable, make me think I have a cause to be so. And some of the articles on the Secret Teacher site support that cynicism. They make for grim reading.

I used to teach in a small village school, where we all knew all the kids, where everyone functioned for the good of everyone else, where the climate in a school was one of care and nurture directed at the children And their happiness and enjoyment was important.

I don’t sense that about schools any more. I only have to walk in one and something in me shrivels. But thankfully I feel it among the home educating community.

The home educating community seem to base their educational provision on something that all educational provision should be based on: a love of learning. They at least are putting the heart back into learning.

Kids come into the world already programmed to learn – it’s as natural as survival and part of it. But schools change learning into something else – into point scoring, usually for the good of the school.

Keep a child’s love of learning intact and education follows naturally. It’s so sad that the educational system has completely lost sight of the pleasure of learning as they turn it into big political business.

So I’m sure glad to know so many wonderful parents who are brave enough to follow their hearts to learning, rather than the politics!

5 thoughts on “Wish we could get the heart back into learning

  1. As ever,your posts are heart warming. And reflect how I feel. We are almost at the end of our first term. And boy have their been hard days invariably related to the full moon and my cycle. But the hard days are so very few compared to school. I love what I SEE and hear my own children do. I know if they don’t love it ad sometimes I have to breathe especially when its something I worked hard to find out for or take them too but even that is a learning point for us all. My expectations vs their experience and interests, and also their ability to state what they don’t enjoy and precisely why lol. Hopefully not too loudly in front of the course facilitator… Aherm…

    I feel we are ahead of the axe in terms of funding cuts and the very real and distressing reduction of educational enjoyment that will be experienced. People always say oh well you can go back in a few years… Erm no… Will there even be a school to go back to.
    I fins every new thing they tell me, every idea they have and every joy as wonderful as their first smile or giggle I love that they get to carry on giving these firsts to someone who knows just where they’ve come from and how once their was a time they didn’t even know their name.
    I didn’t appreciate that enough when I was teaching my own classes of 30 and I hear Daily from friends how there isn’t such a luxury as to know those things or even what matters to the child.not like there was. And not like I get every day. The songs they sing. The hours in the garden with their pet snails. My children who not so long ago hated creepy crawlies now have their own pet family 😃

    Haha I’ve waxed lyrical on your blog. I really ought to write on mine more often!


  2. Thank you Ross, you put it into words so welll.
    I bought and read your books before taking my 7 yr old son out of a small village school in October. Home Ed has become as wonderful a experience for him as well as me! We both have made close friendships with a group of supportive generous selfless families.
    After 2 yrs at school we have got to know each other again and I feel I’m the lucky one to have my little mate back, his cheerful nature and love of learning has now returned. Having almost stumbled into HE, I have never been so happy and fulfilled with life.
    Your words of wisdom are proving to be helpful in so many ways. You are a great inspiration x

  3. Pingback: Wish we could get the heart back into learning – School Refusal Families

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