I think I’ve discovered the reason I could never really get into gardening in my earlier life!
You’d think I would be. I love nature and plants. I love to be outside and look for any excuse to be so. I walk whatever the weather.
But I can walk briskly, I can cover ground, accomplish distance quickly and then tangibly see how far I’ve come.
Can’t do that with gardening; it takes too long for the outcomes to bloom. I’m just too impatient!
With that admission you’d be surprised I was able to home educate. Many parents say they haven’t the patience for it.
I like to think I had lots of patience with the kids. They tell me I did. Discounting the occasional tantrum which I describe in my book ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ and I think bad days come up in ‘A Home Education Notebook’ too!
But to home educate wisely you have to practice patience. Because education, like plants and gardening, is a slow growing process. Not that you’d guess that with schooling.
The trouble with institutional education i.e. schooling, is that they try to turn it into a fast forced process – if a process at all. It’s very much based around quick and instant results. About ticking objectives, neglecting time for deeper understanding, and rushing onto the next bit. In fact, our whole culture is increasingly like that; a driven culture that wants instant results, with little time for deeper, mindful development.
However, that isn’t how education works.
Educating is about the gradual development of real people, not just output. And that’s a long term, slow grown affair involving the maturation of skills and personal attributes that become whole through all manner of diverse ingredients and experiences over a long period of time. How those integral skills all influence each other is not something that is readily apparent or successfully forced.
Like plants; forced plants are never as healthy. And you have to wait a long time for a garden to mature into something wonderful and lasting. Patience and time are required.
Education is the same. It’s not something to be rushed, not if you want it to mature into something meaningful and sustainable and serviceable for life.
And, contrary to what the schooling system has us believe, you CAN give it time. The system promotes the idea that you have to accomplish certain objectives within certain time frames or you’ll fail. That’s balderdash!
You can take time with your home education. Step back regularly. Have patience. Stick with your own tailor made approaches however long they take. If they’re right for you, they’ll be successful – whenever!
Gardens, kids, education, need no rushing.
Maybe I’m a better gardener now because my patience quota isn’t being used up on home schooling any more – who knows. And maybe the small amount of growing and gardening that we did together taught the kids a good life lesson along with the science; that life isn’t about quick fixes and short term highs. Some elements of life require long term maturation to achieve their full potential!
Home educating is one of them.