Life is about learning. Think about it. At your birth you have to learn how to breath, then eat, then burp and so on. Learning beyond the books is a needed part of life. I have found that my educational philosophy is just a carry through of my parenting philosophy. Because of that I believe that they are joined as 1 task and 1 venture. I believe in a combinations of classical and unschooling for those of you who haven’t read my earlier post. So let me illustrate what this looks like within a parenting situation.
In classical education you have the “grammer” stage in the younger years (say kidergarten until 4th grade). During this time in education you teach skills and facts. Within the confines of being a complete and mature person you teach the same thing. To use an example of what we are doing right now, we are teching the NerdBug how to empty and load the dishwasher. Then we will go to a schedule (you so this at this time). I believe the same goes with money (but more on that later).
The next stage is “logic” and it deals with thinking through arguements and being able to follow progressions. For example, knowing when the Constitution was signed would be grammer. Then logic would be seeing everyhting that led up to it (contributing factors). This is a time when both a little freedom and a little consequences come into home life. An Example: you need to empty the dishwasher between breakfast and dinner, you choose when. If it doesn’t get done by dinner there will be no tv the next day or extra chores, etc. This is also where the unschooling element can come in. Let’s say you have one kid who loves mowing the lawn but hates helping in the kitchen. At this point that child knows how to help in the kitchen but doesn’t care for it. But, let us say you have another child who likes working in the kitchen but hates mowing. The division of labor seems very clear. Now there will always be jobs everyone dislikes and those just get divided up. Because when they grow up they will still have to do things around the house they dislike (I am still waiting to meet the person who likes to clean the toilet).
The next stage is the “rhetoric” stage and this is where they really become adults. This is when they can try out their adult skills within the safety of home. If they don’t plan well they can’t be evicted but I won’t (necessarily) be up at 3am washing clothes because they forgot to put their laundry in and don’t have anything to wear.
This model eliminates the modern teenager. At this point they are adults just their job is their education. We as parents and home educators need to emphasize this. I think this is were many parents falsely believe that the school system helps. I remember hearing a parent saying that their kid had to know how to balance a check book. I mean, they teach that in school, right? This also leads to the new teenage group, the college student or the bounceback child. The one that lives in the dorm and gets everything from mom and dad. Then they graduate and aren’t ready to be on their own so they move home and mooch. You see this everywhere from tv show like Dr. Phil to people you know. The master’s degree often is the I don’t know what I want to do yet degree. I strongly believe that being a sucessful adult is even more important than higher education (and that is coming from a nerd;). I see this as one of the reasons that homeschooling is so successful. We put out complete people.
Now here is the disclaimer: Not all parents who put their children in tradition school neglect the training up of their children in the practical ways. I know quite a few responsible balanced children out of public school. I am looking at this as an overall societal issue.