When I first got to know about my pregnancy, I thought I would have to learn so many new things. Little did I knew that to learn new things I would first have to unlearn the things that I was asked to believe and learn all my life.
The first thing that I unlearned was the definition of a mother. For most of us, a mother is a selfless person who sacrifices her self for everyone else in the family.
I feel the more we try to be the retro mother, the more we tell our children that it is ok when a woman needs to step down and empty herself.
The second thing that I unlearned is, a degree/certificate is/should be the ultimate goal. I knew I wanted to homeschool my children long before I even conceived. But the real meaning of the word homeschool was far away from me. On this journey, I tried to do all the things that other homeschooling families were doing. All the things that the government asked us to do. From getting a diploma in ECCED to being at home to homeschool.
But the truth is, children learn at different speed. There is no smart or weak child. And there is definitely no need for a child to sit caged in a room for 6-8 hours where she is not allowed to even go to pee wilfully. Many of you will read this and post queries like what about socialisation and what if I am working full time?
Well, homeschooling or unschooling doesn’t mean sitting inside a room 24/7. There is a lot more socialisation that happens in the real world outside those walls. A chance to meet real people everyday who are not obligated to be incharge or “CONTROL” the children.
And if you are a working mom, I know how difficult it is and how you juggle everyday. I have been there as a full time student mom and then a working mom. But the 2 hours that you get with your child are enough to help her learn. There is no need for your child to start writing at the age of 3-4 or know reading at the age of 4-5. Frankly there is no need for a child to fit inside the box. Let the child write when she is ready, let the child read when she understand the phonics. All you need to do is help her with the aids and activities needed. Teach her languages, teach her the important life skills, teach her the values, morals and ethics and most importantly teach her to love herself and everyone around her. At the same time teach her to protect herself and people around her. Teach her what really works in the real world instead of algebra. If she has a love for a particular subject she will follow it when the time is right. But for the first 6 years of her life all she needs to do is to play and learn skills not subjects.
What I personally learnt after unlearning is, there is no need for a curriculum. All the children are curious and want to learn. In most cases a child knows how to learn and in cases or activities where she needs help teach her to openly ask for it. As simple as it, the government and the business based schools market themselves as if they are preparing the child for life. But the truth is, they are keeping the children away from the real life and not letting them live it. We use the terms facing the life instead of living it when we talking about education or schooling.
I in no way want to ask you to homeschool or unschool your child. That decision is yours to make. But before you post queries that are around the goodness of school or what your life would have been without school or your friends.
Please understand that, I am not going to answer those queries. Because me saying anything won’t change a thing. You will believe what you are made to believe all your life. Unless you have a curiosity of understanding what is unschooling or homeschooling and you start your own journey to find your own answers you will never understand it.
It’s as simple as this – a child is always curious and is ready to unlearn every minute of their lives. Similar is the case with our mind. If we are curious enough and are interested in something we are ready to unlearn first and then learn something new.
Also, just so you know there are Indian children who are doing things we can never imagine only because of their love of learning and curiosity. Read this article to know more – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/spotlight/homeschooling-as-a-way-of-life/articleshow/66265929.cms
We are so happy to know that the government is also understanding the importance of learning and has legalised alternative schooling options in Maharashtra.