There are many choices I’ve made in my parenting career that I think are “right for everybody”. I think every mother should breastfeed. Those who don’t have been let down in some way, by society or by the medical profession, or by the simple fact that we don’t have sufficient milk banks to serve those who need them. I think every child should be raised without violence and emotional abuse, and I think corporal punishment should be outlawed. I think attachment parenting provides the best and most natural start to a child’s life and I honestly think the world would be a better place if every parent practiced it. It can be difficult, when you are very passionate about the reasons behind a decision, to sincerely respect those who choose differently or don’t hold to your reasons. I strugggle with this, trying to be less judgemental, more respectful, and to “lead by example”.
But there are some choices that I readily appreciate aren’t for everybody. Homeschooling is one of them. I do think that unschooling is the most natural, effective way for a child to learn. But it requires more than just keeping them out of school. The parents are a critical ingredient in the recipe for homelearning success, and not all parents are able to provide what is needed or may even have the inclination to do so. My blog friend, AnnaB, wrote an excellent post on this very subject. To quote:
I think anyone who is willing to work at it CAN homeschool, but not everyone should. The idea that we need to eradicate public schooling is ridiculous and pulls a large safety net out from under a lot of kids.
Certainly there are a million ways to homeschool. Unschooling is not even a method so much as lifestyle. And for us, it’s the lifestyle that best fits our personalities and our values. There are children, like myself, who fared just fine in the school system. For some families, it just isn’t realistic for them to homeschool and I think for alot of them it will be okay. For me, however, now that I know about this option, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Instead of feeling better than those who school, mostly I am just incredibly grateful that we found out about it and that we are doing it. I am so excited about the future, so happy for myself and my children, and feel so blessed that I’ll have so much time with my children before they are grown. I know that our lifestyle is not for everybody, but I am so happy that it is for us!