Home school: A reflection on freedom and the love of learning.
An opinion piece by Michael Powell
“Learning is optional. Education is natural.” -North Star School.
Truly, In life you’re always learning, but education doesn’t have to be in a classroom.
Most would agree the most natural way of learning is hands-on. Not just trying out skills in the real world, but getting involved with other people seems to be where the most rewarding education happens. The exposure to others and interaction with people becomes the central aspect of education.
We often think of a teacher as just a single individual educator in a classroom setting, but in reality multiple teachers throughout the walks of life guide and help us learn.
Young and old alike, those your age and those older and younger than you, can teach you more then any one teacher in a classroom setting.
Education is constant. Life, itself, is education. When you stop learning you stop living. Studies have shown that those who retire at 65 -for instance, start to find that without something to do such as a daily occupation-without the daily interaction and learning that a job provides, they lose their sharpness, their focus, their drive, and start to disintegrate and fade out mentally.
So working keeps you sharp, and its that work ethic that keeps you going.
Unfortunately the modern-day classroom tends to create such a dependency, a worker who has become attached to a specific career. The student sits in the classroom in order to to get a job and education is forced,not for the sake of learning, but for a reward, a grade, and ultimately a paycheck. And so it seems that all too often when people have worked their way to retirement age, they no longer know how to sustain themselves. They have forgotten how to learn for the sake of self fulfillment. They sit in front of the television. They don’t do anything. They vegetate. They don’t keep their mind active because the natural ability to self educate has been repressed.
This is what makes homeschooling so empowering. We are freeing our students. Homeschool allows a student to nurture and develop natural ability. The freedom to explore, to be hands on and interact with a range of teachers in daily life is the natural path for self fulfilling education for life. When we educate ourselves we find education in our interests. Our interaction with others becomes like a symbiosis of teacher and student. When we homeschool, we give the opportunity to our children to be life long learners, allowing them to fall in love with becoming each day more complete with the opportunity to share in the wonders of the world.