What homeschooling for a decade has taught us- our education philosophy
Here's another homeschooling talk from me!
For those that don't know, I've been homeschooling for over a decade.
We have 12 year old and nine year old is six year old and it's been crazy having to rewire my brain.
Having to rethink all of the processes. I went to school for Education, my Masters in Education. I’ve learned from the public school system and being in the public school system for several years through internships, and through learning and all those things then and now having my own kids and my own family, my own spouse - so ma y things have come up.
We also run businesses out of the home. So all of the theories and the book smarts that I have, I've had to re-think through everything now that we have kids.
So something that I have wanted to mull over for a while is what is my philosophy of education is.
It’s all kind of based on this guy named Gardner and Gardner had eight intelligences. That was his main Theory.
You have probably seen it in child psych and that kind of thing. He believed in Eight different intelligences.
We have music, we have spatial, we have language, kinesthetic bodily, we have nature and we have two of my favorite - intrapersonal (regulating your own emotions) and extra personal (working with other people.)
Two of those, two of the eight slices having to do with your emotional Wellness or mental Wellness, and how they all roll together to be a good human.
And it just made me think of in a public school environment.
Never once did I learn in college or in my Master's Degree, what that looks like for raising emotionally healthy and mental healthy kids.
Now that as a parent, I'm here with my kids, every-single-day, creating a safe environment and a good foundation for their emotional stare.
For example: seeing my husband and I have a good relationship. We're trying to form a non-traumatic childhood experience.
We are also hustling, we're trying to earn money for our family, we own businesses, but then we also are trying to talk through our emotions. We are talking through conflict and working through things.
We try to sit down with our kids every day and have meals together and read to them and do all the things that good parents should do.
But something I've had to push through is probably these Emotional Self-regulating talks. I've had like every day-90% of my day is like,
“How would you feel if you did this?”
“Maybe we should approach it differently.”
“We should say it like this.”
“Maybe this is a different way to have conflicts”
“Maybe this is a healthier way to control our emotions.”
Ninety percent of my day is the role of guidance counselor.
I'm thinking through how I've never-ever in all the years of teaching and being a director of a children's camp - thought through, how much of my day would be about talking about emotional wellness and mental illness.
AND how important it is to me and to my family. We need to overemphasize this.
However- a part of me and a part of my brain, Is always thinking,
“Maybe we're not checking all the academic boxes,” or
“They need to be ‘here’ on reading.”
“They need to be ‘here’ on their math,”
BUT yet, if they are not wanting to learn all those things but they're having some emotional stress here and their mental wellness is suffering.
Maybe something is bothering them- so we just take the whole day to have one-on-one time.
We go out nature, we talk about life, we're doing something creative, we're exercising. We spend time together.
Then the next day we come back to all the academic stuff and I notice that they are just checking boxes left and right.
As a teacher going school for this, getting my master's.
I was taught- “We need to emphasize the academics,” there's little to no talk at all about mental wellness, and mental health for children.
There's a guidance counselor in the school, but that's their job and we need to delegate to them. and There’s one counselor for a thousand kids in a school and maybe they might see them. if they're in traumatic environment, they'll have their own way to do therapy. and talk through things…. and talk through emotions and self-regulate, but that's not our job.
We as teachers- have to get through these academic boxes.
That’s something that I've had to rewire my entire brain about.
Mental health and emotional health comes first.
If we're not feeling it today, if we're having a rough day, if we wake up grumpy- I ask “What happened?” “Let's talk about it.””Let's spend some one-on-one time.”
“Let's go take a walk.”
“Let's change it up.”
“Let's do something creative.”
“Let's figure out how we can get to the source of the problem.”
Because this (the academics) will come later. The check boxes will come. The academic portion will come if the mental health, wellness and they feel safe.
If they are having fun and they're discovering and everything is soaking up like sponges to them-the academics will come.
I just think about in life, how many adults-they were taught the academic part-how to find Pythagorean theorem and how do the scientific method.
But if they don't know how to self-regulate, if they don't know how to seek help.
If they don't know some healthy ways of transitioning from anger and from dealing with anger and dealing with emotions, and what that means-then we're not teaching our kids for life.
We're not teaching them to be future parents.
We're not teaching them to be future spouses - to work in a conflict laden environment.
Having people up in your face, what should you do?
What what are some healthy ways to handle conflict?
What are some healthy ways to talk about things?
We're not going to explode - but we can talk about it in a way that's, “Hey, you hurt me.”
“This is what happened…. “ or “I'm sorry, I totally didn't mean to come across that way.”
They are seeing me and my husband model these things - Sometimes good. Sometimes not the best-but we always talk about it Afterward.
“Maybe we should've done better.”
It’s the growth of me personally and then having to do it daily with three kids.
Kids don’t know-they're learning. They're growing, they're gonna make mistakes and they're gonna have fail, they're gonna fall.
But my job is to parent isn't to prevent that -my job as a parent is to give them a safety net to fall in a very safe way and that we can talk about it- “What could have we done better?”
“Maybe this is something that we can talk about..”
and so I'm more of a coaching role than a safety officer.
I'm more of a coach when I say things like “Maybe we should do this better.”
“Can you let me coach you about this?"
”This is what I see.”
this entire season has been a whole brain shift to me.
Especially how my 12 year old is getting into that, preteen stage- wanting to push the buttons-wanting to push the envelope. I've had to be not hurt by phrases that she has said to me, “Dad is a better listener,” And a part of me is like, “whoa.”
I want to take offense to this- but then I know that I just need her to let her talk it out.
So i say things like “I'm just going to love you.”
“I'm here for you.”
“I'm gonna hug you.”
“If you want to talk about it, we'll talk about it.”
But I am coming at her in a soft Gentle Way (which is a lot of self-control sometimes) and I'm not going to take personal offense to things.
I have to remember that her emotions are going crazy right now- it's just everything's firing on all cylinders- she’s starting her period, everything's going crazy emotionally and mentally.
I need to be the strong one and say “I'm here for you.”
“I love you.”
“Let me give you a hug.”
“If you want to talk about it, we can talk about it.”
Instead of being offended and being hurt and all this.
And so this is just something that I wanted to get out there that I've been thinking through a lot.
My philosophy of education is based on if our mental health and wellness, intrapersonal skills and extra personal skills is, “We're working on it”, then all of the extracurricular stuff will come.
And hopefully, as I Journal this process, I'm going to write a book about all of the things that I'm finding out.
This is just part of the process of growth -mental growth of thinking through what I need to do.
Thinking through what it is like to raise kids-but also homeschool them - be the teacher, the mentor, the coach, the counselor and the mom all in one role.
And man that's been eye-opening.
And thank you guys for talking and interacting- love answering questions.
Hope you guys have an awesome day and peace out.