Recently I met several new homeschool families, most with teen high schoolers and a graduate homeschooler. Apart from the joy of sharing like-values and hearing their encouraging and inspiring stories, there was a repeated theme = homeschooling gives children the freedom and time to develop their gifts and visions.
Several experienced moms exhorted a new homeschooling mom of young primary school-aged children to relax. We urged her to give her children the time, space and freedom to explore, discover, read and create.It was refreshing to be reminded/ urged to give children space. More importantly, encourage creativity!
Creativity needs space and opportunity to develop. Creativity needs time. Children encouraged to fill their time with hobbies and interests will find things that they love and are good at, and given enough encouragement and freedom, they may even follow this into careers or short-term jobs. One parent told me how her unqualified, yet very talented son was offered a position in an internationally selected team. His unique flair and ability stood out among those far more experienced. His untrained style and ability gave him the opportunity to land the job, and his new work experience provided additional training to add to his ever-growing portfolio.
Don’t worry about formal training. Often formal schooling has a preset framework and children often lose their unique style and ability in order to fit in to the school’s requirements and expectations.
Allow your child to be unique! Don’t be afraid. They may be challenged later, but they will have a deep sense of their authentic self.
I think it is this very uniqueness that makes homeschoolers seem “odd”, but the cookie-cutter career is no longer an option. In fact, many large corporations are looking for homeschool graduates for this very reason!My hubby and I decided a few years ago to buy our children tools and supplies rather than other the more ordinary gifts for birthdays. In the past we have bought leather-making tools, art easel and canvases, soldering iron and craft tools, packets of beads, chains and jewellery-making items, or several reams of fabrics and ribbons. Often these gifts have provided the inspiration and means for our children to create for months on end.
But more important than buying materials, we need to give our children the freedom to “be“.
Let them use the stuff! Encourage them to create, make mistakes, invent, explore, gain experience, become frustrated, try again, learn.
If they need help, watch YouTube videos or tutorials, or visit an artist or artisan, or take classes, or find a tutor.
“All people are destined to be both observer and mentor. Your child is destined to be both your observer and mentor. But if you rush to fill all the spaces, be the one to only ever lead, then your child can only ever follow.
My children take me in directions that I never could have planned. Space left free, is space full of endless potential.”
Please feel free to share how you create space for your children in the comments below.