I started homeschooling my daughter this year for a number of significant reasons that include protecting her from Common Core and, as her parent, exercising my natural and Constitutional right to direct her development and education. I strongly believe that education should be an opportunity to nurture a child’s strengths, bolster weaker areas, and should build upon a child’s interests, talents, and natural curiosity.
Another important reason is differentiated instruction–she, like me, has ADHD, and I wanted to provide her with an education fashioned around the way she learns, not the way Johnny R. or Susie M. learns. She is a doer–hands on and active, and hates being fed worksheets all day. And goodness knows if you can’t explain or show her relevance, it’s not happening. She gets that from her mom.
Which brings me to cooking.
Miki loves cooking, which dishes up a host of learning opportunities and meets her learning style. Reading, math, critical thinking to solve problems (like when you don’t have enough of an ingredient or drop the last egg on the floor and you are already committed to the recipe), creativity (like tweaking recipes to suit your particular taste), safety, and even cursive (copying recipes for the recipe box)…not to mention it’s fun, you get to eat your work, and serves up some awesome mother/daughter time.
We made brownies today. Homemade brownies, for we don’t do the box thing. Do you know what is really in boxed brownie mix?
We like quality and everything else that comes from made-from-scratch cooking, especially the tweaking part. Sometimes we want to add ingredients, sometimes we want to leave a few out–provides variety and the perfect dish for the situation at hand.
And it’s our choice.
Unlike Common Core.
Common Core likes the box…one boxed education laced with poisonous ingredients for every child, producing not-so-healthy, from-the-box “citizens.” A buffet with only one option, and somebody coughed all over it.
And quality? Not so much.
While public schools have created the facade that they, not parents, are the experts, and only the experts can understand education–how and what children should learn, it is obvious to any parent who is paying attention that public schools offer a menu of substandard and questionable items, made even more rotten by the arrival of Common Core. After all, parents are the experts on their children, not the system.
It’s hard being a single mom, staying home to raise and homeschool my daughter. I gave up an awesome income and many things that are now luxuries. Going to the movies, for instance, is a rare treat, as is going out to eat or ordering pizza, shopping in certain stores, downloading songs from iTunes…all of which we do without and have a full, high-quality and happy life.
I was willing to make the hard decisions.
I’m not telling you to quit your job and homeschool. What I am saying is that it behooves all of us as parents to look at our children and make decisions based on what is right for them, even when it’s hard. Even when it means sacrifice.
That’s love, and that’s parenting.
It’s up to us to raise our kids, not the government.
Common Core is a terrific reminder of that.