Ask Amma

Homeschooling – what about future?

In What on 9 May 2012 at 3:38 am

Dear Amma, I am following the homeschooling approach, but please tell me what the child will feel after 5 years if I am not sending her school?  Will she adjust in higher classes?  Nowadays I am afraid that she is very much dependent on me. Even if I am in the other room of my friend’s house, she starts crying.

 – Mama of a 3-year old in Gurgaon

Dear Mama in Gurgaon,

Are people telling you that it is because she does not go to school that she wants to spend more time with you or near you?  This may be the case.  Then again, it may not be.  But should it be?  Wanting to be with you makes total sense from her perspective.  Eventually it would not only need to be “you” but could also be another caring adult (or responsible older child, if another adult is also in the house), whom she trusts.

You ask, how will she adjust in higher classes?  Are you talking about adjustment to separation from you, or adjustment to the routine of the class, or ability to follow the books and lessons?

Let us take it one at a time  – Right now your daughter wants to be with you all the time.  Today that means “in the same room.”  But you can probably remember when “in the same room” was not good enough and she wanted to be in your arms.   So she has gradually expanded her range of how far she can go and still feel that she is with you.  As she grows up, the sense of “being with you” will stay with her even when she goes places on her own.

The fact that she prefers not to separate from you now will not impair her ability to separate from you later.  How much later?  She will know when she is ready.  Whether she does it sooner or later than the kid next door is irrelevant.  As she continuously evaluates the opportunities available and measures their value against the comforts of the familiar, she will extend her range according to her judgment.

So on to the third question, if she is still not going to school “after 5 more years,” will this harm her academic progress?

What you should understand is that during all these years she is exploring and analysing the world and making her own academic progress, albeit without unit tests and report cards.   Perhaps the question school-goers should ask is, “if we are still in school taking tests and covering the syllabus after 5 more years will this interfere with our creativity, critical thinking, and zeal for adventure?”

Whenever the opportunities available in school outweigh those available in the world at large, she will be able to plan and make her transition.  You can trust her, and yourself, on this as well.  RTE Act says that schools cannot deny admission so this gives breathing space to those who want to explore options.

(excerpted from India Homeschoolers)

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