I got some pretty insightful responses to my previous post on homeschooling, and I do have to say I'm learning so much along the way and truly enjoying reading everyone's different perspective.
An experienced homeschooling mother writes:
"I would never allow my 6 year old to drive a car, never allow him to choose an adult book to read, never allow him to see inappropriate movies. These are things which require not only restriction when they are young but teaching them discernment as they grow into adulthood. At the same time I will happily direct my child in how to drive a car when he attains the proper age and skills. After years of properly directing and shepherding his character, he may chose to read more adult books and watch more adult movies."
Betty Tracy writes:
"God commands children to obey their parents. Period. Not "obey when they are right or when you feel like it" but just "Obey."
"I can also tell you that my need to prove that homeschooling is "working" is waning with each child. I think mothers who have several children with many different personalities, gifts, and temperaments probably lose this need fairly quickly. While society might point to one child as being strange in some way (shy, slow to read, etc.), there will almost always be others in the same family who are exactly the opposite!"
Reading all your personal experiences made me come to the following conclusions:
- Human beings, children included, are flexible and can thrive with different learning approaches.
- I don't need to fear that I'm being inflexible or damage my children's creative spirit when I set a simple task (be it reading, math or whatever). They still have plenty of room for initiative.
- I don't need to feel guilty every time I set a task a child might not be exactly thrilled about; after all, we do have so much time for free play - most of the day, truly - that my children are a lot better off in this respect than most children.
- I don't need to re-invent the wheel; there's nothing wrong with using workbooks.
- Actually, I don't need to fret or feel guilty at all, because as long as we're doing our best and trying out one thing or another, most likely we won't make any irreversible mistakes - if something isn't working, we'll just try something different.