by Win and Bill Sweet
Education in our common culture is overwhelmed with curriculum
and achievement. Homeschooling at its best focuses, instead, on the child,
providing above all, a positive emotional environment that will enhance the
quality of the child’s entire life.
Most teaching is accompanied by an atmosphere of stress, which is learned along with whatever is being taught. Homeschooling can honor the ideal principle of learning: Stress free learning is learning that is by invitation only–the child’s invitation.
Average children spend much of their childhood being force-taught academics they do not need, are not interested in, and/or are not optimally ready to learn. Homeschooling children can be honored to choose for themselves.
Traditional education is usually presented in an atmosphere of fear, a state in which it is impossible to do one’s best. Doing one’s best can happen only in an atmosphere of joy, something the opportunity of Homeschooling can provide.
Most children feel their whole lives are just a continuous, stressful string of tests of one sort or another. With the Homeschooling lifestyle parents ask, "Do you understand this principle?" or "Do you know the content of this chapter?" and trust a "Yes" or "No" answer without further probing. Further explanation is only offered if the answer is "No."
In our society the average family spends only six minutes each day in true face-to-face conversation, which often includes only criticism and instruction. The Homeschooling lifestyle provides the time, energy and freedom to build a rich and rewarding family relationship that parents and children alike can cherish.
We live in a culture where competition is normal and projected into the lives of most children, keeping them off center and unable to fulfill their potential. The Homeschooling environment is a perfect milieu in which to create a cooperative (noncompetitive) system of interaction, an environment in which the participants can stay on center and enjoy fulfillment.
A major part of adult interaction with children is correcting, criticizing and pointing out errors. The special dynamics of a Homeschooling family can make it possible to ignore unnecessary correcting and criticism, and instead, point out what is right, well done and positive.
On a daily basis children and adults are frequently told to "Try harder," a command that immediately causes tension and fear. In the freedom and protection of Homeschooling there can be an effort, instead, to provide a relaxed atmosphere with a smile and, "Do your best," which produces results that are always better than "Try harder."
The proliferation of violence and faulty brain growth in young people is due in part to the lack of opportunity to engage in genuine play. One of the blessings of Homeschooling is that there can be plenty of time to play.
Win and Bill Sweet began homeschooling their children in 1968, and the family has engaged in the second generation of homeschooling with the grandchildren. Win is a former teacher and Bill is an electrical engineer.
Their award-winning book, Living Joyfully with Children, published by Acropolis Books, is enthusiastically endorsed as "a gem in every respect" by Joseph Chilton Pearce, world-renowned author and lecturer. The Education Source, www.homeschool.com, has chosen the book for their “Top Ten Books for Parents” list and engaged Win and Bill as advisors for their website readers.
Win and Bill can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; their website is www.sweetjoy.com.
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