Reason to Homeschool #6 – Enjoy your Moments

Much of my childhood was wasted because I was in school for six to eight hours a day for twelve straight years. The reason I say that it was wasted is because it was spent, almost entirely, in preparation for becoming something.  I’m not against preparation. What I am against is devaluing the days and moments of childhood and placing primary importance on preparation for adulthood.

Children are not adults in waiting.  It’s true that they need to acquire the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that will allow them to become well-adjusted, happy adults. But, does that process really have to take seventy-five percent of their daily focus for twelve years? Does that process require that we devalue their childhood and devalue their opinions about what they want to do with their time? Does that process have to mean that they trade their daily wishes and desires for preparation?

Children aren’t striving to become whole. A child is whole and complete as they are, in this very moment. Their opinions count every day and at every age. Schooling makes children believe they aren’t yet whole and their opinions don’t count and they don’t yet fully matter as human beings. Why does schooling make them believe this? Because every day is spent preparing, preparing, preparing. They prepare for quizzes, they prepare for tests, they prepare for grades, they prepare to move to the next grade, and they prepare to move to the next school. All of their time is future focused. We teach them that the present does not matter.  So, they prepare, and prepare, and prepare. Preparing becomes a way of life. So much so, they don’t even stop to think about it anymore; it’s just the way things are meant to be. Children aren’t good enough today. But they will be tomorrow, next year, three years from now, twelve years from now…

Soon enough, you have a lifestyle almost fully focused on the future, devaluing your momentsyour nows. And, what is all of this preparation for? Supposedly, it is so that you can enjoy your moments. The idea is if you spend enough time preparing, you’ll get to a point where you can take in a deep breath and start appreciating your moments. But, how could that possibly ever happen? You’ve never learned that moments count and that now matters. So, even when you are done with school, you are so future-focused that you then prepare for the next thing and then for the next thing.

I’ve always liked this saying:  “Life is what happens while you are preparing to live”.  So, if you aren’t enjoying your preparation then you aren’t enjoying your life.  I like this one too: “First I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then, I was dying to finish college and start working.  And then, I was dying to marry and have children. And, then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work. And then, I was dying to retire. And now, I’m just dying. And suddenly, I realize, I forgot to live.”

Children have as much to teach adults as we have to teach them. Rather than keeping them focused on busy work, with the intent of preparing them for the future, let them live and experience and teach and grow today, in this moment.   This is not to say that we shouldn’t be preparing them for the future.  But, we can do that without forcing them to sacrifice their todays for their tomorrows, and while encouraging them to focus on their present moments. If every “today” is spent planning and preparing, than tomorrow never actually comes.

I want my daughter to live fully now, today. And, I want her to be prepared for the future as well. But, I never want her to sacrifice her todays for her tomorrows. There is a way to meet both goals.  By homeschooling, I’m able to encourage her enjoyment of the vast majority of her moments, while sprinkling in the things that will help her become a successful adult.  My definition of a successful adult, is a happy adult – the goal is happiness.  If my daughter reaches her goal today and learns how to be happy in her moments, than she’s prepared for the future.  If she’s achieved her goal today (happiness), that doesn’t mean she won’t be happy in the future because she won’t be adequately prepared.  Instead, because she’s learned that moments count, and she’s learned what makes her moments happy ones, she’s prepared to continue that trend in her future, creating situations that provide her with happy moments.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>