Originally Posted by kathymuggle
Op, I did not say it earlier as I got right into the philosophical stuff - but the day you described with your DD sounds lovely and educational (in a learning through life sort of way)
Do you often stress about things as you did in the OP -or was this a one off? I think all parents worry about the course of their kids from time to time!
If the worry is a pattern, you may need to do some exploration. Is DD worried? Does she like her way of life? If you both are worried it is easier - change things up somehow.
If you are worried, but she isn't, the path is less clear. What would be the potential repercussions for imposing your concerns on her? If you search your heart and think change is necessary, how can you include her in the decision?
I think this is a very helpful approach to the op's concerns.
For myself, and my rantiness
, I wanted to express that I agree that in being jobless (though obviously still working), we will and do need certain skills that pertain to our work. But again, we will be learning some of the ones we don't yet have and some of it will be entirely new, which is fine; we'll just learn it, and not because we had directed learning as children. I also just can't see how our dc will manage to escape our home without acquiring the skills they need. I'm trying to envision the home we'd have to have in order for that to be the case. I'm coming up blank.
When ds1 was an infant, a friend asked us about schooling and we said that we would homeschool (hadn't decided in what way at that point) and he was horrified that we would risk our child's life that way, asking us why we didn't think it was important that our child learn to read, that mass-schooling solved the problem of mass-illiteracy. Dp and I looked at him somewhat surprised and asked, "Do you really think we could end up with an illiterate child?" His reply was, "Well, no. Not you guys, I guess." We have a 2500 book library and read several books at a time. The likelihood of our children growing up and not seeing books as viable sources of information is little to none. This is our home and this is what we do here.
Otoh, we have no relatives for them to relate with. They will grow up not knowing relatives as viable sources of relationship, so we tend to emphasize our immediate family relationships above all here- even books
. In this and many other ways specific to our life, our children's education will have a different learning-scape than others. Ours will learn homesteading and they will lack an understanding of fashion trends and tv stars and even the latest technologies because we don't focus on that in our home at all. They will learn about those things if they want to but that would be guided and directed by them; I don't have anything to offer them in those areas, except a willingness to learn alongside them.
I guess it is hard to form a really relevant working definition of basic skills and general knowledge. Our locality has a major effect on this too. Up here, hunting and skinning a bison, caribou or moose is important general knowledge and even for veg*ns, wilderness survival skills are essential here whereas these things would be considered more interest-driven or hobby-like to many North Americans. In this, I don't impose anything on my dc either; they learn easily by their own self-discovery and by being a part of the wilderness themselves.
There's only just so much that can be packed into the first 20 years of life, so no matter what we're doing or not doing, we are prioritizing and while some prioritize according to mainstream ideologies regarding academics, the global economy, and job market, I suppose that just doesn't have the same import here (or the place we're moving to 5 yrs from now).
So for us, going back to guidance again, just living an authentic life is going to necessitate the learning of certain skills and gaining the appropriate contextual and cultural understanding that a person needs to function in his/her life. The life incidentally provides the guidance. BUT if relationships are strained and natural learning does not take place, it may later be much harder to integrate one's ideas and desires into real-life success (as defined by the individual).
I guess in every way, I cannot help but end up where I started; the free-learning child-person who grows and becomes the free-learning adult-person will have all the self-awareness and consciousness available to him/her to do whatever s/he pleases, and even to do the stuff that is imposed. It's the early impositions that prevent the real learning, not the real learning that prevents the imposed learning later on if that happens to be the case, ime.
So saying, determining a truly (not just an appearance of) foundational general knowledge and basic skill set is going to be a difficult or impossible task unless it is allowed to flow naturally from one's life, I think. But then the level of authenticity of one's life is in question and that is most definitely a topic for another thread, or forum.
But, by that qualifier, we may not have much to discuss other than principles, and the disctinctions between parent-directed homeschooling and us'ing become issues of lifestyle choices and necessities rather than issues that can be separated into the category of 'education'. So that's an open topic; I've not concluded. Please don't flame me for that.