Book Review: The Well-Adjusted Child

I’m absorbing Rachel Gathercole’s The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling through my pores.

This book consists of all the thoughts I had no idea were whirling around inside my brain matter.

Out and About

My first fear (as is the fear of a lot of parents on the brink of homeschooling) is that Ava and I will be trapped captive at our kitchen table, longing for companionship and counting down the minutes until Matt comes home to describe the colors and sounds of the outside world.

Gathercole’s book dispels that monster of a myth.

If anything, homeschooling seems to be the social mecca we’ve both been craving.

How so? Well, the typical 8 AM to 3 PM schedule is tossed right out the door since as the teacher, principal, and superintendent of my own school, I can create a schedule molded to the way we think and play. Plenty of breaks, trampoline time for my ADHD student, and a break up to any possible monotony with the promise of museum trips, pool time, and volunteering put a pretty attractive period on the end of the sentence.

Academic Adventures

Academically speaking, homeschooling is on point simply because of the smaller child to teacher ratio, not to mention the emphasis on learning because you want to learn, not just to do better than everyone else in the class.

I like this approach. I like the idea of finding new ways to learn and new subjects to tackle with the only thing potentially hindering us being the finite number of moments in a day. And I also kind of love that I can fully explain the love Christ has for her and how she can impart positivity and kindness to others because of this love instead of, you know, just showing off the new Nikes she just got.

Social Butterfly

But what about other kids?

Easy. Homeschooling co-op. By doing a simple Internet search, I found a co-op that offers field trips and meet up time as well as bi-weekly classes like sewing and American Girl history all for a VERY minimal yearly fee. Ummm…yes, please.

I like the idea of Ava engaging with kids of various ages and that those interactions, while happening intrinsically, can still be monitored by a parent who loves her fiercely.

Putting an End to Bullying

In school, there was too much bullying, too many hurt feelings, and no way to gauge how to walk that path all on her own.

And I know proponents for traditional schooling might say, “Well, she’ll have to learn some day how the world really is.” But have we ever stopped to think that maybe the world is the way it is because we aren’t guiding our children the majority of the day? We’re essentially offering them a Lord of the Flies type existence and are surprised that we’ve birthed a generation of Kim Kardashian wannabes.

Gathercole puts this another way: just because she’ll one day be living on her own in an apartment working to pay the rent, doesn’t mean I’m taking her apartment shopping any time soon. Just because one day she may need to put a fire out on the stove doesn’t mean I’m going to overheat the coconut oil and tell her good luck. Things should happen as a child can fully understand and handle them. And this is the very reason we parents exist in the first place.

So ultimately, I want her to learn the tools necessary to appropriately navigate her feelings and tend to the people who incite them. And Gathercole’s book gives a myriad of reasons as to why homeschooling lends itself to this kind of learning. I highly, highly recommend giving it a read!

Thinking about homeschooling? Want to pick my brain? Reach me via the contact form.

 

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