I've been running an experiment the last few days, to see what happens when I stop doing laundry, stop making bread, and stop vacuuming in order to knit as I listen to Rufus Wainwright, Leonard Cohen, and Steely Dan.
So far the results seem to be that I finish the socks I've been working on, but we run out of clean clothes, bread, and the house is suddenly overrun by bits of paper (Little is fascinated by scissors these days) cat hair, and crumbs. Just in case you were wondering.
I've been thinking a bit about my position that educational systems are bad for kids because they mean that the teachers/parents aren't responding to the kids and where they are, what they need. It becomes an education imposed from without, rather than inspired from within.
And then I started thinking about it a little more, and I realized that I really need a system for my house, because the house is not my thing. Cleaning and keeping things tidy does not come naturally to me. I have to think about it, or I'll just skip it. (Incidentally, I do have a system. I've just chosen to overlook it for a few days.)
Teaching, on the other hand, is my thing. I love working with kids, love figuring out what they want, what they mean when they say inscrutable things, love helping them communicate better with each other. Teaching is the place where I am most truly myself. It is my vocation, my right livelihood.
What I'm trying to say is that I don't need a system because teaching is my passion. It's the thing I think about most, care about most, read about most, so it's pretty easy for me to fly without instruments, so to speak. I am not willing to take the position that the only people who should be teaching their children at home are people who have a similar passion. There are so many factors that go into the decision to homeschool that it is just too much to ask that everyone who chooses it also be able to construct the curriculum day to day, following the children's needs. Not because they wouldn't want to, but because they just might not feel equipped.
And that's why lots of people really need a system, and who am I to fault them for it?
So my question now is this: is it interesting, or would it be interesting, to read more about the process that takes us from a simple question posed by a child, to a full-blown integrated curriculum that spans several months?
Let me know, and I'll write about that. Or I could just go back to posting pictures of my socks, if you'd rather.