What if my kids grow up and regret being unschooled?
What if they are disappointed they never experienced school?
I’ve had these questions before. Asked outright, or hinted at. Sometimes ‘but you’ll let them go to school if they ask, right?’.
I get it. There was a time I wondered the same. Wondered if I was doing the right thing. How do we know? We can’t predict the future. All we can do is look at what we know right now, and base our decisions on that.
Where is my child most happy? Where are they learning the most? Where are they most curious? What lights up their eyes? What do I want their childhood to look like? What do I think is best for them right now. Because they are someone right now, and their needs and desires are important. What environment do I want my child to spend the majority of their time in? What are positive influences in their life? What hinders their growth?
I do not know what the future holds. But I know the answers to these questions right now.
My children are happiest surrounded by the people who love them and know them best. They choose to spend most of their time in unstructured play. They want to be outside in nature. Their eyes light up at all the things the world has waiting to discover. They are inspired and filled with energy when they are led by their own curiosity, questions, and goals. I want their childhood to be filled with all of these things.
I want us to have ample time together, building the foundations of family relationships that will last their whole life. I do not want them to be stressed, pressured, rushed, standardized. I think restricting their time for play and outside time is damaging. I don’t think school has anything positive to add to their childhood. I think schooling kills creativity and destroys children’s innate love of learning.
I want them to feel happy, respected, and free. I want them to have enough time to explore their passions without restriction. I want them to have an old fashioned magical childhood packed with fun and adventure. I want them to have a completely individual education that is perfect for them.
So, the decision is clear. I know what my children need right now. They show me every day. Maybe it seems risky doing something so different to the majority. I don’t think so. Isn’t it more risky to do something contrary to our children’s needs, for the sake of being ‘normal’? In the end, I was more worried about my children growing up and regretting years of childhood wasted at school. I’m confident that even if I make some mistakes along the way, they will always know I did what I thought was right at the time. I always wanted the very best for them. I stood up for what I believed in. I stood up for them. I stood up for childhood, even when it meant doing something different.
I can’t imagine them regretting freedom. I can’t imagine them wishing they were more controlled.