Consider your daily life - the routine chores, the daily choices, the various things you need to do to earn a living, make both ends meet, and then live those dreams that you have saved up for some time in the future! In the midst of all these conflicting pulls of a busy day, there are some decisions that are potentially life transforming if we pause and think about it. But due to habit or tradition or convenience, we never even think that there could be an alternative.
For example: should I send my kids to school? What on earth, are we talking about, you may well ask! Is there any other option? Well, everything in life has choices. Atleast, today, there are.
Let's look back a bit. What are the moments from your childhood that you treasure, cherish? Aren't they the times you spent with your family, the vacations, or your acquaintances from childhood (mostly before you turned 18)? You might also agree that that's the time we picked up most of the skills that we use today to earn a living.
This simply indicates that childhood is precious and the lessons learnt and memories created then, last for a lifetime. The time you as a parent spend with your children, the values that you transmit to them by your actions more than words, all of these can have a powerful impact on your child, if you are there with your child.
Look at your child. He or she is precious, unique and looks up at you as a parent for role models. Have you, in your haste, pushed the child away from you, to organised institutions and classes, without thinking of the consequences?
A child can learn much more in the safe environment of a home, where he or she is content and knows that the teacher loves him or her unconditionally. And learning is not merely academic, isn't it? It is all about preparation for real life. Values that will stand the test of time. Behaviors that are modeled by parents. How you as a parent talk with your parents, in-laws, servants, watchman etc all play a role!
So, as a father who has been privileged to be a part of the growing years of my three children, due to the choice we made to homeschool in 2004, I can only share what I have learnt over the years.
These are some of the key things I learnt as a father:
• A father has a special place in the lives of children. He provides direction, security and unconditional love and acceptance.
• Every day your child is growing, and watching the choices you make. Are you choosing wealth accumulation over spending time with your children? They will know for sure.
• A child can learn whatever is important academically till the age of 15 in the present times without going to any classroom. Children can learn as well if not better at home than in a traditional classroom model. Education has moved out of the four walls of a classroom into the real and virtual world out there.
• Homeschooling is a real alternative to sending your children to school. It does take a lot of time and effort to homeschool. But you can look at it as an investment that far exceeds any other investment you may ever make. Investing in relationships, especially with your children as they are growing up, I feel are the best that any parent can make!
There are many more things I want to share, but I will keep them for another day.
If you are trying to school a toddler at home and are looking for Montessori-inspired ideas - check out Amruta's Montessori-Inspired Shelf for her Toddler!
Explore the entire collection of articles: Parenting Gyaan
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