You believe wholeheartedly in the need for holisitic education. You passionately want it for your children. Yet for one reason or another you may choose to send your child to a mainstream school.
If your family is like mine, the travel time and the dollars involved both put alternative schooling (like Steiner Education) out of reach. That often leads to family choosing to homeschool which has been our path for the last year. But what if you don’t choose to homeschool?
Maybe you have to work so homeschooling isn’t an option. Maybe your local primary school has some fabulous programs you want to take advantage of for your child. Perhaps you gave homeschooling a go and then your little one asked to go to school like all of her friends who live on your block.
Or you were losing your mummy marbles. Or your child has special needs you find it hard to accommodate at home, on your own, on a fulltime basis. Or you plain didn’t enjoy it. Maybe you just don’t want to fulltime homeschool.
And that’s ok. Really. I promise you, it is. If you have weighed up all of your options, listed your pros and cons, and have still come to the conclusion that public school is the way forward…it will be ok. Don’t let mummy guilt (or really, the internet) get you down. Your choice is valid. It is ok. More than ok.
You don’t even need to give up your dreams of providing an holistic education for your children. Honestly! Because there is this cool concept you may not have come across yet. Afterschooling.
Yep, afterschooling. For some this means sneaking in the academics they are worried their child is missing out on, but in the context of holistic education afterschooling is a conscious striving for balance in your child’s life.
Remember the head, heart and hands concept we talked about? School will take care of the head. It’s actually pretty notorious for it 😉 Many people (myself included) feel mainstream schooling focuses too much on the head aspect. So outside the hours of 9-3, Monday through Friday, you can bring the focus to the heart and the hands.
How do you do that? By consciously focusing on the 3Rs of reverence, respect and ryhthm. By consciously choosing to forgo the cult of busy and the standard slew of extra curricular activities. By consciously including stories, handcrafts and the arts in your daily life. By consciously eschewing consumerism and instead focusing on imagination, freeplay and time in nature.
Rather than sign up for Saturday sport, perhaps you could spend the time hiking as a family. Instead of listening to the news on the radio for the drive home, you could choose to listen to classical music or ‘Sparkle Stories’. Perhaps you could leave off the tv and work together on a sewing project or play a co-operative boardgame.
A candle and a verse when you serve breakfast. A family tradition of rolling beeswax candles and having a bonfire to mark the Winter Solstice. Meals prepared together with food collected from your garden. Baking bread together. Evenings spent listening to mama tell stories. A nature table given pride of place in the living room.
We each have to make the best choices we can for our families given our own unique set of circumstances. The trick is to make these choices work for us, rather than feel like the choices are being done to us. Learning doesn’t just happen in schools, so holistic education doesn’t just have to happen in an alternative school or homeschool either.
You have the power to offer your child all of the benefits of an holistic education. School gets him for 30 hours a week. You get him for the other 138 hours. Make the time count.
Have you tried mainstream school with a holistic afterschooling twist?