It is that time of year again. Parents and kids are gearing up for a new school year. And, I mean literally. Have you seen all of the new paraphernalia and gadgetry disguised as school supplies? Or, have you gotten one of those supply lists from the school? However, I digress, this is not a harangue about our societies obsession with stuff; I can save that rant for another day.
Some of those kids who are getting and being prepared are apprehensive about the start of a new academic year. In many cases, you may not even realize how your child is feeling about going back to school, because it may not be as blatant as, “I don't want to go to school.” It may in fact be much more subtle.
Jerry Mintz from AERO (Alternative Education Resource Organization) has created this list of ten signs your child may exhibit if they need something other than school.
Yes, there are other options and not going to school is one of them. In todays world, with access to learning literally at your fingertips, education can happen anywhere and it does. Think about all the milestones your child was able to achieve within the few short years of infancy and toddler-hood. In most cases, you probably didn't worry about them learning to roll-over, smile, focus on an object, make sounds, cry when they wanted something, crawl, walk, talk, feed themselves, behave differently around different people, etc. They learned all of that by observing and trying it out on their own. Of course they had caring adults and family members to offer support and love, but everything young children learn is because they either need or want to.
So, why should we be concerned when a child hits four or five that they aren't going to continue to desire new skills and knowledge? When you think about it that way, it almost seems absurd. We are all designed to be self-directed, intrinsically motivated human beings. Children can continue on that independent path through-out their lives. They don't need extrinsic motivation at all. We simply have to stand back, offer resources, encouragement, time and space for all of that learning to happen.
If you feel your child is craving a learning space other than school, Deep Root Center is that option in the St. Lawrence Valley. We celebrate each individual child by listening to them expound on what they find most exciting. We honor their particular learning style and find ways to capitalize on their strengths. We make connections in the community to make sure their interests and passions are fed by people who practice them everyday. We facilitate learning opportunities that are inquiry driven not knowledge or curriculum driven. We focus on each child and work together to tailor an educational plan that fits them perfectly. Simply stated, Deep Root Center offers the opportunity to learn how to learn, while creating a space of safety, respect, trust and acceptance.
If you would like to learn more about Deep Root Center and all of the opportunities it offers your child, we are holding an information session, Wednesday, August 20th at 6pm. Rebecca Pickens, a homeschool consultant, will be here to discuss the legalities and logistics of homeschooling. We will then have a question and answer session about Deep Root Center. Youth are invited to attend the session to learn more about this option as well. I look forward to answering all of your questions.
*For further information about self-directed learning, you can read this article in the Huffington Post by Catherine Gobron, the program director at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens.