You believe wholeheartedly in the need for creative and holistic education. You passionately want it for your children. Yet for one reason or another you have chosen to send your child to a mainstream school.
And now you don’t know how you are going to ensure your child gets all of those lovely learning opportunities you had dreamed of…
If your family is like mine, both the travel time and the dollars involved put alternative schooling (like Steiner Education) out of reach. That often leads to family choosing to homeschool which is our current choice.
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.
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 full-time basis.
Or you plain didn’t enjoy it.
Maybe you just don’t want to full-time homeschool.
And that’s ok. No 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 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 a holistic education for your children. Honestly! Because there is this cool concept you may not have come across yet.
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.
In holistic models of education, we aim to teach not just the head, but the heart and hands of our children too. Now 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 rhythm.
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, free play 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 from school, you could choose to listen to classical music or audio books. Perhaps you could leave off the TV and work together on a sewing project or play a co-operative board game.
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 or enjoying another of your favourite Waldorf festivals. Enjoying 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 they are something 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 a creative and whole education.
School gets him for 30 hours a week. You get him for the other 138 hours.
Make the time count.