I remember so clearly my oldest son’s “why” stage. He was one of those kids who constantly chattered and was always armed with an endless array of questions. (Maybe you have one of those 4-year olds yourself.) His little brain was taking in the world around him trying to make sense of it all.
He absolutely loved the process of learning and discovery. Everyday he awoke ready for the day’s adventure. And because I spent the most time with him, I found myself fielding question after question after question. I won’t lie. His questions exhausted me. They also challenged me. Over and over I found myself unable to answer his questions and forced to find an answer.
All this question-asking came honestly. My mom describes me as being the same way when I was a little girl. I always wanted to understand “why”. I was in a constant struggle to make sense of life.
It troubles me that adults stop asking questions. So many of us stop asking “why?”
I can’t tell you how many times my children have said, “Mom, I’m the only one who can’t….” or “Mom everyone is …” and I think to myself, “They are?” I begin to wonder if I’m making the right decision for my kids. The fact is, other parents are in their homes wondering the same thing. We want to be normal. (or better than normal) We want to be safe. We’re afraid of being different. We’re afraid of taking risks. And yes, homeschoolers do it too.
As I look around me, most of the culture seems to be marching to the beat of the same drum. Like mindless drones. Not questioning. Not wondering if life could and should be different. Just doing what we’ve been told to do, because somebody who’s supposedly more qualified than us says so. Just accepting that this is the way it’s supposed to be.
A couple of curious, questioning 4-year olds can shake up that system!
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. I know you’ve decided to swim against the current. You’ve already chosen an unorthodox route here.
And yet… even among the homeschool culture, we find our “experts” and begin to mindlessly follow what they suggest. We don’t ask why? We just rush out and buy the curriculum or program that they recommend or that our friends swears is the greatest thing since sliced bread. We seldom stop to ask ourselves:
“Why do I need this program?”
Why are we educating from home?
What do we ultimately desire to accomplish at the end of educating our children?
What’s really important to us?
Is there a better way?
These kinds of questions help us to get down to the heart of homeschooling. It helps us to really wrestle with why we do what we do. It can reveal our heart’s motivations– if we are willing to fully engage with the process.
I’ve been asking myself lots of why questions lately. Since our son just graduated from high school, I’ve found myself asking questions about college. Why should he go to college? I’ll be honest. I don’t like some of my answers.
Seeing him succeed in college makes us proud
What will my family and friends think if he doesn’t go to college?
I want him to experience what I experienced in college
I’m afraid of him not going to college. We don’t want a failure-to-launch child.
None of these are good reasons for my son to go to college. A powerful moment of truth for me to process.
So, my friend, I want to encourage you to step out into that place of uncertainty. Ask yourself the question, “Why?” Allow your fears to surface. Allow your desire to please or impress others be revealed. Allow your insecurities and doubts to come out of hiding.
Instead of asking what spelling program do you use? Or what books are you reading? Or what educational methodology do you use? Start with a solid and simple question: “Why?”
The Why question can bring focus and vision to your world, and set you on a path to educate your children confidently, and courageously. Knowing your why will help you to develop a program that is uniquely suited for each of your children, preparing them for the life they were born to live.
I’ll be talking about this in more depth in my new ebook: “Preparing Your Children For the Life They Born to Live”. Coming soon, so stay tuned!