Parenting for resilience

Amanda Witman
By Amanda Witman on Thu, Jul 4, 2013 - 1:04pm

Just wanted to draw a recent article I wrote to your attention, in case you hadn't seen it:  Raising Kids for a Resilient Future.  I'd love to see more discussion under it about what it means for you to intentionally raise kids to become resilient adults. 

Certainly for my family, homeschooling is one important part of that equation.  Not just teaching them from my values, but intentionally keeping them out of school where other values are the priority (whether by intent or default.)

For any public-schoolers who may be reading this, please know that I believe from the bottom of my heart that every family is unique, every child's needs are indivicual, and every school situation is different.  Some families/kids are truly best served by public school, and others are best served by homeschooling or unschooling or private school or charter school or some other school option.  I support thoughtful and deliberate decisionmaking about education, however it plays out.  You are the expert on your family and your child.  I feel strongly that for my kids, in our family, with the school options available to us, the entire picture supports homeschooling as the best way to ensure that my kids grow up with the kinds of educational experiences and personal skills that I value most highly.  So all I write on homeschooling is with that mind; your family/child/situation may be quite different than mine, and that's fine.

Back to my thoughts on homeschooling:  I have a friend who is a former public school teacher and now is home with her 9-year-old.  I had one of those periodic, inevitable homeschool-mom freakout moments recently, where someone gave us some books and there was one on Water Experiments, and I was like, oh no, I didn't teach my kids about water!  And what about the Yanomamo, and the medieval cities of the world, and Orff instruments, and and and... She laughed and was so reassuring (we all need that, even those of us who are die-hards and often play that role for others).  She reminded me that in the value system that we both share, it's most important to raise kids who are very good at navigating healthy relationships, finding out information and learning things when the need presents itself, being good communicators, serving as honest and diligent community members, independently owning and defending their own strong views, etc etc etc.  The exact content of their education is just a medium for developing those key lasting skills.

I think what we teach our kids, impart to our kids, whatever...is important, but what we choose NOT to have them spend their time marinating in can be just as important.  For example, "Playground-incubated social skills" is not on my list of must-haves for my kids.  Confident and comfortable communication and social ease with people of all ages is.  Along with many, many other things that are not part of the public school experience.

Anyway, not to pick on those specific topics; I just wanted to point out that perhaps all of us homeschoolers have those moments of "Oh, no!  I forgot the..."  I love that cartoon that says

(I'm sorry I don't know who gets credit for that one, and perhaps I've shared it before, but I love it.)

Anyhow, please check out my article in RL (link above) and let's have a vibrant discussion in the comments section over there. 

1 Comment

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
Responding because the image I wanted to share didn't show up

It can be seen at this link.

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