Monday, May 21, 2012

Homeschooling for Purpose

Re-posted from blog of a Danielle Ali Shah (a homeschooling mom in Pakistan)

Why do we take our kids out of school? The most common reason I have heard is that schools do not treat our children as individuals with their own learning paths… they produce battery chickens who are all fed the same thing and produce homogenous learning.

So if this is the case, how do we nurture that individualism of our kids at home? Of course we will be with them more so can see their own strengths and weaknesses, but if we are just teaching a standard curriculum at home as well, how is it better than school?

I believe that one of the huge benefits of homeschooling can be that we have a unique opportunity to nurture our kids to grow into their PURPOSE.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Purpose is a divine thing… and something that 99% of people travel through life without grasping. I am blessed to have my husband as my teacher in this, and he says that we all have glimpses of our purpose when we are young but that life, parents, expectations etc crowd in upon this and so often we lose touch with it. But it is always there … a longing like the longing for the sea that Saint Exupery talks of. My husband says, and I agree with him completely, that once you know your purpose, you don’t need to do anything else but wait for the opportunities to come to live that purpose. And they will come without effort or stress. When you know your purpose, life will flow.

So as homeschooling parents what can we do to nurture our children to find their purpose? Well what we shouldn’t do is add our own values and expectations on our children. This is where unschooling comes into its own I think. It is a way that kids can go in their own direction with love and support.
I found this great article below and am thinking about developing some activities around this with my kids… perhaps some drawing and writing. The challenge is always to nurture without directing, so let’s see how it goes! I would love to hear your thoughts about how we can nurture purpose in our children.


  1. We are what I call semi-eclectic unschoolers. I say semi because we use an online resource, Time4Learning, and Drive Thru History as well as whatever my daughter shows an interest in learning more about. We live on a farm, so life lessons are plentiful.

    I struggled in the beginning with the idea of unschooling. I worried that she wasn't getting enough. Maybe she is and maybe she isn't, but she is very happy, well adjusted, and can tell more about things than I ever care to know. Life is her teacher for the most part. I am her coach.

    Your comment about "nurturing without directing" was hard for me in the beginning. I am a teacher by trade, so I wanted to direct everything. HA HA

    Thanks for sharing the article.

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