Our five-year-old twin daughters do not go to school. We are asked by acquaintances and strangers, alike, the reasons that they do not go to school. My wife and I also keep asking ourselves, at times, why we have not enrolled our children in a school so far.
The answer is simple. Our children do not go to school because they are children.
Just that, this reply does not seem to resonate with the person raising the query. The question gets repeated. I am unable to understand where and how we are getting it wrong.
Adults and Childhood
“We really enjoyed our childhood and miss those golden days of our life”. “I have cherished memories of my magical childhood”. “Why can’t I get to be a child again?” “I would love to relive those carefree and joyful days of my life”. “Nowadays, children miss their childhood”.
I am sure the majority of us would have come across the above statements/emotions in several discussions about children and childhood. Leave aside a conversation, when a person thinks about her/his childhood, I suppose the feelings would be the same as above.
Now, if this is what an adult feels about her/his childhood and longs for the same; why would the same adult feel completely the opposite about the childhood of the next generation?
Why would the adults have different parameters and yardsticks about being a child and enjoying childhood, compared to their own? What kind of memories about childhood would the parents want to have for their children?
Long live the lost childhood.
There is a well-marketed notion that children enjoy themselves in a school. We have been told time and again that we are snatching the joys of the childhood of our five-year-old twin daughters by not sending them to school. We heard this for the first time when our daughters were about a year and a half old and we have been hearing it ever since.
I do not get this. Since when childhood and school have become synonymous with each other? What kind of a childhood is this that is not possible outside the confines of a school? Why cannot we visualize children, who have a long way to go to their sixth birthday, outside a school and enjoying their childhood? This is what our parents and grandparents have done for sure and even some of our current generation has done if not all.
Another answer could be that times have changed. Children better get a head-start else they will be a left behind in the coming age. Do you want the children to have a better future or not?
Does anyone remember 3 Idiots by any chance? Majority of us do. When the movie went on to be a super-hit, almost everyone spoke and agreed that our current educational system stinks. Everybody concurred that our schooling system needs change. One and all said that a child’s potential cannot be defined by what s/he scored in JEE (now, there are two JEE to beat the stress of one).
All of us have the same opinion that rote learning taught to children in schools does not do any good in real life. Each one of us says that each child is unique and s/he should get an opportunity to excel in what s/he is good at / has an interest in.
Then, what happens? A child gets straitjacketed into the same schooling and educational system that the parent was cribbing till now.
The childhood in a place where it was never meant to be.
The adults miss their childhood, after they have lived it, and they want their children to miss their childhood before they live it.
The adults criticize the current educational system and the schools and ensure that their children become a part of the same, at the earliest.
For us, yes we do want a better future for our children but not at the cost of their present and we disagree to be a part of the system we do not believe in.
As on date, our children do not go to school because they are children.
What would be your thoughts on this subject?