How many among us suffer personal criticism without plugging our ears, closing our eyes, putting our hands up, or taking other *defensive* measures - that is if we don't flee the scene altogether?
My guru Will Durant touched upon this when he posited, "Nothing is more unpopular to say than the truth."
Yet in much of the homeschooling literature I have been reading, I've had to bear substantial, direct criticism of some of my methodologies - from people whose opinions I've grown to respect a great deal.
Many in the homeschooling world insist:
- Not to correct or criticize children.
- Not to use *incentives* EVER.
- Not to spank/hit the misbehaving brats.
- Not to force or EVEN SUGGEST curricula.
I do ALL of the above.
I yell at my kids all day long - for disobedience, for lackluster concentration on *seat-work*, when they fight,....
I dangle dessert, going to the park, and even larger prizes like new Knex sets for completing *their work* (i.e. Kumon books)
My kids get a pointed dose of my right hand probably several times a week.
And yes, there is an aggressive, parentally-chosen curriculum in this household at the moment.
My critics say that yelling and hitting teaches kids nothing except that *force* is a legitimate determinant of right and wrong.
They insist that rewarding educational goals achieved will keep my kids from ever truly valuing learning in and of itself; that it will prevent them from becoming life-long learners, just as testing-obsessed, factory schools did to most of us.
Lucky for me, most of these critics can be neatly categorized as *extreme unschoolers*. We all know how much easier it is to discard a well-wrapped bundle!
But I'll do my best to keep an open-mind; I will remain ever-vigilant of these other theories because....
The last thing I want to do is mess up my dear children.
When I'm wrong, I hope to see the signs quickly, admit it, and change course.