Robin Williams’ portrayal of Mr. Keating in Dead Poets Society is one of the ages — I have often gone back and watched the film (or Google’d particular scenes) to remember not only what he said but to whom he said it to and how.
Our efforts with hackschooling have continued now into their second year and I’m pretty darn pleased with our progress.
This isn’t to say that we’ve done anything particularly well nor do we believe in any way, shape, or form, that we’re doing anything distinct or unique — rather, we, as a family, are continuing to learn more deeply what it means to be parents to our two unique children and have come to learn more about who they are as individuals, as creative beings, as learners, and as doers.
Ultimately, we want them to build confidence in themselves, who they are, and find valuable and rewarding ways to use their God-given talents and skills for others. We believe that by doing so they will also create value for themselves.
They must find their voice, as Mr. Keating has said, and the sooner the better:
You must strive to find your own voice because the longer you wait to begin the less likely you are to find it at all.
One of the benefits, I believe, of hacking school at home is that it provides more opportunities for them to on-ramp into the discovery process of finding their own voice.
They are almost forced to do it because without the regimenting of their schedule they must, in concert with their parents, dialogue about the time that we spend. They must learn to define, present, and argue their point of reference even if it is ignorant and superficial — at least for now.
But, if it is up to me, I’d rather have them wrestle with concepts of identity and their own voice sooner rather than later; I’m not upset about my own particular upbringing or educational background and experience but I did have to “fight” my way through it and struggle my way toward a meaningful starting point. In some ways, I even tried to end it.
And eventually, our children will find it — I’m sure of that. I can’t wait to see who they become.