Homeschooling: Trust Your Parental Instinct By Linda Dobson

05/20/2014 11:33

http://www.parentatthehelm.com/8680/homeschooling-trust-your-parental-instinct/

Homeschooling: Trust Your Parental Instinct

By Linda Dobson

This morning, I shared on Parent at the Helm’s Facebook page a link to a New York Post article titled “Woman Loses Legs But Saves Her Children When House Is Destroyed by Indiana Tornado.” The story is an affirmation that natural parental instinct, seemingly missing in larger and larger portions of the population, is wonderfully alive and well out there.

This reminded me that it’s those parents who remain in touch with their natural instincts who become the happiest among homeschooling families. And that reminded me of something I wrote approximately a decade ago. I hope you agree that it’s worth sharing today to honor Mom Stephanie Decker, most definitely a hero in my book.

Homeschooling and Trusting Parental Instinct

Birds fly. Fish swim. Caterpillars make cocoons. Not one of them is “taught” to do so in the manner we usually think about being taught. Instead, it’s all part of instinct or, as my dictionary defines it, “The innate aspect of behavior that is unlearned, complex, and normally adaptive.”

We readily accept that instinct serves every other species well, so why do we give it short shrift when it comes to humans? Surely we’re not the only species on earth lacking this valuable gift.

No. We are blessed with just as much instinct as any bird, fish, or caterpillar. The difference is we also can do an awful lot of thinking. We can “reason” our way out of acting on that f”feeling,” especially when action might disrupt the status quo. Unfortunately, we parents have had a lot of years of schooling that emphasized training our intellects, to the detriment of our innate intelligence.

Parents can counteract this by getting back in touch with their parental instinctand learning to pay it the attention it deserves. In Nashville, Kay Brooks, a state liaison for the National Home Education Network, boils it down nicely. “If it doesn’t seem right – or seems right – start from there.”

See also Homeschooling and Defining Education for Your Family

So practice. The next time you get a “feeling” about anything related to your child’s education, don’t immediately start thinking it away. Don’t immediately assume your family life circumstances rule out options. Set aside preconceived notions, including any educational labels your child may have been given. Assume your feeling is valid, for this is the only way to discover if there’s anything to it. Trusting your parental instinct will help you become more sensitive to your child’s educational needs, improve your ability to guide her, and help her succeed.

On Parental Instinct

It’s All Inside

A mom single-handedly lifts a car off her child before it crushes him. A refugee with no food or water carries her sick child for days to reach medical care. We’ve all read and marveled at stories of parents who find super-human strength when their children’s lives hang in the balance.

That strength, born of love, is ever present in each of us. We don’t need a calamity to claim it. All we need do as parents is trust that the best way to  help our children achieve life happiness and academic success is to take responsibility for leading them to it, the same way the parents in extraordinary circumstances take total responsibility for leading their children to safety. They take action in love, and whatever skills they need to accomplish their heroic tasks become available to them at the right moment. Parents who practice a learning lifestyle know there is an equal amount of power in their parental instinct when they apply it to their children’s academic achievement.

~ Linda Dobson