Growing in Freedom Homeschooling Consulting empowers parents whose kids are struggling within the confines of the traditional school system to take them out of school and create an individualized educational plan that is just right for them.
Rivka Seeman, M.S. Ed
As a child, I loved learning but I didn't love school. School frustrated me because there was so much that I wanted to learn that I couldn't find time to pursue. I wanted to be doing important things: helping people; making the world better. My yearning to make an impact felt as thwarted as my intellectual pursuits. School just didn't seem to be a good use of my time. I imagined that once people finished high school and became adults, they were finally powerful enough to make a difference in the lives of students, but... they never looked back. I promised myself that I would look back.
Fast forward about ten years and I was teaching in a residential environmental education program where kids would come with their school and stay all week. It was a wonderful program. I spent most of the days teaching my group of kids out in the woods.
We would hike, cross streams on a log using teamwork to help each other across, and play games that I created, designed to awaken an interest in history and other subjects that were boring in school. One week, in addition to having a school visiting us, we also had two families with kids who were homeschooled- my very first encounter with kids who didn't go to school.
These kids impressed me. In the evenings we had all of the kids together in a large space and our director would ask them questions about things they had learned over the course of the day. The homeschooled kids were the only ones who didn't know anyone before they arrived. They were even a bit younger than the rest of the kids. I was floored that they could raise their hands and speak with confidence in front of 75 strangers. I learned at a young age to be careful about speaking up. Big groups of kids aren't always the kindest if you make a mistake. I realized that not having been to school gave them the rare confidence of someone whose spirit hadn't been battered by the teasing of classmates.
When I started my graduate degree in Education at Hunter College, later that year, I read everything I could about homeschooling and continued to do so over the next five years. At that point, I answered a calling to support kids who wanted to direct their own education and parents who just knew that there had to be something better out there for their kids. Despite my own excitement about unschooling, a philosophy built on trust that children learn from living life and going after the skills and knowledge they need to fulfill their passions, I learned that there are as many different ways to homeschool as there are families. Some families enjoy the comfort of a structure and a curriculum to follow or want to make sure they're providing their kids with a religious education. Others just want some guidance and help finding resources so they can spend time doing what they love. Some states, including New York, where I began homeschooling consulting, have quite a few regulations to meet, while others are more flexible in their requirements. Growing in Freedom Homeschooling Consulting is about helping families figure out what's right for them and giving parents the support they need to create a better life for their children.