Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HOME EDUDATION 101

This is our third year of home education. It’s not conventional. It’s not mainstream. It’s not what all of our friends do. We prayed about it and believe that at this point in time it is the right thing to do for our family.

I have changed our English/language curriculum each year and I’m still not happy with anything I’ve seen. Everyone has an opinion and many home schoolers are happy with the curriculum they are using. But what is right for one family isn’t always right for another.

I meet regularly with other home educators. We chat about all aspects of what we do. They do things very differently to how we do things. But what is right for one family isn’t always right for another.

I have a lovely toddler who interrupts our days. Other families seem to cope amazingly with all age groups. All families are different.

I love to read aloud to my children but my 8 year old stops listening after 5-10 minutes and quite often my 2 year old is ‘reading’ loudly beside me – so the other children can’t hear what I’m reading. Other families do most of their schooling through mum or dad reading aloud to them. But what works for one family doesn’t always work for all families.

I think about which school we’d put our children into if we decide to go back into the mainstream environment. All schools are different – one school will never be perfect – one school may suit our family but not others.

I book my children into after school activities. They mix with children from all walks of life. That mightn’t work for some families but it works well for ours.

Home education, home schooling, un-schooling, natural schooling – they are all just different ways of helping children learn. A building with bells and teachers may seem completely normal to some people but may simply not be appropriate for others.

11 comments:

  1. I love this post! My thoughts about homeschooling are very similar! We are currently heading in a more un-schooling/natural learning direction in some areas, but tend to loosely follow curriculum as well...middle-of-the-road type homeschooling I guess.

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  2. I had to stop looking at what other families did and focus on what works for us. It was only then that I found my 'groove'.

    By the way, it took my kids and I a year to get them used to read-alouds. I nearly gave up! But now the older 2 will sit still and quiet for an hour. The 3 years old - not so much, but we work around it. Great post. xo

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  3. Good on you Michelle. I'm so proud of you. I think what you are doing is fantastic!

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  4. Our boys go to our local public primary school, that's what works for us. The other day though he found out that one of my day care families home schools. He thinks school at home would be a fabulous idea!! Me, not so much LOL

    Glad home education is working for you guys :)

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  5. I love your repeated mantra - so very, very true.

    As a teacher I've been the first 'school teacher' for several home schooled kids. They've decided to come to late elementary school so they're used to the ways things work before high school. It's been fun. One boy had the hardest time with deadlines, because in their system they'd not had any. It's always been fun helping them learn different ways. :)

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  6. Mucho props, Michelle... It much be really hard. I couldn't imagine or have the patience. My hat certainly goes off to you...

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  7. I'm sure you're doing an admirable job taking control of your children's education.
    Homeschooling is a big job and parents should be commended for taking an active interest in their children's education whatever way they do it.
    I haven't the patience myself but I'm trying to work with my daughter's teacher to see greater improvement in her schoolwork.
    All the best to you.

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  8. I am fascinated by the decision to homeschool your kids.

    It is something I could never do, but I admire your ability to make this decision to do the best for your children. Thanks for the insight, Michelle.

    PS - this is what I love about reading blogs... seeing different perspectives on a range of issues. Love it.

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  9. This is so true. I have found even though it is hard to go with what I think is best, I have to. I try it and if it doesn't work I try something else. I have been inspired by some of Steiner's education which works well for me even though the homeschoolers or teachers I know haven't been very positive about it. My daughter Loves it and so do I. It fits us well.

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  10. You have to do what works for you. It's parenting in general really - we'll all have different things we want to achieve with our kids, and something that's important to me, might not be to you, visa versa.

    I think it's great that you're questioning it all - means you'll find what works best FOR YOU!

    Great post, Michelle

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  11. We homeschooled while travelling around Australia several years ago - my son was in Yr 2, daughter in preschool. We used Brisbane School of Distance Ed - it wasn't the best, as it is set up more for families in the outback with a dedicated schoolroom. I remember just before we left they sent me about 6 boxes of educational material. I panicked! Where we were going to fit that in a caravan!!! But we managed. And the kids settled back into their schools no worries when we got back and we'd had a fabulous family adventure :-)

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