So, why homeschool when there is a perfectly good school down the road? This is the question I asked when I had my first encounter with a homeschooling family. However, despite my lack of understanding, I was drawn to this mum’s relaxed and natural style of mothering, their strong sense of family, and the children themselves who were delightful; kind, confident, and with a wonderful curiosity in the world around them.
There are many different reasons why families choose to homeschool, and I’m sure some of these will be discussed here over time. And, as each child is created uniquely, and so is each parent, there are a myriad of ways of homeschooling….there is no right way, each family will develop their own way of learning.
I have been homeschooling for about ten years. It’s an ever evolving journey, in which I continue to learn just as much as the the children. And, not just the academic stuff…..At the beginning it does feel rather like stepping out of a boat and trying to walk on water, and back then I never would have forseen the benefits that have come; a relaxed and fun way of learning for life, strong relationships between the children, the huge priveledge of time together and of being able to base our learning on the foundation of God’s love. It’s not an easy option, but it’s an exciting one, and I’m so grateful we are able to walk/paddle/sink!/swim it together.
I thought we could kick off with a few thoughts from the lovely home ed group I belong to. Recently a mum at the beginning of her home school journey asked what, if we were starting at the beginning, would be the one thing we made sure we did. Here are a few thoughts that came out.
– Take it slow; lots of time to play, explore, go on outings and visits, be outside, make friends, make a mess.
– Don’t try and do school at home, and try not to compare…it’s different!
– Join a home ed group.
– Build a collection of great books.
– Learn from real books, real people, real life experiences….every day life is a great learning opportunity.
– Go with what they are interested in…don’t rush learning and take lots of detours.
– Have a quiet time after lunch where everyone curls up with a book and reads.
– Enjoy reading the Bible with your kids.
– In all the busyness of the day, try not to push out those quiet, uncluttered moments which you all love.
– Be confident in what you’re doing and enjoy being with your children!