Hello and welcome to our blog!
We are a family of four:- Dad, 2 kids (one of each variety) ages 10 and 6 and me.
Dad works full-time days, I work 30 hours nights over 4 days and between us we home educate the 2 sproglets. It’s nearly a year since we de-registered the children from school and I can honestly say it’s the second best thing we’ve ever done – the first best thing being actually having the children in the first place.
With hindsight I wish I’d saved myself and my son the needless hassle of school. Having said that, my kids both know what school is about and so can compare it to the home ed life and decide which they prefer. If ever they asked to go back to school they know they could but so far both are enjoying the wide and varied learning opportunities that home schooling provides.
The children had both been to nursery for their 15 hours a week from age 3 and both were doing OK at school, both seemed happy and were popular. There were aspects of the school that we weren’t happy with and as each issue arose we dealt with it but over time all these things made me question whether school was really the best place for my kids. It was deemed a good school, with good results but the bottom line is by the time you’ve done the school run and back each day you see precious little of your children. You get up, feed and get the kids dressed, hurry them to school, do it in reverse when school ends, do it again to get to and from any after school clubs then have to do any homework and then hurry them to bed so they can get enough rest to do it all again the following day…..rinse and repeat! You never really see your kids apart from to ferry them to and from places or to help them with dull homework that half the time goes unmarked. I have a whole bucket list of stuff I want the kids to know before they leave home and I never had the time to teach them these things while they were at school. I was certain that before I knew it, the kids would be leaving home and all I would have passed on to them is how to rush from one place to another and we would be so “out of touch” with one another we would never fully reconnect.
We did the research on home education and saw this not only as a brilliant way of educating the children but also as a way for us to be involved and fully participate with their childhoods. They get to play and learn alongside a wide and diverse range of children, learning how to handle conflicts, team work, negotiation, differences of opinions, all in a safe way with a parent close enough to intervene if necessary but far enough to allow their freedom. They can follow their interests, ask as many questions as they like, go off on interesting tangents to the original objective and explore what the world has to offer that they may enjoy or decide they hate but they get to choose and they get to find out. The things they learn, they learn because they want to not because they have to. Everything they do is relevant to life so they can see why they would need to learn it. Our aim is to expose the kids to as many different professions as possible in the next few years and see what they find the most enjoyable. If they then decide on a direction they’d like to explore for a career later on, they can tailor their qualifications specifically towards that career and gain as much hands on experience as possible putting them in the best position to get a foot on the ladder.
There are so many benefits of home schooling, we can take holidays when we like, we can visit museums and places of interests and beat the traffic and crowds, have the tour guides to ourselves, play with all the interactive exhibits without having to queue. We can learn what we want when we want, day or night, 365 days a year, we can be spontaneous – well, as spontaneous as my work and our budget allows. If the kids are doing a project on space and there is a meteor shower at 2am, I can wake them up, wrap them up warm and they can see it. With just the two to teach instead of a class of 30, we can rattle through “school work” at a rapid rate catering to each child’s abilities. If the kids are unwell, tired or just not in the right frame of mind for academic work, they can do something creative instead or just play and pick up the work later in the day when they are more “in tune” with it. My husband and I will certainly be able to pass on all our knowledge and skills that the kids will need for a successful and happy life. And the best thing, the very best part of home schooling is we have our family back, we have a deeper understanding of each other, a stronger connection. We truly spend quality time together and that is something you just can’t beat!