Reading the writing of Lesley Carter- Bucket List Publications, always seems to prompt something in me. Her posts provide food for thought and as I read her interesting articles, I find myself relating to the feelings she is talking about, even if the activity is completely different.
I have never had the desire to bungy jump or sky dive, (although did try abseiling but knew a few feet from the top that it wasn’t something I enjoyed) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced the feeling of freefalling. Although my outcome wouldn’t have meant serious physical injury or death if there had been a problem ( far worse I could have left my children educationally stunted, if I had got it wrong!) – homeschooling provided enough of a challenge to elicit the ‘feeling’ within and all the emotions that come with a task, a person believes to be of great importance.
Educating your children on the road is a brilliant adventure – bringing a similar learning into the home is very different, I’ve found. It works in a completely different manner.
I had no desire to take them to meetings of other homeschoolers; my kids didn’t have interest in going. Nor were they interested in structured learning – bringing the schooling system into the home. They liked what they liked and took interest in learning – school is not necessarily the best place for children to become educated.
What I learnt from them is that life has breath – it expands and contracts and the learning is in knowing when to take action and when to relax. I’m still not the master of this, by the way.
Travel promotes organic growth – staying in one place-psychological and I think that although consciously, it had never been our intention to remove our children from the UK schooling system at secondary school age, (11 up) this is exactly what both my husband and I valued and value – the freedom of the individual. We were able to give our children this freedom through travel. Rather than from our point of view of secondary school education, which we believe to be about utilsing the individual to keep society running – like putting a hamster on a wheel.
This doesn’t make it all plain sailing or easy – there have been different challenges that have come about through our choices and all of us have had to deal with them.
One thing I do notice, is that my children have well thought out chosen life styles ( Connor is a Professional Freerunner) and have made career decisions suitable to how they would want to live their lives (Chloe has just finished her rescue diver training at Sunshine Divers in Thailand and is now saving up to train as a professional Scuba Diving Instructor) and both work towards them in their own very individual ways.
It is interesting as a parent to listen and learn from them both – as I have always done. My children have always been my greatest teachers. In all ways possible.
So if you are thinking of stepping into homeschooling here are a couple of pointers that may help.
- Forget about school completely – stepping in, makes it a little more difficult to then step out and find your own way. If you’re contemplating it, take the leap early on in your child’s life and find a new way of living. (Although each country will have different laws regarding education.)
- Listen to your children and learn from them – engage as a Facilitator. You don’t want to be their teacher/ be their parent and love them through the process and as they grow older you will find they will tell you what they are interested in (not necessarily verbally) and guide you-in guiding them in the right direction.
- Have faith and be kind to yourself – you are not necessarily qualified to teach but you do know your kids and if deciding whether or not to take this route, then I would suggest you are very serious about your children’s education.
- If you can, surround yourself with people who will help and support you. If like me those people aren’t around and you are in it alone, then trust in your convictions. Some days, they may be the only thing to get you through.
Watching your children grow into an adult, is one of the greatest gifts a parent can have and knowing that you have helped them develop their own way of living is precious.
So, what are your thoughts on homeschooling?