Want to Home School the kids? Convince me!
Significant others in your life are against it?
Doubting your ability?
Well here are a few pointers and links to assist you.
Firstly, do not try to convince anyone else.
You need to believe it, you need to be convinced that it is the best option for your family, your children in particular.
Because if you do not, no one will!
Harsh? Yes I know.
Been there, done that!
It took me 4 years of study and research to be 100% convinced.
There are a variety of reasons people chose to home school/home educate.
Freedom, lifestyle, moral, school refusal, bullying and so on.
If you have pre school aged kids and you are doing what all good parents do, which is investigating schools and educational options then you are being thorough by looking at Home Education.
Truly it is a wonderful opportunity.
Our 'System' seems to funnel us into institutions at such a young age. But if this doesn't sit well with you and you are looking at home ed then information is the key.
Some things you need to know:
1 - Is there a home ed community nearby?
Why do I need to know this?
Because these people are going to be your tribe!
They are the people that have gone before you and will help in so many ways.
If there is not an active group geographically near, then get online.
Facebook has so many support groups. They are usually 'Closed groups' and you will need to request to join.
Do a search for your local area first and then join the wider Australian groups and asked to be linked into groups in your local area.
Here are a few to start you off.
Homeschool Australia FB
Unschool Australia FB
Victorian Home School & Unschool FB
Albury / Wodonga FB
Northern Territory FB
Home Ed SA
Home Ed TAS FB
Home Ed Association TAS FB
There are also websites for local groups and states.
Home Ed WA
Home Ed ACT
Sydney Home Ed NSW
Home Ed Network VIC
2 - Have you looked at your States Department of Education for the regulations for Home Schooling?
See my Blog on 'How to start......'
3 - Some questions you will ask or be asked by someone.
What about socialisation?
Yawn!....... This is soooooo typical and, well, typical!
My standard answer is ' My kids are socialised within society, not an institution.' (Big smile on my dial, don't want to be nasty).
But you may not want to throw that out straight away.
Try this instead....
"Prior to the advent of modern education, children were not socialised in this way. It is also unlike the world our children will experience when they emerge as adult contributors to society.
A child's social needs are more fully met through interaction with their direct and extended families and as they mingle with their community.
This involves exposure to people of varying ages in real world contexts, whereas interaction in school is largely restricted to a single, narrow age band in an environment which offers limited experience."
Taken from the HEA website. I strongly recommend that you become a member of this amazing group, run by Home educating volunteers.
You can then let them know that there is an active community of Home Schoolers around and that the kids will inevitably be doing local sports, games club, athletics etc.
Kids are naturally social and will make genuine relationships with others, not because they are forced into a classroom with 25+ other kids of the same age.
Home Ed gives the kids freedom to make connections to others with similar interests and experiences regardless of their age. You know, like, real life!
Are you a teacher?
"Nope, but I love learning and cant wait to learn along side the kids.
Exciting isn't it!" I use this a lot.
To be honest, I know a lot of teachers that home educate, and they have found it a little harder than others as they must forget most of what they have been taught about kids learning and had to re educate themselves on how kids actually do learn, and then see their child as a learning and thriving machine.
Some good reading I recommend is "How Children Learn" and "How children Fail." both by John Holt
What about High School?
"Well my kid is only 4, so I have got a little while yet!"
"We will take every year as it comes, schools not going anywhere."
And so on.
As for University, a Higher School certificate is only 1 way to get into Uni.
Motivated home educated kids are often years ahead of their schooled peers. So it is important to contact the University to see the best way to gain entry. Universities like motivated students. So keep any evidence of short courses, work experience, portfolio etc.
Open University does not require a 'Score', you can enrol in subjects from an early age.
This can then lead to recognised prior learning.
Certificates III and IV and Diplomas through TAFE are another option.
Enrolling into school for the last year of high school is always an option too.
But who knows what further education will look like in 10 years time.
What about time to yourself?
Schedule some time for yourself.
What hobby or sport do you love? Do that.
Lead by example, if you care for yourself you are showing the kids how to self care too.
I often go to the movies, on my own or get a massage.
I have weekly Yoga class I attend and I have a business and continue to gain more skills, this is a priority for me.
Other families I know do a variety of things.
It could be as simple as taking a 30 minute walk by yourself every day.
It is not a matter of how long you take for yourself, but the quality of that space you make for yourself.
(Further info on this in the near future).
How will you handle being with the kids all the Time?
I like my kids. They are so much fun to be with.
When you home school, you get the Best of your kids.
You do not have the morning rush and stress of getting the troops ready for school.
You do not have the anxious and exhausted kids at the end of the day, and not know why they are behaving in such a way because they cannot recall or want to recall what happened in school.
Now you may have tired and exhausted kids at the end of the day but you know why, you were with them, guiding them and helping them navigate any challenges and you got to see the wins!
You get to see the sparkle and joy in their eyes when they grasp a new concept.
If it is not working at home for you, change it.
Go outside, take a walk or go visit a park, museum, a friend or family.
Throw away what doesn't work and try something different.
What I have learnt is that if a child is interested in learning something, they do, very quickly.
No need to do page after page of repetition, unless they love to.
You cannot stop kids from learning when they are happy and safe.
That's the most wonderful part of Home Education, your kids are safe and happy.
I hope this has assisted in some way.
It is important to research and educate yourself so you become so convinced that this is what your are to do that people cannot question you!
I also love Ted Talks. Great information delivered well.
Its a great resource for sharing with the sceptics in your life.
Sir Ken Robinson 'Do schools kill creativity?'
Sugata Mitra 'Build a school in the Clouds.'
I love Websites & Blog Posts too!
Happiness is Here Blog is about Parenting and Unschooling.
Beverley Paine is a wealth of knowledge. She has been there and done that! And more!
Home-schooling Down under, gives another perspective and heaps of info.
I suggest you join the Home Education Association.
So back to convincing the other half.
If your partner is not convinced then you have to have an open and honest chat.
Ask them about their concerns.
Some concerns raised maybe:
'Don't want to be the odd 1 out?'
'Don't want to have awkward kids?'
'What about University options?'
'How will they make friends?'
'How will you as a parent cope with the kids ALL the time?'
These are great questions and will allow you to discuss all the fears and options out there.
Do not have this conversation in front of the kids or extended family.
This is a conversation for you both about the future of your children. It is no one else's business.
Maybe get the kids looked after for an hour and take a walk or grab a coffee.
But get the conversation started.
Now because you have done your research, you can share all the resources with them.
You will also have a lot of knowledge from all your research, but do not try to convince them. Just give your reasons and your why.
Allow them to answer.
It is often our own insecurities that prevent us from going against the mainstream.
If you have not got answers to some questions then you may need to seek them out.
There are some wonderful Blog Posts out there along with Ted Talks and books you can read. (see above links)
If your partner flatly refuses to listen or discuss home education as an option you may want to seek other advice about your relationship.
To me, if you cannot have an open conversation about the future educational choices for your children you need to look at your selves.
How do you relate to each other?
Can you communicate openly?
Who makes all the major decisions? Is it balanced between you?
Feel free to contact me directly if you need assistance with this.
You have to address your own concerns 1st, then your partners.
If you can get to the bottom of their objections then you can help them see your point of view but you must also respect their view.
School is always going to be there.
You can always change your mind and send the kids to school.
Circumstances change all the time.
Thank you for reading this and I would love your feedback.