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Learning all the time

Before we made the momentous leap into uncharted territory (a.k.a. homeschooling), I read a bit about it. OK, well, I read a lot! Bought books, read web sites. In fact (because sometimes I can be a slow learner) I had been reading about this option of education for several years before we actually took the plunge.

So, I thought I was pretty "up" on the terminology, on the types/methods of homeschooling and what would suit us. So, I Planned and then we Did. Got Approved, then the Learning at home commenced.

I realised that my kids were stressed from their school experience and would need a period of de-schooling before they could truly enjoy the wonderful world of learning activities that their teacher-mum (who has a Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Education and Certificate in Gifted Education, thank you very much) had planned for them. Oh, I was prepared to be flexible - if they in fact turned out to be ready for higher level maths, then higher we would go! I didn't buy a whole lot of "curriculum" because we might change our minds. Eclectic was the way to go. So I thought that 3 months over the summer holidays would be a good break for them and we could ease our way into this homeschooling thing. Which we pretty much did. They were asking when we could start homeschooling! Yay!

But a funny thing happened on the way to the dining table. As with much of my "book learning" at university, it isn't until you get out into the Real World that you actually see things in practice. We are 8 months or so into our homeschooling journey. And while it has overall been the best thing we have ever done as students and as a family, there have been times when it has been forced, not fun, and quite frankly, miserable. Not all day, but for chunks of the day. Now sure, I know learning isn't always supposed to be all "fun" (hey, I'm a teacher aren't I?), but I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be miserable. Hell - I could just leave the kids in school if I wanted them to be miserable! And I know they are intense, sensitive souls, which I am learning to take in my stride (I told you I was a slow learner, didn't I?). But maybe, just maybe, learning could (or should) be fun?? Or at the very least, something you want to do. So, maybe we needed to tweak things a bit. More joy, less tears.

And so I read. And learnt. And thought....some more. And now I am beginning to see that the person that needed the de-schooling the most was me. I had to not only be flexible about our learning, but re-think what education was, why we need it, what does it really mean for my particular kids and what we want to get out of it. I feel as if I'm gaining a new attitude to learning and what it means for us.

I'm still learning - and I hope I don't stop. I'm sure our homeschool will continue to evolve, to be what we need it to be. It doesn't mean I know what I'm doing yet or that I feel comfortable or if I'm brave, but I'm ready to open my mind up to new thoughts and ideas about what learning is. And it's exciting - so much to learn!


  1. Oh the vicious cycle of schooling :). What really sealed the deal for me was when I started "remembering" how I felt in school and learning I was doing everything I hated about it to my girls.

    Thanks for sharing the video (and the other one farther down)Love it!

  2. I so love reading your blogs, just to glean a little insight that might not typically come though when having a regular chat!

    My point in case? That the guys might actually be 'stressed' from regular school. You know, that made me stop and had an effect on me that in order to restart, you might have to stop and then start. Didn't occur to me...

  3. I love writing the blogs, because it gives me a chance to sort through my thoughts. Yes - they were stressed (especially the boy) in so far as they had a very negative attitude to school/school work. So I guess I need to help them develop a positive attitude to learning, and part of that is to just stop. And then start finding the joy!

  4. Stumbled across this entry tonight. Great post. I do feel the same. This is our third term homeschooling and I certainly had to de school myself. Like yourself I'm also a teacher, therapist, yes and a professional classical musician(the cathartic degree that should have been left as a hobby not 37, 000 in hecs debt!). Funny how , although unpaid all these degrees, only now are really coming into play in my life , in our home. But back on point. I have had to really de school myself and read like crazy (still am) about all the possibilities of getting our homeschool right. Like you I hope to never stop learning,, but most importantly I really want them to thrive, and we are seeing that now.My poor daughter vows never to step foot in another school, I wish it could have been more of a positive experience for her. She did get to see her parents assertively tackle the system on her behalf, at least that was something! This is a great opportunity isn't it.


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