Our homeschooling history

We began homeschooling at the start of 2011. We had reached the point where the school system was not working for my son and we also knew we could provide better for my daughter.

It took quite a few visits to quite a few specialists to work out that we had two exceptionally gifted kids and at least one twice (thrice?) exceptional son (gifted + inattentive ADHD + motor dyspraxia). That makes traditional classroom learning really difficult. 

Homeschooling has been such a wonderful option for us. We worked at our own pace - building on our strengths (and I don't think I've really got to challenging him in science or her in maths yet) and gently supporting our weaknesses (writing and P.E.). We were able be flexible, less stressed, more happy. We learned life skills and it all took a lot less time than school.

My kids have decided that now they would like to give school another go. They are maturing and getting ready for tertiary education. We are armed with more knowledge about them and how to navigate the school system this time. The executive functioning issues we experienced at school and then at home are still with us and make things difficult. But we battle on.

I'm very grateful for our homeschooling years - I will treasure the time and learning I got to share with my kids at an important time in their lives. It was worth every grey hair!

Something has changed within me - I have become well read on giftedness (and gotten post-graduate qualifications), twice-exceptionality and homeschooling. We are still learning about ourselves and I am still exploring all the options so that my kids needs are met. I'm still supporting both the home education world and the school system world (you can but try to make that one better!). Life long learning. Defying Gravity.

3 comments:

  1. Good on you for the choices that you have made. It's not any easy journey in the beginning is it? I can identify with a lot of things you have written with my older son. Even my youngest is very bright but is undone by academics
    lil

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  2. Dear Homeschoolers,
    as I read your story it is identical to mine. I have not met, read, heard of any homeschoolers with gifted kids in Australia. My boys are 7 & 3 and I am continually amazed that I have the energy each day to start afresh. We have just moved from Townsville to a small town a couple of hours north and have not met any other homeschoolers yet. As this is a community of 3,000 I am very self conscious when posed the question as to why I am homeschooling; and this is from other homeschoolers. I really don't want to blow it here. There is a fantastic little school here, I agree, but it will never be a fit for my kids. How do I broach these questions without coming accross as pretentious or bragging (you and I know the sensitivities,battles, energy and tears home educating gifted children takes)???
    We were told at the end of Kindy that our eldest boy then 4 was flagged for Aspergers as he did not play with other children and had an Einstein vocabulary. They forwarded this info to the prep school and we fought a battle with labelling. Two paeditricians (the school asked for a second opinion) said no and to get him tested. So a long story short he tested as gifted, with clinically high levels of anxiety and the start of depression. I pulled him out of prep, educated myself with at least 15 books and a child psychologists help and started homeschooling. So instead of repeating prep as the school suggested we with testing started my little man on year 3 work as a homeschooled child, that was 2012.
    I would love to keep in touch as only a parent of gifted children (my youngest has not been tested at 3 but at 14 months when the eldest was tested the psychologist informed me you have a second one), knows the struggles, arguments and challenges. We love our children dearly (I retired from nursing after the children were born and haven't gone back)but by golly they can be exhausting. It's Saturday so I am feeling rejuvinated as the two boys fight over the x-box the youngest breaking his heart that he is not winning and trying to explain to Mr 7 that if you don't let him win sometimes he won't play. Doesn't compute, that's cheating Mum is the response. Love your blog on looking after ourselves as Mums. I like how you have maintained your privacy in your blog with names etc.
    Take care
    signing off as Possum Sparkle (not my real name)

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    Replies
    1. Hey Possum! Lovely to "meet" you! Some days it's really not easy, is it? And that question "so why do you homeschool?" - I'm still not great at answering that one. Depending on the person asking, I just say "school didn't work for them" and play the anxiety/depression card - no questions you after that!

      I'm glad I tried to do the privacy thing - it's getting harder (with the book and representing the homeschool community in NSW, but I try not for me, but for the kids - especially as they are getting older. I think photos bring the blog to life, but there will no doubt be more heads missing and backs to cameras!

      There is a Gifted Homeschool Yahoo group, but it isn't very active. Gifted Families Yahoo group was great when I just started out, but many families on their trying to navigate through the school system. A couple of families on my favourite blogs list to the right are home schooling gifted kids in Australia - go check them out!

      Lovely to have you hear and thanks for telling your story - there are few of us around and it always feels better for not feeling like you are alone in the world!

      Delete

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