The last part of a series which explains our reasons for decided to homeschool our younger six children.
If you read the introduction yesterday you may have picked up on the *ahem* deliberatemistake. I referred to the Friday Flashback returning next week. However, yesterday was Thursday, not Friday. Today is Friday as, well, it’s a day after Thursday. This mistake has proven a number of things:
- None of you picked up on the mistake either. That means you’re as scatty as I am
- If you did pick up on it you didn’t mention it and decided to spare my embarrassment. How polite of you! Your parents would be so proud!
- Anyone can homeschool – you don’t need to be a mega-qualified genius or even know which day of the week it is!
Anyway, let’s get back to the whole reason for this post, shall we?
Why we decided to homeschool: Part Four
Though not completely happy with the idea, our original thoughts were to remove Harry, and allow Caitlin the chance to do her 11+ to see if she could get into grammar school. The plan was that if she did, all well and good for her GCSE exams, and if she didn’t we’d homeschool her as well. The problem here was not only the pressure of the 11+ exams but also after. Also, we didn’t want her to be limited in what she could do and learn.
Schools obviously have limited time, resources and teachers and can only focus on so many things which is fair enough. We felt a home education would offer more of an opportunity to learn about and do a wider range of things. This doesn’t mean they’ll be doing more hours worth of work either.
For example, if you take away the “idle time” in schools, such as assemblies, registration, breaks, waiting for pupils to settle down, going from classroom to classroom, interruptions during lessons and so on, that’s an awful lot of wasted time out of an average 6 hour day.
In a home environment there are fewer distractions, fewer interruptions and therefore more time is spent actually learning and doing rather than waiting and wasting time. There is also the opportunity to follow up any individual interests that a child may have. Sometimes you’ll find one question leading onto another, then another. In a school environment there isn’t often the time to take out of a planned lesson to follow up these questions and see where you end up, whereas you have the flexibility to do this when you are learning at home. Unlike school, there are no limits to how far you can go and what you can do.
While researching curriculums we found a Christian based one which looked like the answers to our prayers! It had everything planned out. All the workbooks, the lessons, everything you’d need. You could pick and choose if you wanted to use other resources for certain lessons so you would only use the subjects you wanted to use if you didn’t want to use all of them from here. The children would learn about positive character traits as well as maths, science, and the three r’s.
It would take them all the way up to the age of 18 and the certificate they receive at the end is accepted instead of GCSE’s for university entry at universities not only in England but also different ones around the world, which was another bonus as we are hoping to move from England one day. This was ideal for all the children, we thought, and we gave Caitlin the information and she came to decide that she too wanted to be homeschooled.
Although buying in a curriculum isn’t necessarily cheap, we keep in mind that many things can be re-used for younger children as they move up through the years, and so workbooks will be the only things needing purchasing once the extras such as reading books or various equipment have already been bought. And despite being very skint, or so we thought, we somehow have the money to get whatever curriculum we need. God surely provides!
The children are doing so very well. Both are working far further ahead than they would be or were at school. They also have the opportunity to do things such as sewing, crafts, woodwork, cooking and even learning about running a household. They are learning life skills as well as academic skills. They are best friends with eachother, rather than picking on eachother because that’s what someone did to them at school so they’ll do it at home to the next one in the pecking order.
I’m enjoying our time together. Life is so precious and so is time. I like being their mother, their guide and their teacher. We can instill the values we want them to have without them having to experience the peer pressure at such young ages (as one girl told Cait while handing her a party invitation to her tenth birthday, “Do you have a sparkly top? If you don’t have a sparkly top you can’t come.”). And no teacher in the world knows our children like we know our children. No-one in the world has their interests at heart like we do. Nobody is ever going to love them like we do. And like I tell them, no friend is going to love you as much or truly as your family loves you. Why shouldn’t good relationships between their siblings be encouraged over relationships with friends?
Many people are happy with schools and that’s fantastic. A lot of people don’t know about homeschooling, or simply don’t want to do it, and that’s fine too. It’s an individual choice for each family to make.
I’m not saying it’s the right decision for everyone but it’s the right decision for us and the best move we’ve made.
It works for us well. We love it.
You can read the rest of the series of posts here: