Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Homeschooling is gaining momentum. Being discussed in mainstream platforms like the Business Insider and Forbes , it is increasingly becoming something parents consider when contemplating the education of their children.
When I first had kids, the idea of homeschooling was a bit kooky; something either the super religious or something a hippy, off-grid family would choose. I enrolled them in kindergarten and it was OK at first.
Kids are meant to get sick, every other month! That builds their immune system right?! They’re meant to be frustrated and bored by the work, the repetitive singing of songs that they don’t like, forbidden to use scissors and chastised for colouring beyond the line.
This is how they’ll learn about adult life. The difficult social interactions, part of life, isn’t it? One day, my very gentle and placid firstborn, who loved books came home, flung his books across the room and said, defeat permeating his 5 year old words,”I’m stupid and I’ll never learn to read”.
That weekend, my daughter attended a trial dance lesson. When we asked if she enjoyed it, her indignant response,”Why can’t girls dance like robots?!?!” said it all.
All this, coupled with the cost of a ‘good’ kindergarten and the heinous morning traffic resulted in us deciding to give homeschooling a go. The kids are now 16, 14, 12 years old and 21 months.
Bern is a voracious reader (though he only learned to read at 9, ) and Katelin still loves Transformers. They’ve just started preparing for IGCSE’s via an online programme and have yet to miss a deadline. Better still, they’re scoring A’s for most of their assignments.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. It’s does have its drawbacks and difficulties. Before you begin, a bit of self examination and awareness is key.
However, if you do choose this road, prepared to be wowed, by your kids, yourself and the world. As Emmett says, “Everything is Awesome!” You will come to learn that children have insatiable curiosity. And once they realise you’re committed to helping them understand and discover, the organic learning that happens is a joy to behold. Everything, is a window to new wonders. For children under 5, let them learn to master their bodies. Let them climb, and fall. Swing high, feel fear. Run fast and feel their little hearts pump harder, then slow down and catch their breaths. Let them push their boundaries so they may learn their limits.
A sweaty, mucky child who has spent her energy discovering her world, is a happy child. Remember gross motors skills first, then fine. Stacking blocks is hard when all you want to do is run!
Teach them when it’s ok to be strong and loud, when they need to be gentle and quiet. Let them sing off key, only the last word of every line of the song, or make up words that make sense to them. Creativity now is the foundation for courage in adulthood. And for goodness sake, let them rest. Let them be bored. It is these quiet times that allow them to see the little motes of dust that dance whimsically in the air.
This is when they notice the veins on a leaf and the bands of colour on the individual hairs of their dog’s fur. This is when little ones find time to come over to you, pat your hair glistening in the sun, and said, “Pritty.”
Written by Alicia Ling Horsley