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Stories of what homeschooling is really like! This series of interviews with homeschool Moms tells it like it is.
1. Tell me a little about how and who you homeschool. Why did you decide to homeschool?
I home-school my 13 year old son.
I withdrew him from Year 7 in June 09 after a traumatic incident in class in Oct 08 which escalated to the point where he expressed his wish to die so he didn’t have to be a ‘burden’ to everyone and couldn’t face waking up in the morning. There had been no problems with his school life up to that point and home educating had never even entered our heads. Once I realized it was an option we seized it and have never looked back.
We follow the curriculum loosely in that he studies Maths, English, Science et al but we do it ‘our’ way with lots of practicals and field trips. I listen to what he wants to learn about or is showing an interest in.
2. How has your homeschooling approach changed since you began? What is working for you now?
I don’t think the approach has changed very much, but I have learned to relax and lighten up. I’ve realized that he is learning all the time and as I have backed off, he has begun to initiate subjects he wishes to learn about.
We still have our ‘off’ days, but much of that is down to my temperament, if I’m honest!
3. What is your biggest surprise about homeschooling? Is there an unexpected benefit or drawback in it?
My biggest surprises about home-schooling are the number of people out there ‘doing it’ and the amount of resources there are available. Also, having been through the school system myself, I am surprised how much restriction and censorship and discrimination surrounded our education.
The benefits of home education are that my son is learning to love learning - he is being exposed to a wealth of knowledge he would miss in school. I get to spend much more time with him. I don’t really see any drawbacks as such. I sometimes worry that he doesn’t mix with other kids his own age except for at his twice weekly trampolining sessions, but that is my own point of view since he is a content loner and always has been. (Like me really, so it’s silly that I worry about this!!)
4 What is homeschooling REALLY like?
It’s really like nothing on this earth. It’s a journey many never have the privilege to take or maybe just not brave enough to take. Knowing everyday is going to be different and that you are feeding your child all the knowledge and experience they want, showing them the world as it really is outside those boring, stale textbook pages.
5. What would your absolutely perfect homeschooling day look like.
Crepe paper, scissors and glue strewn around the living room, flapjacks turning golden brown in the oven and me and my boy reading a book to each other, round robin style, that he actually chose willingly from the shelf! Oh and mud drying on our walking boots out in the hall!
6. Please dish the dirt on homeschooling! What is the problem with it, or what is your biggest challenge in homeschooling. What do you like least about it?
I dislike people’s opinions about it when they know nothing about it and don’t even try to find out about it.
I cannot complain about our LA as they have been very supportive and positive. Sometimes the enormity of the responsibility smacks me right between the eyes, but as for homeschooling itself, I dislike nothing about it at all.
7. What is your favourite homeschooling memory so far?
My son would rather stick needles under his fingernails than read a book willingly, so seeing tears come to his eyes as we read the final lines of ‘Of Mice and Men’ was a golden moment for me because I knew a story had finally reached out and touched him.
Thank you Mr Steinbeck!!
8. What was the moment in time when you absolutely knew you had made the right decision to homeschool?
I don’t think there was a particular moment, just seeing my son smile again was enough to convince me.
9. What would you go back and change if you could?
I would have done it sooner. From the day he was denied his basic human right to use a toilet in fact. Also, I would have been relaxed from the start instead of thinking I had to prove myself to so many people who didn’t matter.
10. As a homeschooling mom, what is your own special take on it - or what have you learned that you would like to pass on?
Just to believe in your capabilities and your decision. A parent knows their child better than anyone else and you don’t need a degree to teach your child about life.
Many thanks to homeschool mom Jayne for agreeing to be interviewed.
If you are a homeschool Mom (or you used to be!) and think you can contribute, then please ask ask me for an interview. I would love to hear your story.
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