On the Fence and Hesitating?
"Homeschooling can happen even when it doesn't look pretty and there are significant obstacles."
Tabitha S, 2016
I thought my experience may help someone on the fence about homeschooling. I wanted to homeschool my daughter since I saw her learning as a toddler. So I did, and we added 3 more little kids to our brood. I kept her back from her expected school intake at the beginning of 2015, much to some people's great concern (I was pregnant and I have significant mobility issues in pregnancy), my husband needed major surgery due to cancer in the previous year, and my house is always a pigsty (I'm just messy!). Homeschooling didn't feel well supported.
However we pushed ahead with no program or agenda until it was time for registration as home educators. The week before my Approved Person from BOSTES (NSW) was due to visit, I suffered a heart attack, and was flown to a hospital 500kms away from my family. I alerted the Approved Person (AP) who said "no worries, we'll postpone 2 weeks". I was like "um, you know what a heart attack is right? LOL!" None the less, even with my less than sparkling house he came, we had an excellent discussion about how I was going to meet my daughter's needs, and I received a year's registration.
This July, 18 months after my daughter would have started at mainstream school, we decided that for my personal health we'd send her to school. I was scared! The local school were welcoming and her kinder teacher was lovely. My daughter has built on her homeschool experience and gone from strength to strength.
I am SO glad that I was able to spend that first 18 months with her, even though it wasn't more. Giving her the space to go her pace, was brilliant. I'm not sure how long we will stay with school. She's really happy there, so she'll continue until something g changes I guess. I hope it's not the end of our homeschool experience, but if it is it was well worth it!
In conclusion, let me encourage you that homeschooling can happen even when it doesn't look pretty and there are significant obstacles. If you don't know if you'll do it forever but you want to give it a go, that's ok! We aren't stuck with any choice. Also, school assemblies and presentation nights SUCK, they don't exist at homeschool, so if you are on the fence, maybe that's enough to take the leap.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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