Friday, January 29, 2010
A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO HOME EDUCATION
I have written this "Beginners Guide" for a friend who is compiling a wee booklet to give to people asking her about home education. This is happening a lot, so she thought it best to be prepared with something written by some Mums who have been home educating for some years now.
I will publish it in parts - and here, for your enjoyment (hopefully) is Part One. :o)
OUR JOURNEY IN HOME EDUCATION
In 1993 I gave birth to our first baby. I was surprised at how protective I felt about this beautiful little boy. I didn't want him to be away from me, which sometimes made me feel a little trapped, but as time went on I learned to enjoy this new relationship.
By the time our baby was 1 year old I was advised to look ahead and consider putting his name down at a pre-school. I felt a little ill thinking about it. Why should someone else have my baby for hours a day – watching him grow and change, playing with him, teaching him and interacting with him?
And then I heard about home education – or homeschooling. I was filled with excitement about it! Who could I talk to? What did I need to do? There were so many questions.
I got a phone number of a lady who was homeschooling her 13 year old son and spoke to her. She put me on to someone else. Eventually I visited that family as I was intensely curious as to HOW you could do this wonderful thing – and what sort of children would it produce?
Our visit was WONDERFUL. The children were respectful and polite, and talked to me in a relaxed manner about the bulbs they had planted in the garden. The mother was warm and friendly.
I was filled with hope, excitement and encouragement.
But as time went on, and many of my friends were taking the “traditional” route of pre-school, playcentre etc I felt bad that maybe our boys (we had two by this stage 2 and 4 years old) were missing out on “something” by not attending pre-school or kindy. So I gathered courage and visited a playcentre session one day, and a kindy another day. I didn't like it, but I kept my feelings to myself (which I thought was the right thing to do) and watched the reactions of our oldest son.
He was overwhelmed by the noise and activity level. His usual ability to concentrate and enjoy a task was gone – he was frustrated by having to deal with the behaviour of the other children. We were all so relieved to go back home and pick up where we left off that morning – reading, playing, being together.
Check in later for Part Two.