Complete beginner(10 Posts)
I am a mother of a soon to be 3 year old (DS) and a 1 year old (DD) I am looking at home schooling them in the future. I have put our DS’s name for nursery (montessori) I would like to Home school my children but I worry about whether I would be able to facilitate their mental/spiritual growth. I also worry about maintaining a balance in my life and sustaining a healthy relationship with my husband. Do you have any tips? How do you maintain that balance as a Home ed parent ?
Hello and welcome!
Do you want to say more about your worries? Have you felt that you are struggling already with facilitating your children's mental and spiritual growth - are they not happy and learning well with you? Or do you feel it has been okay so far, but you expect that will change and it won't work anymore?
In what ways might they benefit from going to school?
What is it about home education that appeals to you?
Sorry about all the questions! I don't want to misunderstand and witter on with some thoughts which are totally irrelevant to your concerns.
Thank you for taking the time to reply to me I really appreciate it. I’ll start by answering your questions
I don’t feel like I am hindering their spiritual or mental growth but I do struggle with maintaining a balance between my personal time and motherhood. They are learning from me but I do worry that as they develop into their own characters I won’t be as equipped to feed their intellect if you see what I mean.
I don’t think they will benefit more out of a traditional school setting but I do feel there are benefits like access to facilities (huge playground, music lessons) or opportunities (school trip)
Home schooling appeals to me because I feel like I can cater to my children’s innate desire to learn about things that are important and interesting to them as opposed to following a standardised curriculum. I also feel I am able to cater to their emotional needs more than a teacher who simply wants to get through the working day following a curriculum that does not take emotional development into consideration. Furthermore I believe that Home ed enables me as a parent to actively be part of the learning process rather than waiting for a parents evening to learn how the children are doing.
Two things about school trips: First, we see them a lot, around and about. Children herded in packs in their bright yellow jackets. Stragglers called to hurry. Rushers called to wait. Worksheets defining their experience. And it's one special day out where we, if we like a place, can get a season ticket and suck the marrow out of the experience week after week. Or, with older children, semi feral packs roaming a public place, being rude and disruptive, and being mean to the ones who aren't pack animals. Not always, but enough for me to be really glad my children are "missing out"...
And the second thing is that a lot of trips (farm trips, sewage plant, that sort of thing) are open to home edders, and there's always some enthusiastic person around who organised trips of that kind, where lots of parents go too.
Specialist stuff: Home edders often do a lot of skills sharing, and club together into groups to get experts in. Not really relevant until most children are about 7-8 in my experience, but it's there in the culture for the future
You needn't feel that they are missing out on experiences because they are being home schooled. My DD (6) is home schooled and goes to community choir on Monday, Rainbows on Tuesdays, Girls' Brigade on Wednesdays, swimming lessons on Thursdays, dancing on Saturday and twice a month Wildlife Watch on Sundays. On the Sundays that she doesn't do WW, I take her to a free craft session at the local library. She has play dates with some of the children she has made friends with at these activities. Whilst waiting for her at these activities, I do shopping or read a book. Sometimes DH comes too and we go for a walk together or a meal.
These clubs are in addition to the provision especially for home ed children in our area. For example, the local Wildlife Trust hold monthly activity days for unaccompanied 6-12yrar olds at a nature reserve on Tuesdays. So far DD has only been to three and I make the most of those precious 5 hours! We are also part of two home ed groups which meet fortnightly. Have a look to see what's on offer in your area.
I'm also hoping that DD will be up for going to some of these camps as she gets older. educationalfreedom.org.uk/home-ed-camps/
Join the local face book groups in your area so you can get a feel of what goes on, maybe go to some of the meet ups. Lots of people 'homeschool' their pre-schoolers (not sending them to nursery, taking them to home-ed groups,etc.)
There are home-ed music lessons, language lessons, art lessons etc. Also home ed trips out to places, home ed meet ups at parks/playgrounds.
In terms of the balance you mention, I find it much easier to maintain the balance when homeschooling than when my DC were in school.
I found the getting ready for school, uniforms, homework, all the other stuff (it just seems to go on and on) far more draining than homeschooling.
Also, the pick up times - I always felt my day was restricted (especially with younger DC) so much time wasted in and out the car in bad traffic. Then ended up with the after-school tiredness behaviour so felt like was getting the worst of my DC which is draining.
I feel much more relaxed now. I enjoy my breakfast and coffee in the morning rather than rushing getting us all ready and I think because my DC are homeschooled they are far less demanding of my time.
Thank you all so much for replying and I look forward to learning more about home schooling and using the links that you have all suggested to me.
If there’s anyone else who would like to respond and express their opinion please feel free to do so. I am really excited to get all this positive feedback it will really help me as a parent to support my children.
Organised trips, opportunities to participate in music and sports groups etc are very easy where I live. Some are arranged by home ed parents and others are out-of-school activites open to all. Some areas have a more active home ed community than others, so join your local group to find out what is on offer.
I felt that my kids had more opportunity to take part in these things than schoolchildren. We could choose exactly what interested them. They had more time and energy as a result of not being at school. For example, one of my kids did loads of after-school activities, but she didn't feel overly busy since she had been mostly chilling at home until 3pm.
My other child needs/wants far fewer activities per week, but I have to select them more carefully because there aren't many which suit her well. That's okay because we can choose from all the offerings throughout the wider community, and she isn't wasting her time or getting demoralised by having to attend unsuitable school activities. (During her brief time at school, my older child went on a five-day school trip which she loved. The younger one would've hated that particular trip, so if she'd been at that school she'd have either gone along and been miserable, or stayed home and felt left out. And I expect she'd have felt that her inability to enjoy the trip reflected badly on her. Because she was HE, I chose a similar trip - organised by an HE parent - which was a perfect fit for her.) Twice a week, her activities keep her out rather late in the evening. That isn't an issue, because she can lie in and have an easy morning the next day.
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