Home edding in Oz and loving it!(2 Posts)
I just wanted to post my experience as I know lots of people here are at the "should I" stage.
I've been interested in home ed on and off for years. I have three kids who are now 14, 8 and 4. The two eldest are dyslexic, the 8 year old profoundly so. They have both been to mainstream and alternative schools in primary. We have recently moved to Sydney and I thought it would be a good time to see if home ed could possibly work for us. The 14 year old has gone off to school which is the right thing for him and he is really happy, though I'm not totally convinced by the "she'll be right" attitude towards his need for support, but I am now home edding the 8 year old (and I'm hoping the 4 year old will absorb some stuff along the way). Luckily the only person I know here runs the local home ed (home school here) group, so there are meet ups once a week and we are meeting lots of other people, but I must say my 8 year old has been transformed. Instead of dragging a reluctant child out of bed every morning, sending him to school and collecting a totally knackered kid at the end of the day where the mere thought of homework is enough to send everyone into total depression, our rhythms are different. He can get up a bit later if he wants to (we're talking 8 rather than 7.30 by the way, not lying in bed all day). Most days I've realised that "formal learning" is best done between 9 and 10 but the other day there was just no point as he wasn't in the mood so I dedicated it a PE day and we spent the day in the park instead. We can do trips to museums (having just arrived he's facinated by the whole aborigal thing - I can see endless history lessons ahead). He struggles with the sequencing but can understand time lines. I've got some texts/worksbooks to do English and Maths (we're going back to year 1 to build up his confidence and it's nice to see he has no problem with maths). He reads a little bit to me, I read a lot to him - we are no longer confined to "bedtime stories". There is lots of fresh air and exercise, ad hoc music lessons when he spends time on the keyboard, IT when he asks to do stuff on the computer etc.
At the risk of making you all chuck, day to day life has become his schooling. I'm the kind of person who seriously values her personal space and I have always had lots of child free time, but I find now that having happy kids around all the time is so much less stressful than having stressed out kids for a limited time based around the school week. Will I do this forever, I don't know, but my original idea of just giving my son a "boost" so he could go into school at the start of the next school year in January is looking less and less appealing.
I would seriously recommend to anyone out there considering it, suck it and see!
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