Monday, 6 February 2012

Toying with Homeschooling...

We've been toying with the idea of homeschooling for a while. We like that we can tailor our children's learning and spend time doing things with them.

Homeschooling would also suit our lifestyle as we do a lot of travelling.

We love the idea of teaching the boys about different places and cultures by actually visiting different countries. But more importantly, we feel that home schooling would allow us to focus on the things that, in our eyes, have more value for them to learn, and which aren't emphasized enough at school.

In many respects we don't do things the way people normally do, so homeschooling is not some big crazy out-there idea for us as we have a very flexible approach to the way we live.

Some things do trouble me about school. I get the impression that in reality most learning is done at home via homework which is completed with parents' help. Also there are too many opportunities for kids to learn bad habits and bad attitudes from others. I've spent too many precious hours teaching and disciplining my children for some naughty kid to spoil within one day!

However, if we find a school that totally blows our socks off, I think we'd definitely consider enrolling them. At least for a few years!

But don't get me wrong, I LOVED school. I made great friends, had a great time playing, and learnt a lot from some special teachers, well, three special teachers. However, if I think about what I would have rathered - going to school, or spending time with my parents, I would most definitely have chosen time with my parents. Having them spend time with me was so special. It made me feel special! All the times they took to play with me, I really treasured. If they had had the patience, ability to teach me, and financial resources to do it, I would have loved to be homeschooled.

I guess the thing that most people are concerned about when they think about home schooling is a lack of socialisation skills development - that being homeschooled will turn you into a bit of a social wierdo. But I don't think this has to be the case. Our boys go to playgroup, creche, Sunday School, and meet kids in the park, and they exhibit great social skills. They know how to make friends - each with their own approach. And somehow they've even learned to stay away from naughtier and rougher types.

At every playground we go to, JJ will be playing with other kids within ten minutes. SamSam, now that he is beginning to talk, is starting to play with others too. He initially pretends to be quite bashful with other kids, but once he's watched them for a little while, he'll let loose and be tearing around with them!

I suppose with homeschooling, because there are no kids around during the day to play with (except other homeschooling types, and your siblings), we would naturally make a more conscious effort to find opportunities for them to play at other times.

However, I don't think it's possible for everyone to homeschool. I think a lot the time it won't be feasible financially, logistically, or even from a personal temperament point of view - because let's face it, teaching isn't everyone's cup of tea.

However, it seems that DH and I have been blessed with the right mix of opportunity, resources, personal characteristics and even the right backgrounds to make homeschooling a real possibility. DH is from a science background, and has an aptitude for mechanical things. I'm more on the creative side with a preference for music, languages, arts and lots of reading, - and somewhere in the middle we meet with our interest in technology.

As our kids are getting older, it's becoming clearer how much potential there is bubbling within them, and sometimes I am in such awe of how wonderful and precious they are. It seems to us that the best we can do is use our special position to take time to teach them and nurture them ourselves.

I'm already excited thinking about planning what they will learn! I think I am discovering that I have teacher qualities! Funny how your children can teach you things about yourself that you never knew you had.

Our dream is that our boys will one day be great men, full of wisdom, courage and vision and who will love God with all their hearts. They will love all people and want to help them, and they will be great husbands and wonderful fathers to their own families.

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