So we’re almost done school for the year – our very first full year of homeschooling. I had the official last interview with my/Little Miss’ supervisor yesterday in preparation for the final report card and it was so uplifting, affirming and all other things gushy that I’ve gotta tell you…I really needed to feel!
I haven’t written publicly at all about homeschooling up til now, other than the very odd mention and then it’s just been more of the ‘oh and by the way, we homeschool’ variety. I guess part of the reason for that was firstly, not really wanting to talk too much about it until I’d wrapped my own head around whether we could actually make it work for us or not and essentially, not wanting to incite any haters to riot. Because it is a controversial kinda area, as I’ve discovered. I’m so curious what it’s going to be like upon our return to Australia, as here in Canada homeschooling is – while certainly not mainstream as such – FAR more common and has a great deal of support and infrastructure in place to make it a relatively smooth process.
Anyway, my point is (if you can get yourself past the whole “YOU are teaching somebody how to write? You the rambling woman herself?”) that now, with a successful year almost behind us, I finally feel at least partly qualified and affirmed in my own self to actually clarify why we as a family have chosen to do things this way.
1) I’ve always wanted to homeschool, before I even knew what homeschooling was. I just knew that I had visions of growing up and educating my own kids. Then again, in those visions there were ten of the little buggers. And I sure know that THAT ain’t happening. So yeah, not exactly a good reason to take it on as such, but it does give the decision some sort of context at least.
2) With the way we’ve chosen to live our family life – i.e. being able to take advantage of opportunities to tour and travel together as a family – homeschooling just means that at least the educational element of our kids’ lives (along with their family unit, of course) remains constant. Plus the world is their oyster and I genuinely believe that travelling to new places is an amazing education in itself.
3) I also just genuinely love teaching. Sure, there are days when it’s like pulling teeth – heck, I even wish for nitrous oxide on tap on occasion – but mostly I love being so involved in their education. I’ll admit that there’s times (a lot, actually!) when I’m all kiddied out and wish I could just ship them off somewhere else for a bit so I could have that thing, uh, what’s it called again? Oh yeah, personal space. And that other thing. Oh yeah. A life. But on the other hand the fact that we have so much time together is something I love and treasure – especially given that in periods of insanity where my career is concerned, my attention is focused elsewhere. Having so much time together day-to-day balances out those crazy career periods.
And finally, and possibly most importantly, homeschooling just really works for us. At least thus far. I don’t think it’s for everybody, actually I KNOW it’s not for everybody, but for the moment, it’s really proving to be a fantastic thing for our family.
And that to me, is the bottom line.