How my reasons to home school evolved

It all started on a whim….you know, I read about homeschooling and I liked the idea of having the children (than only 1) at home with me and teaching them myself.  So much so that I started doing so practically straight away when G was only 1.5 years old.

Until not so long ago, my idea of homeschooling was to recreate school at home.  While time and again during my times of doing this, I saw that this does not work (at least for my family), I still tried to opt to do so.

In between, we started kindergarten for my oldest and then for my second child.  So now I was only homeschooling part time – generally during Summer holidays and trying to recreate a sense of identity through seasonal celebrations.  I had also read quite a bit on Waldorf education which I instantly loved but at the same time, kept back from it.

My oldest was not happy at school and his anxiety levels (although I hadn’t realised that was it at first) were skyrocketing badly.  So now the idea of homeschooling full time had a different dimension.  It was not any more a whim… something I wish to try, but more focused on a reason.  Despite M seemed to quickly adjust and enjoy school, I eventually could see milder versions of high stress levels in different contests than the ones of G.  Whereas he would have tons of meltdowns, high levels of anger and complete behavioural and eating pattern habits changed, plus unexplained 24 hour sicknesses; M would pest her brother, an un-explainable never ending dry cough (like an allergy cough) and tons of whining- her food patterns changed to wanting just sweets if at all possible!  So I still wished to keep her home to.

Than about 2 years ago, I met a woman who was trying to legalise homeschooling here. I joined forces and through her met other parents who felt the same need and urge.  It is now on the verge of being legalised and the reason I want to homeschool is changing again.

We have now changed the children’s school. G adjusted pretty quickly, M not so much but her being in first grade made the transition harder.  Now my son is going to school most of the time willingly and relaxed.  We have not witnessed behavioural changes this year and his eating actually improved.  He feels enough comfortable at school to express his feelings there despite getting punished for doing so! My daughter on the other hand, tells me daily she has a headache and asks more often not to go to school than she used to (although again generally speaking she goes happily, comes out with a smile and interacts with the children), she is more choosy on friendships and taking more a stand for her wants and needs.  For many, that would mean the change has been perfect and can carry on in traditional school.

Yet, I wish to homeschool even more my children….when they come and tell me about their day, what happened and how their class mates and/or teachers reacted it gives me a pause.  The children are not left to grow, experience their mistakes, resolve problems between them, giving them empowerment and well most of the life skills needed to live in this world.  It makes me more determined to teach them at home.

The system wants them to comply easily and quickly to the teacher.  The teacher still uses the carrot stick motion of giving stickers, stars, toys etc for good behaviour and punishments when not.  They do not ask for explainations most of the time or try to understand the need behind the behaviour.  They take sides in an argument on assumption only.  So much so,children are encouraged to tell about their mates, rather than try solve problems between them, where then the teacher takes sides with whom seems the weakest or has the best argument rather than on facts of what she has seen for example.  It carries on really if I wish to, but…..

Homeschooling is obviously not the answer to all problems or to all people, but I have known in my heart that this is the way we should be going when the time comes. I still feel it so and I would like to test it and see how it bears its fruit for a year or two before reviewing our decision.

All I know it will change our family dynamics into a better loving, flowing home and just for that I can’t wait for it to get going.

 

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The road less taken

We took the plunge.

It still feels surreal and we are still being hounded by the authorities but our child is safe with us home.

He is learning to unlearn if that makes sense…..you know, you get used to the system and now we are unlearning the system while keeping things afloat for this unexpected change of events.

I am not prepared!

I have only just found what I feel is the perfect fit for our family and am still learning on how best to go about it; let alone having a complete plan.  But we are striving and working.

It’s been tough 2 days, yet at the same time oh so much easier!

The anger is still there, but ever so slightly diminished already.  For 7 months I have endured the children’s continuous teasing of each other and like a miracle it is practically gone already. It is the first thing I noticed with great relief!  But the biggest relief you could see it in my son when on Monday he realised that for real he was staying home.  For that whole morning there was not a single fight in the house!

Today it was different, the children are now trying to get their own bearings and G is de-stressing so a lot of pent up feelings are coming out as tears.  So tomorrow we are holding a family meeting to help everyone and get some footing on the ground.

And since home education is not really yet on the table, I have to look for alternative schools for next year.

Open your eyes

I had a meeting with the school counsellors last week about Gregory.  They want us to go do sensory tests to get them diagnosed.

We do not think it is necessary.  Yet I felt compelled to watch my older kids closely these two weeks.

On the plus side, which further reinforces the no need for tests etc, is the fact that our son is interacting much easier with people, even those he does not know or not know well.  In fact, for those of you who know him, will agree that he tends to be possessive of toys etc.  Well, I am seeing how that is changing a lot; and how this normally also happens on how he views a person.  So if he feels that person will not take good care of his toys he is unlikely to let them play; but if he feels comfortable enough that they will not break them, he is fine to let them go ahead and play- which I think it is fair enough, although he needs to learn to not have toys around children he does not feel comfortable sharing them with.

A couple weeks ago, despite in a clumsy and not usual way, he tried to befriend a girl at the swings.  He still needs to learn the skills of befriending but that is such a big step forward.  So, all in all, I only see progress and it continues to show how his sensory issues (which probably we all have up to a degree) are not hindering his growth or school interaction as they believe!

They had also asked me how Maya views school.  She always tells us how she loves school.  In truth she does: does enjoy spending time with friends, learning and her teachers.

Yet there is that something which does not allow her to be herself!  She increasingly have been telling me on different occasions how she can’t be sad at school, or sick, or cough due to allergy and I literary see her put up a smile just before meeting up her friends.  Which is very sad. I would love to know why she can’t be herself!  It struck me hard when two weeks ago the story telling session got cancelled. I told her that and immediately she pasted a smile on her face.  It reminded me, that I do the same in face of unpleasant things!

So let me reiterate, school for my kids is reaching the goal of teaching them the academics BUT it is not reaching their soul and love for life and diversity and THAT is why we want to homeschool.  So our children can grow lovingly and harmoniously from the inside to the outside without compromising anything.