Home-Schooling: Why We Chose it Over Conventional Education
Education is perhaps one of the most important yet controversial topics in parenting. We all know that our children need to learn, but how, what and where are all up for debate. Home-schooling in particular, receives a lot of attention and seems to be a major point of debate.
In the past, before public school, children were taught at home. Then it became the norm for children to attend school as women took on a more full time role at work, and that’s how it’s stayed. Until recently.
In the last few years more and more parents are going against the system and taking their children’s education into their own hands. Shortly after Aria was born we knew this was the path we wanted to take, but why? We will cover a more in depth pros and cons in a future article, this is simply how we came to the decision and why.
Teaching & Curriculum
My entire life, I had been an avid supporter of education. From primary school I had always been in the top percentage of my class. Through secondary school and university it was no different. Education was what I did best and I loved it. I still do! But a switch flipped when it came to the girls.
From personal experience, I knew how hard it can be to achieve a balance between conventional education, spiritual education and essential life skills. School simply couldn’t cater for it all, nor the diverse aray of teaching needed for so many pupils. I didn’t want this battle for my girls.
I wanted the girls to receive a well rounded education, with self-care and classes such as growing your own food mixed with more conventional topics. I wanted the classes to be catered to their individual learning styles and to match their pace of learning. I had wasted so much time in lessons waiting for others to catch up or was forced to abandon my passions and research something the state deemed appropriate.
One thing was certain. This was simply not possible in conventional education. By teaching the girls at home, we will be able to give them the balanced and tailored education we desire. A win win scenario for sure.
This was also one of the main drives behind creating our shop. We create nature based learning resources, aimed at homeschooling, that we ourselves use and love. It is not simply a business to us. But a way of providing resources we love to help other people on their homeschooling journey.
I started to do some serious research into homeschooling. Finance is always a big concern, especially around a topic like this. To my surprise, I found a massive hub of parents already home-schooling and plenty support in helping to make our decision. It actually wasn’t as hard to set up as I once thought. You didn’t need to own every textbook or pay a fortune for exam fees. It was actually quite affordable if you did it right, not to mention saving a tonne on uniform and holiday prices.
In many ways home-schooling would be a lot cheaper than sending the girls to school and I would be able to give them the education I dreamed for them to have. So, we decided that I would stay at home and teach the girls, with the aim of working from home by pursuing my love of writing.
Bullying & Social Interaction
Another major point of debate in relation to homeschooling is social interaction. Many argue that there will be a lack in this sense for children taught at home, and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
First of all, siblings provide great day to day interaction, helping to teach children about sharing and interacting with other people. In this sense Aria is very lucky, the close age gap means they are more likely to be at similar stages and have similar interests. It is our hope that they will be the best of friends.
Secondly, there are plenty of homeschool clubs and free events that you can attend to provide experience of a different social environment. Not to mention, social clubs such as sports or creative arts.
Another major advantage in our eyes was the minimal risk of bullying and peer pressure. It is not secret that bullying in schools has gotten out of hand, accompanied with the pressures placed on girls especially by their peers. By homeschooling we minimise the risk of this happening and when it does happen, as peace between siblings never lasts forever, it can be handled in a way we deem appropriate. This being something schools simply cannot provide.
One undebatable benefit is the time you get to spend as a family. Nobody gets sent off to school in the morning and parents can take it in turns working or whatever suits them. The whole point is flexibility, and with that comes the ability to spend more time together as a family.
Another bonus is that you are not constrained to term times, meaning you can go on days out as a part of the curriculum and holidays are a lot cheaper during term time. All of which makes it easier to spend time together.
From a more personal standpoint, I also didn’t want to miss all of the important milestones for the girls. Such as their first time reading a book, or learning how to count. I didn’t want someone else raising our girls when I could easily do it from home. Some people may feel otherwise, but for me it was a big motive.
All of these reasons made it a no brainer for us. For some families, these reasons may not justify the decrease in potential income, or giving up a particular career goal. But for us it all made sense. Nothing would make us happier.
Fortunately the girls are still very young, meaning there is plenty of time for us to build an effective and detailed curriculum ready for when they start ‘real homeschool’. For now they are enjoying being a toddler and a newborn. We provide the space for learning and follow a Montessori approach in this sense, Aria investigates whatever she wants and is already learning so much through free-play. We also supplement her social interaction by attending local children’s groups and our library, which she loves.
I would never have seen myself doing this 3 years ago, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! We are so excited to get started!
Did you choose to homeschool? If so why? How have you found it? Please comment below! We love to hear your stories!
WRITTEN BY AMY KINGSTON FOR HER BLOG, GROWING UP WITH NATURE.