The beginning of the school year approaches – but why not consider home educating instead?
I prefer the term ‘home education’ to ‘home schooling’ because it better describes it as most parents don’t do school at home they educate in other ways. And they’re not at home that much either, they educate as much out of it as in, as much with others as on their own – just in case those were some of the reasons you might not consider having a go.
So why else might you not consider home education?
Worried about not knowing what to do? You might feel like this at first, but there is so much help, support, resources and information online, as well as all the network opportunities through Facebook and Yahoo groups, you shouldn’t let it worry you. And check out this post here about home ed resources to get you going.
So are you scared what others would say? It’s always a bit daunting leaving the mainstream and telling family and friends. But this can be overcome by making contact with other home ed families where you’ll gain instant support. You can boost your courage by keeping the company of people who support what you do. You can swot up your ideas and philosophies ready to answer doubters. And there will always be people who criticise or judge those who want to do things differently, after all, you’re indirectly challenging what they do and they might not want to face up to flaws in their choices! But you stick to your principles and maybe you’ll be able to show others that doing it differently is okay – it works – and you might even rescue a child from a dire situation in school!
Perhaps you are just scared you’ll fail your child? Well, I always say that nearly all parents who home educate can’t fail their child because parents who choose this route are thinking parents. Thinking parents review, assess, make changes, find solutions to challenges, and are able to overcome any difficulties by thinking them through. Some continue to home educate throughout their child’s education. Some use schools, colleges and Unis later on. Some decide it’s not for them. All are valuable decisions. The decision to home educate is not set in concrete. Like all intelligent parents you make new decisions when required.
Or maybe you’re concerned about being with the children all the time? Maybe that thought is a bit too overwhelming. Happily, most parents who home educate report a strong and loving bond. Some report that taking school out of their family life changed their relationships with the children for the better – even with teens. It also happens that the children become gradually more independent in what they do and families find ways to create space from each other when or if they need it. For most it’s never a problem.
Perhaps your biggest worry is the thought of being alone and your child not mixing? This is another myth about home educating. What we found was that we had so many home educating friends to share activities and go out with we had to make sure we planned some time to stay in on our own. There are increasing home education groups to interact with, where the children have opportunity to develop social skills, conversation, friendships – parents too! It is normally the case that home educated children are far more socially skilled than school children who are shut away from normal society.
Or perhaps you’re scared your kids will turn out weird? I know many adults out in the world now who were home educated and no one could ever tell – as someone once said to my daughter. I think it was meant as a compliment! You can judge for yourself and meet her here – she presented a little film for me.
Home education is a growing alternative to school that thousands and thousands of parents are finding successful. It’s an approach to education that means the children develop and mature, grow in competence, intelligence and independence, without suffering. And who go on to make as valuable and productive a contribution to the world as any other child.
So if you’re thinking of home schooling, maybe you should do a bit of research and then dive in. You’ll find a whole community or people just waiting to befriend and support you and join you on the route towards a completely different, inspirational and uplifting style of education.
Which is what it should be anyway!
Check out my books for lots more info and a peep into a real home educating life!