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On Homeschooling….. November 6, 2012

Posted by boaktree in Uncategorized.

So we do this whole homeschooling thing in our family.  And i get asked about it fairly often, so I thought it time I wrote a bit on my thoughts about it.

First off I will tell you that I never saw myself as a homeschooling Mama.  If you had told me when I had my first child that I`d be that Mama, who homeschools, breastfeeds for years, etc…..well, I would have laughed at you.

But, people change.  And I did so happily, and have never looked back.

When i jumped in to homeschooling (and we really did jump in, deciding only three weeks before the start of the school year that my then second grader and junior kindergartener would not be attending) I pictured it being rather like a wee one room school-house.  Nice quiet days where we read together, learned our math and spelling, and everyone played nicely.

I was pretty naive…….

To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about that first year as far as what we learned.  I know we did schooly work, math and such, and my eldest did a unit study on Canada…..and I remember watching the bus go by each morning feeling a mixture of freedom and fear.  And I remember how very hard it was to balance an infant and still be able to get quality “school” time in with my girls.

But mostly what i remember is the people we met.

Other Homeschoolers.  If you are going to live this lifestyle, you need some of these in your life.  You need the support of other parents who are also doing this.  And your kids need other kids who also are living life outside of the norm.

That first week of school, or non school, depending on how you look at it, I took my eldest to her gym class, and as we sat in the waiting room, the two girls with books in hand, and me trying to keep the infant happy, I looked up to see another Mama smiling at me.

“Do you homeschool?” the other Mama asked me, pegging us as homeschoolers right off the bat.

“I’m not sure, ” I replied, “but I didn’t send them to school this week.”

And so it started.  We laughed, and got to talking about how unsure we felt of ourselves, having just recently pulled our children out of the school system.  And a friendship began, both between the Mama’s and their children.  And through that first friendship, others were born, and a community was built.

I could have not stuck with this lifestyle without this community.  Yes, my family is supportive, but there is something immensely important about having like-minded comrades when it comes to something as important as educating your children outside of the accepted norm.  These Mama friends of mine have reassured me and supported me, vented with me and celebrated with me.  Again, I would not be where I am today if I had not met them.

Homeschooling is not a one size fits all education.  I think that is my favourite part about it, that I can tweak what we are doing (or not doing) to fit not only our lifestyle and interests, but my individual students as well.  Over the past four years we have dabbled in several different styles, from unschooling to using standard workbooks, to the unit studies we are currently doing as my eldest students get more advanced and independent.  I also love that we can follow the seasons; for us that means only really doing “academic” type work for about six months of the year, four days a week.  (We take Fridays as our Fun Day/Field Trip Day.)  The other six months of the year we are working hard on our little homestead, with our animal friends and in the garden.  Farm science anyone?

When I got married and had the opportunity to become a Stay at Home Mama, I had no idea that Stay at Home Mama would evolve into Homeschooling Mama.

But I am thrilled that it did.

And when I see that bus now?  Freedom.

What are your thoughts on homeschooling?



1. Henriet - November 6, 2012

Well Kate, I’m with you all the way having been a homeschool mama myself for the last 16 years now. It’s crazy but the number of years left are far too few, for what will I do then???? I used to chuckle when my MIL used to ask when we would put them in school finally.
She would ask with every new baby we had, funny she hasn’t asked in a while. I guess the kids didn’t turn out too badly after all… 🙂

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