When people learn that I’ve chosen to home educate my children (aged 5 and nearly 8, they’re usually quite intrigued. The first question I’m usually asked is “Why?” The quick answer is that having my children with me almost 24/7 is punishment for sins committed in a previous life! Not really. Really!
Here are my reasons for choosing to home educate in no particular order
1. FREEDOM! The most important thing for me is having the freedom to live our lives in the way we feel best, including our educational journey.
2. The ability to follow the interests of my children in the hope that they will have more engaging and positive educational experiences.
3. That living is learning and learning is living. There’s no reason to separate the two. Learning is not confined to a classroom experience where one person (usually an adult) imparts all their knowledge to you, but that you are an active participant in the knowledge you wish to explore and the information you choose to take in. To give them a greater sense of responsibility for their own learning journey.
4. To give my children individual educational attention. Hone in on their strengths and challenge their weaknesses in ways that will be encouraging and engaging.
5. True socialisation that is a reflection of real life. This includes not being restricted to approximately thirty students all born in the same 12-month bracket as the child. The ability to manage relationships in realistic ways just like we do as adults. This includes learning how to nurture the relationships we value and the strength to walk away from uncomfortable situations and people when necessary, rather than having to deal with whoever come hell or high water, every day.
6. Quality family time, including term time holidays without penalisation! This also means visiting family, waiting up for daddy to come home or having a last minute late evening movie and not feeling rushed because it’s a school night.
My Reasons For Choosing Home Education Continued…
7. I’m not convinced of the merits of traditional schooling; exams and qualifications and their place in the ever-advancing technological world. I suspect the future will call for more creativity and thinking outside of the box. So we jumped right out of the box of traditional schooling.
8. Increased testing and Ofsted inspections leading to ever-increasing pressure on teachers and pupils alike.
9. Increased bullying (by peers and teachers), depression, anxiety etc. I’m an advocate for letting children be children. Free to play, and learn as they do so in an organic and as natural way as possible.
10. Flexibility! Follow a curriculum or don’t. Take the day as it comes. This could mean the dining table and workbooks, or learning out in the garden while jumping on the trampoline! Staying home and cosying up to watch documentaries followed by lots of discussion, or jumping into the car and meeting friends for group activities. Focussed tutor sessions and organised workshops or get in the car and go on a day trip out! Flexibility to do whatever it is that takes our fancy that day.
11. A great way to really get to know my children and tune my parenting. I didn’t know this was a reason until I’d already taken the plunge and pulled my son out of school. It was at this point I realised much to my surprise that I wasn’t up to speed on who my son was as a person. Somewhere between the school drop offs and pick up, navigating homework, getting the evening meal sorted and diving into the bedtime routine, I’d lost sight of who he was! It has been a pleasure to get to know him and build a great bond. I’d missed him and hadn’t realised.
So, those are some of my reasons. It’s fair to say the reasons will differ for each home educating family because we all have unique needs and wants. I’m not against traditional schooling, not totally, honest! I just feel this is a great option for many families including mine. I hope this list begins to answer some of the questions those that are curious may have!
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Yolande is a wife to one and mother to two. She currently works in retail while home educating her sprogs. She is on a quest with a business start-up and personal development! Watch her juggle it all!