We overheard this conversation at the beach, just about a week before school holidays were over:
Boy: “Mummy… I don’t want to go back to school! It’s so boring!”
Mother: “Now, don’t be silly, when you get back to school, you’re going to be so happy to see all your friends.”
Boy: “I don’t care about my friends, I just want to stay home! I hate school!”
Mother: “But, I have to go back to work, you can’t stay home with me!”
Boy: “I hate school! It’s so boring, all we do is work work work and we never ever get to play! I don’t want to go to year 1!”
Mother: “So, do you want to go back to kindergarten?”
Boy: “No!!! I don’t want to go to kindergarten OR go to year 1! I want to stay home with you!“
Margo was listening carefully to their conversation. If she were going, she would be starting school today… But, she won’t be attending school this year.
For our family, at this particular point in time, home education IS an option for us. It might not always be that way, and our opinions may change. I’m actually a school teacher and I tend to have faith in schools and in teachers. But, for now, for us, home education is looking more and more exciting every day.
Imagine a school where you could learn whatever you were interested in and WHENEVER you wanted.
Imagine a school where you didn’t have to fight to have your voice be heard. Or, where you weren’t scared to ask questions.
Imagine a school that had internet and technology as fast and good as you did at home (every school I’ve taught at had technology from the stone ages).
Imagine a school where you could learn things at your own pace and never had your confidence crushed if you weren’t ‘as good‘ as other kids.
Imagine a school where you could freely move on to something else, once you understood a concept.
Imagine a school that literally led you to new adventures every day and where you learned life long practical skills.
Imagine a school where your ‘success‘ was not measured by test scores and awards, but by human values, like love, understanding, compassion, trust and kindness.
Imagine a school where you could be around people you enjoyed and you could AVOID the kids you didn’t want to be around (just like us adults pick and choose our own friends).
Imagine a school where you could eat a nice home cooked meal, whenever you got hungry.
Imagine a school where you could go to the toilet whenever you needed to, and didn’t have to worry about being embarrassed if you had to fart or poo! (these are real issues, I’m not joking!)
Imagine a school where you wouldn’t have to worry about getting picked on, teased or bullied.
Imagine a school where you had the opportunity to learn one-on-one or in very small groups.
Imagine a school where you could take your shoes off and sit on the floor.
Imagine a school where you could run around without getting into trouble, if you didn’t feel like sitting still.
Imagine a school that never started nor ended, but was a part of your every day life.
This is what home education can look like.
Awesome schools do exist… but I’ve never seen a school that could even remotely match what I am doing with my children right now.
People argue that kids need to learn about ‘real‘ life? That life isn’t all fun and play and you need to be strict, or kids will never learn anything. But, life IS fun! Life is not stiff and rigid. Life is fluid, dynamic and ever changing. Children learn life lessons both at home and at school, but if you think about it, where do kids really learn their life skills? Mostly when they are NOT at school!
This year, I’m so glad that we’ll be keeping Margo out of school. We learn all day, every day and it’s in such a fun and loving atmosphere. ‘Our days are like magic‘ I always tell her, and she agrees.
As for socialization… let’s just say that there is no way I could keep my little social butterflies in a cage. We do so much activity with so many people, that some days I actually have to force us to stay home and do ‘nothing‘ (and we usually don’t even have a car).
A few years ago, when I was pregnant with my little one, I received private midwifery care. That sort of care is considered the ‘rolls royce of maternity care‘. The best of the best. Today, I feel that home education is just like that for us… the cream of the crop. It’s not to say that school is bad, but because we have the option right now of educating our children at home, this is exactly what we want to be doing.