A rant from a home educator (and trained HS teacher, ESOL tutor, and counsellor)
I’m not judging anyone, just outlining how I see home education ::
Why do we need programs for this and that? curriculum / curricula for our 6 year old?
Did we not choose to leave institutional schooling to have a life of freedom? a life where children can enjoy the discovery of learning, instead of offering them preprocessed sausage meat?!
Our children love to learn, have a curiosity for the world around them – especially when we get them away from workbooks and in to the real world around them. This is the great benefit of homeschooling, home education, natural learning, worldschooling (call it what you will).
Parks, libraries, other families are the wonderful assets in your education journey. Don’t fret about public schoolers’ comments or expectations of whanau.
Set your sights on the character and attitudes of your children for when they are 16-18 years old. Train them, guide them, love them, have fun with them.
Don’t waste childhood on workbooks and dreary stuff. Watch a ‘Magic Schoolbus’ video, climb on the playground at your local park, or go to the confidence/ adventure course nearby, check out the egyptian mummy/ dinosaur exhibition at your local museum. Or take a week or so to go to Te Papa. Have adventures.
Do the stuff that lights their/your fire and passion. Ease up. Your children can’t help but to learn – your job is to strew interesting things around the house, provide a creative environment, and widen your children’s world.
NCEA is not really your primary goal – raising creative adventurous young people who are equipped to face a changing world would be better. Young people who will contribute to society in a positive way. People don’t tend to gain or lose jobs on the strengths of their qualifications, rather their positive attitude and emotional health. Someone who is punctual, trustworthy, polite, follows instructions, uses initiative, honest.
Let’s maximise the benefits of home education – not just replicate schools.
Coming from a family of teachers, I internally fought/worried especially for the first year over ‘are my kids doing enough’ and then realised I had to trust my children and relax a whole lot. It was a huge struggle for me to let go of my schooly preconceptions – and let the children make a few more choices. Yes, HS and the style we choose is family choice, but we can (are able to) change/evolve our approach/es along the way.
When you feel down or stressed as home educator, maybe that is the time to mix things up a bit.
People learn best when relaxed and enjoying the process.