When I first started thinking about homeschooling, I felt it was a way for my Mr. 6 to thrive. When you have a little boy who just wants to be at home, and loves his family so much, he seems to function at 70% when he’s not being entirely engaged, you know in your motherly heart that there is just something more you can do for him.
I first started homeschooling because I honestly felt he was brilliant. All parents think their kids are brilliant. That’s why kids turn out brilliant when they’re adults. Because they are just simply brilliant, amazing, creative, wonderful, magnificent and perfect in their element. They really are. I now know that of many kids, but at the time of thinking about homeschooling about 3 years ago, I felt he was simply brilliant.
But homeschooling has completely changed for us from the initial reasons why we started. We started so that Mr. 6, Miss 4 and Mr. 2 could flourish in what ever area of learning that they wanted to undertake. They would have the time and resources, full supported, to explore whatever it is that they needed and wanted to learn about. We also needed a slower pace in life where we could learn about each other, learn about our world, and most importantly, slow down life to listen to God’s voice.
However, things have changed. Homeschooling for our little Lee Academy has changed to being a time to connect, do things together and learn from each other. It has been a school where respect, love and all those things that come with love are developed. Things like compromise, like creativity (to keep siblings happy), like enjoying each other’s company and learning about snails and mushrooms together. And whilst you may say that every family has the opportunity to do this regardless of going to school or not, simply, our family was not doing this when two of our children were at kinder in different year levels.
And yes, I absolutely agree that academics, learning how to read and being guided by an adult to learn and be exposed to new teachings is crucial and critical for a child to learn about their world. This premise has not altered.
But the wonder of the homeschool space is how much time our 3 have to just simply play, talk and be present with each other. And suddenly the mental health of my children, their healthy relationships and their self esteem, is far more important than any academic achievement goal that I initially had for them. Mr. 6 use to be shy and nervous, and remarkably is now no longer. Confident, full of life and full of esteem, he has a life about him that is sometimes unrecognisable.
I am of the belief that if confidence, happiness, and inner self esteem is present, then their natural curiosity and abilities will spur them on in the direction they need to go, academic or otherwise.
For the family, happiness, peace and love isn’t just a goal, it is the way of their daily life.
For those of you who are still just thinking about homeschooling, or just pondering on whether it is for you, just remember that once you’re there, and you are in it, your reasons to homeschool may indeed change… because, like me, you might just fall in love with the results it brings to your family, your life and your world. Results may not necessarily be A+ and High Achievement, but your world may change so that you will realise that it does not necessarily matter, as long as they are happy and know who they are, and want to be.