07 May 2013

Seasons of Change

The year so far has seen some really big changes in our lives:

1. My kids all in the same school for the first time ever.

2. Russell changing careers and now working from home.

3. Rachel entering the teens and Faith the tweens.

4. My mid life milestone and those ramifications.

But the latest development has been the swiftest and most radical change to date.

Bringing Faith home, to school her,is by far the most monumental decision I think I have ever made in the short space of her young life.

Faith is an unusual child but quite capable of mainstream schooling. She is highly focussed, extremely academic and loves to learn. She is ambitious and structured and there is no reason to take her out of formal education except for the fact that I do believe I can do it better at home and with far less stress on us both.

Right now, the class environment she is in is simply not the most condusive to happy learning. There are various factors that lead me to believe she is bored, unstimulated and frustrated. To bring her home is an obvious OBVIOUS choice.

Of course, even though this has been quick, you must know it has been seriously ruminating in my mind for about 8 months, however its been hidden in my heart for close to 10 years.

I do believe that there are better ways to educate our kids than by doing what we have been doing for hundreds of years. I have seen real changes in education and the way kids learn but not enough to make me stand behind the Institution of Formal Schooling without question.

The most popular question to date (apart from the WHY?) is how do I know that what I am teaching them is the 'right thing' to teach them.

Hello? Who do you think sets the curriculum for your kids education? Why do you think 'that person' is more competent than you are to decide what your kids should learn? 

Just chew on that for a little while.

I did NOT take Faith out of school :

because she is not coping academically. Fact, she is a good 6 months ahead of her peers.

because she has troubled social relationships. Fact, she is a very popular member of her class.

because I want to school her with my beliefs. Fact, she is in a wonderful Christ-centred school.

because I want to only teach her what she wants to learn. Fact, she will be learning far more than she is currently, across a wider range of subjects.

because I don't want to get up in winter. Fact, I still have the other two in regular school.

What I do NOT know right now:

How long I will homeschool her.

If I will bring her siblings home eventually too.

How the next 6 months will look.

What I DO know right now:

Amazing people have fallen into my life

Incredible resources have fallen into my lap

My family is supportive and excited for us

Friends are supportive of us

I am not one of the 'norm' homeschool types and am prepared to draw outside the lines and possibly rattle some cages in the future.

Faith will go to school for her last 'official' day on Friday. And next week our journey begins. And what would a new journey be without a blog to chronicle it hey?

I will have a public blog FIVE TRIBE GO HOME which will follow our trials and errors, ups and down and all the exciting bits in between. Maybe I will see you there? ;-)


Marcelle said...

All the best.
I have a cousin who home schooled her two boys, in their teens ( last year ) they asked to go to normal school as they missed interaction with friends and school sports..
They settled in well.....they had never been to school before this, so was a huge adjustment for her to let go of her boys....

Ordinarylife said...

Good luck - I wish you all the best with this.

I am sure you will face quite a lot of critism about your decision, but then people critise about everything. I already face it with schooling choices we are/intend making (small Montessori school), and Kaylin is only in preschool. Everyone seems to have an opinion. Our family is also fully behind the choice we are making and it helps.

All the best

Secia said...

Best of Luck Mel.
My Sister in law home,schools all three of her girls.
I have no criticism of home schooling at all provided it is done properly.I recognise that I personally am not disciplined enough to do it.
You however are the organised, together type -and bright - it will be a breeze for you Im sure.
Keep us posted xx

MelB said...

Marcy -Faith dances 5 times a week so sports are not really part of her world anyway. She also socialises outside of her school friends with dancing friends so that will remain unchanged.

Pam -Yes, criticism will come but surprisingly it hasnt yet; in my area homeschooling is huge and not a big deal. I just am not seen among my peers as the 'homeschooling type' so that has been the shock.

Secia - I hear you. Hon, you also have a high-powered job so clearly you are bright and organised too! And that is where you need to be! The last thing that I am proposing is the philosophy that homeschool is in any way better than regular school!


Stefanie said...

I will catch your posts if you post them to faceboook, hey?

Kim Barty said...

So glad to read this because I had meant to phone you to get the low down. Well done on your decision. Mel you are wise and intuite the best things for your kids - you always have. You're one of go-to people when it comes to parenting.
I look forward to reading the blog and hearing more besides. With love.

cat said...

Good luck my friend - I have no criticism, I am just in awe of you. I do not think I could ever do it.

Lynette said...

I wish you the best with this new direction your life is taking. I know that you will do the best possible job where this is concerned ♥