There were many things Justin and I were sure about before we became parents. We knew we would homebirth. We knew we would not circumcise. We knew we would not vaccinate. We knew we would cloth diaper. We knew I would breastfeed. We knew we would follow Reece’s lead on when to wean. We knew we would home school. These are things we instinctively knew we wanted as parents. This is not to say we knew the reasons why at the time, but with time, we researched, became informed and felt confident in all the decisions we had and are still making along our journey.
When we made the decision to home school, it seemed pretty easy to imagine. I am a type A, organized, very structured person. I envisioned us working with Reece much the same way he would have been taught in school. I saw flash cards, fancy workbooks, a daily schedule of studies...basically I was planning on the normal day to day school activities, except we would do it at home.
That was three years ago, and I have come a long way. As I said, we followed our instincts in making a lot of our decisions, but we took time to read, research and become informed as well. Our decisions are based on both instinct and information and so far that has not lead us astray.
So, I have treated homeschooling exactly as I have treated every other decision we have made. I have been reading, researching and becoming informed. I have met some wonderful people on Twitter who are spreading the word on brain development - how brains develop best, how our children learn and why play is so important. These wonderful ladies Deborah, Lisa and Janet have provided me with many blog posts which inform me and make me think. And I love it!
I have just finished reading John Holt’s Teach Your Own and again, it has challenged those initial ideas we had about homeschooling. It has challenged how I see my role in Reece’s education. It has pretty much change my idea of homeschooling.
I now refer to homeschooling as “lifeschooling”. I no longer see myself as Reece’s teacher, but as a facilitator in his learning process. I no longer see our home as a “school” but as a learning environment full of potential for Reece to direct his own learning.
|Afternoon tea for two and a story|
We have gone from one end of the homeschooling spectrum to the other, and I am thrilled. Each and every day we wake up and greet the day with anticipation of what it holds. Some days it is our usual routine; other days Reece throws us a curve ball asking an intriguing question which leads us in a totally different direction. We are amazed daily at the questions he asks, the information he retains and the learning which takes place just by living our lives.
We are not wearing rose coloured glasses; we know not all our “lifeschooling” days will be as they are now. We will be faced with challenges, but life is full of challenges, and I for one, have never been known to back down from a challenge.
Lifeschooling promises to be interesting, adventurous, exciting and fun! I look forward to sharing our journey with you over the years.