My husband and I took yesterday off – what I mean by that was neither of us worked and we just had a family day with the kids. It was lovely. During that day we also flipped through some old photos of the kids and chatted a bit about when they were younger which got me thinking about the decisions we have made. Probably the biggest one (after deciding to have kids) was to home educate them. At the time we said we would reassess each year where we are and decide if it is still the correct path for our family. Well that was 10 years ago and we are still going.
I can honestly say I am glad we chose this. Home education. I know it has been the right choice for our kids and it is allowed them to thrive. No doubt at all about it being the right decision.
But I am also going to admit it has not always been a smooth path. Most people don’t understand and say things that really they have no idea about. So I have had to learn that outside opinion does not matter. Really it does not. I am not going to please the masses but I am going to do what is right for my kids and my family. And if you stop for a few seconds and just think about that logically – every family is different, every family needs are unqiue, what works for one family is NOT going to work for another, what is right for one kid is NOT going to be right for another.
I have made mistakes, LOTS of them. But I have also learnt from the mistakes. And I have admitted when one way is not working and we have needed to either completely leave it or adjust it. Just because a certain book or a certain way of learning works for someone does not mean it is going to be the right learning tool for your kids. And likewise as the kids grow up what worked 2 year ago may no longer work now. Home education means you can tailor the learning resources and learning style for your kid so don’t get stuck in that hole of “everyone uses x so me have to do it that way”
I have also learnt to lean into what is working and maximise it. Let the kids go wild in the areas they are interested in, give them time to really explore it and you are allowing them time to develop a love of learning and research skills which will come in handy later on.
I don’t know everything. My kids know I don’t know everything, they know that there are times when I need to read up about something but they also know that when I say “I will get back to you” about something, I mean that and I do.
They know that they are times when I get irritated and frustrated, they know that it is part of human relationships. They can get irritated that me (and they do) and I can get irritated with them. But it never lasts long and it is normally because one of us is trying to concentrate on something and the other person is not allowing them that space and time to focus on it (or because someone is sickly or tired). Our relationships are not prefect, but we do love each other and we are all good about talking about why something went wrong or why someone got upset.
The past 10 years have not been smooth and easy but I would not change our decision to home educate for anything. I know the next few years are going to be challenging – helping my daughter with her GCSE/ IGCSE subjects. I know it is going to be a huge commitment on my part and very time intensive but she is my daughter, I chose to have her and I will do what is right for her. And for my daughter I know that this path is the right one.
I nodded through reading this. A big decision, yes – mistakes, yes – wildly following interests, big yes. As an ex-teacher, it took me ages to let go of the reigns, but it’s been absolutely the right path for us too. My youngest is on the final stretch of her senior school certificate, so I hear you on the challenges. Wishing you all the best with it, and warmest wishes to you and your family. I would have loved to have found your blog earlier in our home ed journey.
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