Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why Do We Homeschool?

Good question! Some days homeschoolers ask the same question!

Homeschool activities day...Princess practicing for the circus!
Every home educator has different reasons for why they homeschool. These are our reasons, at this point in time:

  • To give our children the BEST education we can afford
If we weren't homeschooling, my first preference would be to send our children to a one or two teacher school. But we don't live in such a town, so second preference would be a small, private, christian school. Even these simply don't give the teacher-student ratio that we can give our children at home, for the fraction of the cost. Our teacher:student ratio at present is 1:3, and will grow as the younger children grow to 1:5. There's a significant difference there to the average school teacher:student ratio of 1:28. School is much, so much more than just reading, writing and doing sums. School for us is fun, in it's natural state, entertaining and enjoyable.
  • To have the TIME to be FAMILY together.
Health, Fitness and family time with Daddy on his day off
Because we homeschool, we can take any time to be family together. We can go with Daddy to his Synod in Adelaide for ten days at the beginning of school term, and we can include the trip as a part of the children's education! We can take advantage of Daddy being home in the middle of the day (and not in the evenings sometimes), and go out to the park or go for a bike ride together. The best thing is spending time with Daddy on his day off, which is not a Saturday, but rather a Tuesday. So we can go on all sorts of fun excursions or just stay at home and play games and school together here. The freedom to be family is a delight!

  • To be the BIGGEST influence in our children's lives.
Daddy teaches fishing skills to Tiger, The Man and Tank
School takes up a big chunk of any child's life. 6 hours a day, 30 hours a week, and over 1200 hours a year. This is without the extra curricula activities that consume a child's life. We want to be the ones to make the biggest impact on our children's lives not just until they are 5 years old, and not just after school hours. Children often get overwhelmed by relationships at school, where there is little supervision from adults (sometimes called bullying). Some children are natural followers and would follow others unthinkingly into silly situations. We would like to guide our children in their relationships. This is not to say that they can't make their own friends, but rather that we can help them to be godly in their relationships and lead their friends and peers to do good.
  • To DISCIPLE our children in their RELATIONSHIP with Jesus
We want to teach our children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind and strength and to love their neighbour as themselves. We want to guide our children in making godly decisions with the many choices they have in life, and give them the freedom to make mistakes in a loving environment.

Tiger writing down our learning about Australia on a Map
Christian and I do not think that home education is a "biblical mandate" and that all christians should therefore be teaching their children at home. Rather, we believe that we are given our children to raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and how each family chooses to do so is their choice made between them and God. 

Home education is our choice. It is my profession of what I believe is best for our children.

Science with Aunty M...
How can you make a balloon hold your weight?
Each homeschool is different. In our homeschool, I crave order and routine. This means we start our day in a fairly regular way with devotions and prayer each morning at around 8:30-9am. I have got Christian to start school in this way, and it means I have to continue on, no matter what the rest of the house is doing (sometimes it looks like a bomb has just hit!). Then the children each have a list of subjects to cover during the day. They have a "timetable" type chart, and as they get a subject done they can put up a sticker. Tiger starts with mathematics, Princess starts with spelling, The Man starts with reading to Mummy. From there, most usually, Tiger gets all of his chart done, and is very self motivated, Princess gets most of her chart done, and The Man needs encouragement to cover his reading, phonics and mathematics, but he's doing great for his age. We are usually mostly done with written work by lunchtime.

At the moment, the most common response to me or the children saying they are homeschooled is: "Well I take my hat off too you, we would be at each others throats if we did that!"

Princess and Tank learning to ride on Pepper
I think, though I am happy to be corrected, that this comes from the belief that homeschool would be for them what the school holidays are, just all year round! This is not what home education is about.

There are days that are difficult. Days that seem to last forever!! But the key thing I need to remember is that I can't and won't fit in their entire education in a week...so RELAX!

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