Saturday, August 31, 2013

Questioning The System.

A close friend of mine is considering home educating one of her five children as he has been struggling at school. As I have encouraged her that she can do  it, and calmed her many fears, I have been able to reflect upon how very dependent we are on the system to educate our children. This lady is highly educated, yet she doubts her ability to educate her nine year old son!

The experience has reminded me of the huge divide there is between those with kids in the school system, and the rest of us. It really is a total paradigm shift. After over eight years of home educating I now know that terms like "behind" and "failure" are only useful in a classroom setting. Just as I know the sun will rise, I know that my children are just where they need to be, and I am able to totally ignore the guidelines of the education department, and some members of my family and society at large, who would think that my children are "behind" in some areas, and that "they should be able to ..." They do not measure success the way that I, and most homeschool families do. My children are thriving, and have their self esteem intact as they are not forced to compare themselves with other children their age on a daily basis. I fully remember feeling as she does, and asking myself all those questions. Am I capable, what about maths, and university entrance, will they fall behind, and on and on, and on.

Attempting deschool a someone in a few phone calls and emails is a tough ask! She is not closed off to my opinions, which I know must sound strange and perhaps even slightly radical. I can imagine the confusion of being advised to allow your child seemingly do nothing for a few months when you have been told he is struggling at school! Being told that the final year of school is irrelevant to getting a place at university must come as a shock after a lifetime of being told how crucial it is.

I will continue to challenge her beliefs, and encourage her to question why it is that the education department's standards are her yard stick of success, and why she feels incapable when all evidence points to her competence. And I will continue to be thankful that I am able to see the world through the lens of home education.  

7 Quick Takes (volume 1)

In an attempt to get back into blogging, I thought I would have a go at 7 Quick Takes. Here goes!
Since I last blogged we have had some changes in our family life. Roo, is now homeschooled. I absolutely LOVE having him at home. He is thriving, and I am so much more relaxed than I was when Bilby first came home. No changing curriculum and stressing over getting it right. I now have the experience and confidence to relax and enjoy the time I have with my youngest! Last week I complimented him on having learned all the phonograms on his All About Spelling chart, to which he replied "I'm so good!" I just love the self believe kids at this age have.
Koala, on the other hand has returned to school. I firmly believe that he is right where he needs to be, and I have once more learned to never say "I will never..." He is thriving, but I miss him terribly.
Today I was able to spend a few hours with my dear friend Tanya, whom I haven't seen for a while as she is hard at work with her university studies. Tanya is a real inspiration to me as she has so much energy and passion for Our Lord, her family, and her career.
In a few days we leave for a little holiday, and we are really looking forward to it! We will be relaxing by the beach in our little camper trailer for a few days, before attending a Catholic Homeschool camp, then visiting dear friends in Brisbane, then a day at a Gold Coast theme park to indulge Koala and my passion for roller coasters!
At the moment I am listening to "The Book Thief" on my Ipod which I am really enjoying. Audio books certainly make house work a who;le lots more enjoyable! We have recently discovered Audible. Bilby, Roo and I have been listening to lots of great books. I must say it makes reading aloud easier!
Fathers Day is tomorrow. DVDs seem to be the theme this year. Bilby remembered that James has often commented that he would like The Princess Bride on DVD, which we found despite my belief that it was inconceivable that we would be able to find it (sorry I couldn't resist). Then Roo saw The Incredibles which is James favourite kids movie. Koala's gift will be to help me cook James a special breakfast of poached eggs with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!