This is the third post in the Homeschooling series called The good, the bad and the Unexplained. Once again, these posts are not aimed at convincing anyone to do anything, it’s aimed at parents, asking themselves these questions, who are interested to know the opinions of other homeschooling moms on the given subject. Our guest for this week is Natacha-lee van der SchyffNatacha is a homeschooling mom of 5 children and runs a study centre with 10 other children. She interviewed some of the kids, homeschooling moms and also listed her own pros and cons and pet peeves. I love this idea!
Herewith the pros and cons… can you relate?
The Good, The Bad and The Unexplained of Homeschooling
Out of the mouths of babes:
Santanna, Aged 9: The Good: I always get to see my mom. The Bad: Everything about homeschooling is cool.
Armand, Aged 13: The Good: We don’t have to wear uniforms. The Bad: When the wifi goes down.
Cassy, Aged 13: The Good: We can work on laptops and don’t have to write all day. The Bad: There is no tuck shop.
Leandri, Aged 13: The Good: Work is more relaxing. The Bad: I never having anything to wear.
Seth, Aged 6: The Good: Running around and playing. The Bad: Doing bookwork
Rebecca, Aged 15: The Good: Team work within our group, helping one another with our subjects. Discussing work and our opinions with one another. It’s like having another family. The Bad: Choosing what to wear every day.
Silvana, Aged 7: The Good: Apparently me, her tutor. The bad: Nothing.
Trent, Aged 11: The Good: Being able to use the toilet without having to ask or wait. The Bad: Math
And in the opinion of the actual moms:
- Finding time for housework
- Sports: Schools in the area would rather lose a good sportsman than allow an “outsider” to join their team.
- Time management
- Rushing into buying a curriculum and wasting money
- No support from family and friends. Or always having to convince them of our reasons and intentions.
- The “fight” between school vs homeschool
- Moms don’t have much alone time
- Each child learns at their own pace.
- Children aren’t bullied.
- One on One learning.
- Better mastery of a subject. We don’t have to move on with a subject until they have truly gotten the hang of it.
- Loving environment.
- Better socialisation with a wider range of ages.
- Self-development and building confidence.
- Pursuing natural interests so learning becomes fun and there is natural motivation.
- More time spent individually with your children compared to big classrooms means a child does not have to compete for attention.
- You can concentrate on building a child’s character.
- No homework which means more family time.
- Every question becomes a lesson, school doesn’t just happen Monday to Friday between a certain times.
From a mom who met us once at a social meet: “When I met you guys the first time, I saw a huge confidence, respect and love between the kids. More than what I saw in school kids when I did my teaching practical. There was a huge difference”.
My Pros and cons:
As a homeschooling mom and homeschooling others children, I think the biggest pro is that I get to watch these children mature and grow. Watch their interests change and the sparkle in their eye when they have that ‘AH HA’ moment. The moments when they chose their own subject of interest to learn about and they totally surprise me by choosing topics like Blacksmithing or World Peace.
- Allowing them to grow at their own pace that their education isn’t a competition and they are not measured up against anyone.
- Making my kids a healthy lunch while they happily make a fort together behind our house.
- Watching them curl up on the couch after lunch with a good book.
- Watching my youngest snuggle with my eldest.
- I don’t have to yell the kids out of their beds in the morning anymore!
- I feel like my priorities are right now. I give the first several hours of every day to my kids. I love starting out with stories – we have had the BEST conversations and I finally feel like I have the time to help shape them into the people they were meant to be.
- My kids are learning to do laundry and clean bathrooms, woohoo!
- They looooove school
- We can plan a holiday and driving around to suit a unit study.
- When the kids are being good (which was mostly until recently), it’s been a lot of fun seeing how far they’ve already come. I used to love playing school as a kid, and some days that’s how it feels. We’ve been memorizing all sorts of things like poems and prayers, and it’s neat to see all that their brains can absorb.
- Finding the time to do housework.
- My pet peeve. The age old question about socialising. Yes, my worst part of homescholing is something that other people do. It never going to get old, I guess it’s something we have to take with a pinch of salt.
- All of the above aren’t big things at all, but the main issue that’s really tough is the same problem I’ve had for years: how to get it all done in the 24 hours I’ve got each day. That’s an ongoing struggle. I knew that homeschooling wouldn’t be easy, and I have to say that I don’t feel any MORE overwhelmed than I did when the kids were all in school and gone for hours each day. So I’m trying to learn that it’s all a mindset, and to just balance homeschooling, family/home stuff, and friends as best I can, and that’s all I can do. If I didn’t need to sleep or exercise, that would help!
The unexplained: definitely when a sceptic tries to question my children on homeschooling and their answer leaves them shocked and me beaming with pride.
From my experience:
- I still have to fight the urge to not have the kids learn everything all at once that I want them to learn and instead to focus on the basics of reading, writing, and math. Let them have some down time and not book up their every minute… I know… it’s difficult because there’s so much good stuff out there!
- When they need a break, they need a break, send them outside!
- If we only get through one or two grammar lessons in a week instead of two or three, it’s really not that big a deal.
- When my 7 year old really really can’t get through writing three whole sentences, write only one and be done with it. Hopefully when she’s more ready it won’t be such a struggle.
- Hopping on our bikes for a mid-day ride around the block or just making some food together: priceless.
This was the Third post in the series Homeschooling.
Click here for the first post, titled “Should I, or shouldn’t I homeschool”
Click here for the second post titled “So what about socialization?”
Stay in touch for more on this series by following the blog and liking Mother in the Making…. Naturally on Facebook!