Monday, 4 April 2016

Home Education: Seven years on

Seven years ago, this April, we started home educating our three younger children. At that time they were aged 8 years , 2 years  and three months. We left the older two, who were then fifteen and thirteen, in school.

So what have I learned, looking back.

-It is too easy to be consumed by fear. I was scared- really, really scared. We believed firmly that we should home educate and had written this down but I had also been told that I would fail. The fear caused damage: it made it hard to throw off a schooly model; it made it difficult to take trips and follow trails in learning. Relaxing and enjoying teaching my children was a long way off.
I needed to remember

God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1v7


Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4 v 6-7

-The longer that we home educate, the more I realise that education is the whole of life. Why does a trip in the holidays not count nor the read aloud at bedtime nor the child who always reads to me at bedtime nor the looking at Google maps as we travel nor the working out of how far pocket money will last nor the electronics experiments? 

-Home education takes time, lots of time. Initially, I worked part time but we found that I needed to be present. Leaving work to be done with Dad working elsewhere in the house just didn't work. I know there are people who manage to home educate while working but please be realistic, many children don't work effectively unless there is an adult around who is devoting time to their education. 

-Home education has taught me far more about my need for the Lord and His help. It isn't easy to
  • deal calmly with issues. I am a parent but also a fellow sinner in need of grace.
  • to explain a concept that seems really simple.
  • to redirect children with short attention spans.
  • to teach regularly and patiently children who find a concept challenging.
  • be consistent day in and day out.
It is easy to try to bring up children in our mold and not in the nuture and admonition of the Lord. It is easy to be so taken up with academics that we hardly think about the Lord.

-There is always room for improvement!

We pray that we will be able to teach the children well and to the glory of God.

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, I can't quite believe that it has been so long.

  2. That's excellent, Sarah. That fear is real and is a killer to what could be fun, and lively, and very real education. A constant feeling of pur children needing to be doing at least the same as they'd be doing in school can be exhausting as well as a real spoiler for what could be.
    We have FREEDOM!! The joy is realising it :)
    ....also agree with the thoughts re work, and leaving kids to work on their own. It may work for some, bit I know our kids' enthusiasm soon waned if I wasn't *there* body and mind
    Anne x

  3. That is exciting to realise that it has been 7 years. You have a great list of things learned along the way.