We have the opportunity of having our daughter homeschooled by her montessori teacher who already homeschools her older twin (gifted) daughters. Trouble is, my daughter has her heart set on going to school - real school.
Trouble is, she likes to learn but doesn't like to be taught...
Trouble is, she appears to learn quite differently and I don't know whether a teacher with a class of 25 will have time for her.... - will prob just label her very average and maybe even disruptive.
Only you can make the decision, however I'd encourage you to give the homeschooling option a go.
Children who love to learn, but don't like to be taught, can lose that love of learning when pushed into conforming to a system of Teacher led classrooms.
I know several children for whom "I learn best when I teach myself" is a strong part of who they are. I remember feeling this myself when I was a child, and was pretty soon "put in my place". I became very introvert, and didn't even have the confidence to express an opinion or answer a question. Thankfully in adult life this has been reawakened, along with my love of learning, in time to see & recognise it when this trait showed itself in our oldest son (age 5).
You said "Trouble is, she likes to learn but doesn't like to be taught...
Trouble is, she appears to learn quite differently and I don't know whether a teacher with a class of 25 will have time for her.... - will prob just label her very average and maybe even disruptive."
We chose to homeschool for precisely those reasons. And can already see that it was the right decision.
My son is quite social, and didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to make more friends, but was for a long time aware of thinking differently and not relating to many kids at preschool, now he is able to mix with people who he shares interests with, and like minded gifted children, and he is much happier. He does music and sports and pottery, and a home ed social group.
If you need some evidence of the positives of Homeschooling, borrow or buy a copy of "The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook" by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore. They have lots of research information to back up what they have to say. Let the research speak to your head and your heart!
My son (5.5) also loves to learn, but doesn't like to be taught...
He used to badger me about teaching him to read when he was 2...I doubt that would have happened knowing what I now know...but when he taught himself before turing 4, I got excited, and tried to "help" him...the result of my input was that he didn't pick up a book (for ANY reason) for around 6 months!
I used to think he was odd, but now I just love him for the individual he is...actually he is very like me- I don't appreciate being told what would be good for me to learn today. I think a healthy dose of strong-will (be it ever-so-annoying some days) is a wonderful quality, and will serve them well as teens.
Rebecca, your daughter may appreciate unschooling...it seems to be the only solution for my son, and the more I look into it (and try to change my attitude), the more I think it's best for all of us. Try www.unschooling.com
Homeschooling/unschooling also has the added bonus (in my home) of wonderful sibling relationships. You mention the imaginative games your children play together.
Have you considered how that would change if your daughter spent most of her day with same-age chidlren? I notice a big difference in the patience my son has with his little sister if he has been away for the day.
Be careful about unschooling. When you apply to homeschool you have to do an Exemption From School form and put in lesson plans and outline your understanding of the curriculum documents in ALL the core subjects.
This application is considered by the MoE as a contract between you, the child and them.
If you then unschool and do not forfill the info you put in the application ( and the MoE finds) out you would be done for freud and they will make it REALLY difficult for you to homeschool (like making you send your child to school).
This info is from the 'horses mouthy' so to speak as I asked the MoE out right.
Hope this does not upset anyone, but its true ,and forwarned is forarmed!!!
Why assume that Unschoolers mis-represent what they do in their Exemption Application. It simply is not true. Please don't assume that Unschoolers are not focus learners, it simply isn't true, they choose to make the most of the natural learning that occurs in real life, and the childs natural ability to learn through exploring the environment and world around them, rather than contrived learning opportunities in a teacher led group setting. Why is the most "Natural" always also considered the most "Alternative"or fringe option?
It is a lot more work to look at the real life of unschooling and break it down into learning steps that corelate to the NZ curriculum and education system jargon, but that is what unschoolers must do in order to present an full and honest application that will be fulfilled in the daily life.
Let's not be afraid of Government institutions, but seek more understanding.
From a recent Forum evening with MOE on the Exemption process, I learned the following:
1. Legally Homeschoolers in NZ are NOT required to teach the NZ curriculum. They must show that their children will be taught as regularly and as well as in a regular school.
2. Plenty of Unschoolers have been honest with the MOE and granted their exemption.
3. MOE have nothing against Unschooling or any other approach to Homeschooling. Unschoolers have the same requirements as any other homeschoolers, which is to show in detail their understanding of the NZ Curriculum, the learning needs of their child, and that they are capable of teaching their child.
4. Most rejected Exemption Applications come back asking questions, to cover where people have not given enough info or detail, and once that is given the Exemption Certificate is granted.
5. Although they are requiring more info these days, there are very few applications who do not get a certificate.
6. Yes it is a legal contract; but MOE is aware that when people begin Homeschooling they are on a steep learning curve, and just beginning to determine the best approach (or combination of approaches) for your child. MOE asks to be informed if your approach changes majorly from what you present in your application. (I see that as fair enough, and nothing to be afraid of!)
I would like to reassure you that "unschooling" (I prefer the term "natural learning") is very possible in NZ should you choose that path. The trick is to word your exemption application carefully. The only thing the MOE can eventually revoke your exemption on after they have approved it is proof that you're not doing what you said you would, when you wrote the exemption. So, if what you write in your exemption application is consistent with unschooling principles, you'll be fine. I have just had my second exemption approved, without any problems, and there are many others who have done the same. My exemption applications didn't include any lesson plans, promises to follow particular curriculums, or other things that would be considered "schooling". I stated broad areas that I would like my children to become competent in (reading, writing, using numbers, personal growth, etc) and wrote about the way that our everyday activites are educational. You may have to think carefully about how you word things - but at the end of the day all you have to convince them of is an intention and ability to "educate" - and that does not need to be done by "schooling".
I think Lorna and Marguerite have done an excellent job of rebuking your anti-unschooling stance.
I just had to quickly add my two cents worth...not because I am offended by your opinion, but just in case others get the wrong idea.
I consider all (thinking) adults to be unschoolers...that is, when there is something we want to know- we find the information we want in the way that best appeals to us as individuals. Some like books, some like videos, some like the internet, some like audio tapes, some like a mentor/tutor, etc.
But, we learn what we need to know when we decide we need to. The quickest way for me to be turned off learning, or to procrastinate (which is not a usual trait of mine), is to be TOLD when and HOW to do something.
We started out (one day-one and a half days) trying to insist that this and that were accomplished...after tears, cajoling, whinging, nagging, anger, time-out, sarcasm, and all manner of other nasties...I threw in the towel- to the great relief of my tortured son!
For us, unschooling (or natural learning) offers an immeasurably better alternative.
Of course, since I was formally schooled, there are days that I have doubts about what we are doing (or not doing, as the case may be)...but in my heart, I know that this is the kindest way for a child to grow and learn.
I will be applying for my exemption this year, and have no intention of misleading them as to my philosophies. True unschooling (I think) is home educating without the boring bits, and it is not un-parenting.
Here is a quote from Dr Seuss that people might enjoy...
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
Hi Lishelle, I enjoyed this discussion on unschooling because I had been wondering what it was - I agree that if you are a thinking person you will pursue knowledge because you need to understand something rather than for a qualification. I continue to do the qualifications because they are like keys to doors but the things that I think I am most knowledgeable in didn't come with qualifications - learning related to the need to make sense of some phenomenon - the emphasis often relates to one's life stage. Cheers Sheryn.
Thanks all for your input. Anyone suggest any specific books (that are reasonably easy to find) on UNschooling??? I mean it sounds exactly what we do every day anyway! eg the other night we had a bath and we managed to talk about molecules, evaporation and displacement all in the one bath! I believe it's exactly what most intelligent and able parents do with their children, without actually naming it!
And Lishelle, I may need to talk to you more in future!! If Caitlin continues down the track of loving to learn but hating to be taught.... and of course the whole perfectionism thing, then I may really seriously need to go down this whole track!! Although I feel - especially from my husbands perspective, that we may need to feel pushed into it rather than just taking that emtpy leap of faith before any formal schooling has been tried!!
You probably are used to Caitlin's blank looks when she observes the children of her own age. I think it is very difficult for my son to understand kids his own age, because he doesn't think the same way. Then, I think of the poor souls stuck with their age-mates when their intellectual age is so much higher.
Of course, I can see from a school's perspective, that you just can't stick a new entrant in with 8 year olds, even if they could handle some aspects of that year's work (maybe even all).
I just thought it was illogical to expect a child who finished Year 1 and 2's expectations before 4 and half to enjoy the school environment.
Also, I enjoy being with my son, even though we clash quite considerably. He also enjoys being with his younger sister, and her likewise...she is lost without him.
There is an excellent bunch of home educating ladies in East Auckland...I have found them very approachable, and willing to talk about what works for them, and what doesn't.
Contact me, if you would like details of our next get-together...of course there is no obligation to continue, and your decision is still your own. I went initially when Josh was 4 and a hlalf, but I met a lady with a 1 year old, who knew she was going to home educate. All are welcome- is what I am trying to say!
No, I'm NOT ANTI UNSCHOOLING!!!
I just said "Be Careful".
I have found the MoE very pinicity (hope thats a real word!) and don't want anyone getting into strife.
I think unschooling sound amazing and parents who do it must be VERY imaginative and thoughtful in your daily planning etc.
I found the curriculum documents REALLY mind blowing and thought "How on earth can I teach ALL this???"
I read the Unschooling Handbook and thought it was great but not right for me becauce i could not work out how I incorperate the Bl***y cirriculum doc.
Could someone please email me the info you have got on the exemption process and working in the unschooling principles.
I'm really not anti-unschooling, just preplexed.
When we started the home-ed journey, my husband was definitely anti, finally a month before our son was due to start school he started to do some research for himself, and began to see that there are some positives, and to understand that boys are severely under achieving in the current education system, even in the schools he desired to send our children to. We then attended an info session that Auckland Home Educators Inc. run regularly, and then he finally agreed to me giving it a trial.
He can now see how much has been achieved in the 3 months, and is very happy that we are doing well.
Basically my husband had to do his own research, otherwise he wouldn't have got past his "School works", and "if it isn't broke don't fix it" stance.
I could just see disaster coming if he had gone to school, knowing our son and that he was well ahead of what he'd be doing for the first 2 years (and is now doing yr 4 maths). I had spoken to the school, and had asked about their policy for meeting the needs of gifted children, they prefer not to accelerate, and didn't see much need for enrichment. But if my husband hadn't changed his mind he'd have had to go there, and crash and burn before starting afresh.
Books: NZAGC Library has the "Stress Free family home schooling handbook" by Raymond and Dorothy Moore.
The AHE library have some great books, and so do the Public Library System. Also if you type "Unschooling" into google you'll come up with some great unschooling sites which have great book lists.
Unschooling by Mary Griffith is supposed to be really good, I'll be looking for a copy soon myself.
Unschooling is also often called Natural learning.
I hope that helps.
I too am finding the best learning comes from seizing the initiative and talking when things arise. I also agree with Lishelle about children who already meet Year 1 & 2 expectations - we are living proof of that! While we are doing Correspondence - very 'schooling' - at the present time, it leaves plenty of time to teach advanced stuff. I can see this being a pleasure until he starts to know more than me....
I would love to do natural learning but I feel I don't know what I don't know, and with a baby and part-time work I can't plan the curriculum as well as I'd want, and I can't ask my mother to do that when I go back to work (I am determined to find a way to spend more time at home though!).
I find with natural learning that he knows a lot of science and geography and general knowledge but perhaps lacks in areas I'm not up with. I'm not confident to take the plunge just yet. All I know is that school doesn't fit. But I'll certainly seek out any books you recommend.
Well, hubby has used his 'It didn't hurt us none!' speech this morning when I brought up this subject again! He hates the idea of ppl being sheep and loves to be an individual so I thought to appeal to that side of his being! Didn't work.
I'm not completely certain of what I want yet. Montessori, kindy, school, homeschool.....
However I guess at this stage the most appealing is homeschool. The major considerations I'd have are:
1 - I'm not known as being great at completing what I start. I tend to get bored very quickly, I tend to learn very quickly. So while everyone else is still learning, I've learnt, done and gotten bored! Other ppl put this side of me down to laziness - but I know now that it is just boredom.
So I don't know whether I'd be great in the long term - prob start out with a hiss and a roar but not sure just how well I'd keep it up....
2 - Do I know enough to teach my daughter? I do realise that there are tonnes of info on the internet! But that's almost the problem - too much to choose from!
3 - Come up with 'lesson plans' myself v's download lesson plans v's correspondence school v's free range.......
4 - Wouldn't it just be a whole heap easier to just buy the d*** uniform and send her off to school without worrying too much about it all????????
ME???? A TEACHER????? GET REAL!!!!!!
Well... maybe.... but how to keep the younger brother amused.....
How do I know that I can cover the curriculum??? Is there a curriculum??? I was surprised to hear that -
"Legally Homeschoolers in NZ are NOT required to teach the NZ curriculum. They must show that their children will be taught as regularly and as well as in a regular school."
Hmmmm.. . a plan seems to be unfolding.... maybe... maybe I should take Caitlin out of Montessori and start to homeschool as in from now?? We have till June next year before she needs to start school (well till she turns 5 anyway), maybe - just maybe, that's long enough to prove to everyone - including myself and my husband, that this is the way to go.....
Oh, and I am now half way through "A Parent's Guide to Homeshcooling - The Complete Guide" by Tamra B. Orr - which I picked up from the local library yesterday....
In response to Sarah's message... there is a misconception that homeshcoolers are required to follow the national curriculum, or similar. The homeshcooling exemption does suggest topics to cover, but there is no actual requirement to teach the same things as they teach in schools (even though the form is worded in a way that suggests this may be required). One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that you can choose to teach the things that are relevant to your own child's individualised education. For me there is no great "daily planning" involved - education mostly happens as a side effect of our attitude to the day-to-day things we do. The MOE doesn't require curriculums, lesson plans, etc - all they need is to be convinced that you are appropriately dedicated to getting your child educated. The application form has obviously been written by schoolteachers in school mode - but it's possible to get around that when you're answering the questions. For example - there's a question that asks about the child's dedicated study area - to which I replied along lines of "wherever we are at the time"! And if it's any consolation, I do look at the national curriculum from time to time and realise we're learning what they are, and more.
I have just decided to homeschool my daughter who turns five soon.She has been assessed as "gifted" and wondered if there was anyone out there that could help with social activites in the Northland area.Is there a"coffee group" or similar with other gifted children that she could meet?Or is anyone interested in starting one up?Are there any other gifted kids being homeschooled in Northland?Please email me at
Children don't have to legally attend school untill they are 6, so why not leave school for a year and you can make a decision closer to when she is 6.
My son went to Play centre untill he was 3 1/2 then public kindy (because that is what you do) People started asking me which school he was going to. I felt very pressured to choose a school, but I knew he was too young so I decided to not send him to school untill he was 6. (That was the intention anyway) when he was 5 1/2 we went back to Playcentre untill he was 6 and I realised how much I enjoyed having him around and how much he had learnt in that year, with me being his teacher! I decided to apply to the MOE for an exemption. My son's now 7 1/2 doing very well, and I can't imagine him going to school. It's about trial and error and finding the right approach for you. Any way, what will it hurnt to leave school for another year, you seem to have done really well so far.
These are not contacts so much as sources of info on 'unschooling' and particularly on 'unschooling schools'
All of these sources may have useful ideas/phrases/concepts when writing an MOE exemption form!
I first discovered this type of philosophy reading AS Neill's 'Summerhill' at Uni and it was a breakthrough moment in my life! This man dedicated his life to giving children freedom to be children and to learn as they pleased - his school started in 1921 and is still going strong (the school is called Summerhill and has its own website: www.summerhillschool.co.uk)
Also, there is a website for the IDEN -International Democratic Education Network (idenetwork.org) which has contact details for many such schools around the world, including NZ's own Tamariki school (Chch) - their guidelines for teachers make very interesting reading.
Would particularly recommend website for Sudbury Valley school in the US (www.sudval.org) - there is a transcript of an interview with a school leader which has plenty of gems in it.
Enough from me - I'm getting very repetitive this evening!
I am just starting to investigate homeschooling options and unschooling. I can see that unschooling will have the advantage of children learning what they want, when they are ready. I am concerned about what the child may actually be missing from the school environment, not necessarily just academic but also the social, performing arts and sporting opportunities. I find it difficult to understand how a child can learn all aspects of life from one or two people. How do you teach a child something that you don't know and how do you know what your child will be good at in the future or be interested in in the future if he or she has not had the opportunity to sample different options. I agree that school is not necessarily the 'best' option but my main concern about NOT going to school is the consequences later in life. If your child decides that they wish to be a doctor or god forbid a teacher, how do they get into University?! Would a homeschooling parent feel confident that they have taught their child enough for them to pass a University entrance exam? Sorry if I seem a bit negative.
Wow, I've just read through this thread that I started 4 years ago! I'm amazed that even then, I knew my daughter would struggle with learning 'academically'. It's been a huge trip between then and now, as I'm sure most of you are aware! It's just so odd that really, I've come full circle! It took my husband a long time to see homeschooling as best. Even now, after just one term, he's still looking on carefully. He asked me a week or so ago, after I hit him up about it, 'well how do we know how they're doing? Are they level with their peers?'. I then went on to inform him that J is reading many many levels above his peers, is learning blends etc whereas his class mates are prob still learning their letters! Both children are zooming with their maths - we're doing it in such a way that they can understand and enjoy it! When I can see that one is confused, I try teaching it in a different way. At almost 6, J is enjoying manipulating hundreds, whereas even if he had been put up to year 2, he still would prob only be working with numbers up to 20 or 50! I'm not unschooling, but nor is it school at home. I'm doing both! Toni, I completely understand where you are coming from. I struggle with exactly the same issue. That's why we still have the basic subjects - reading, spelling, maths and thinking skills (yes, I consider that a basic subject, but not writing - that will come) 3 mornings a week. We get through them pretty quickly and then we get on to the 'interesting' stuff. We do history on a Monday - both children LOVE history! We do geography on a Tuesday. Wed we have a day out. Thurs we finish whatever we haven't and maybe do a bit of science. Friday all day we do our topic - this term it's Ancient Egypt. I'm following the children's interests and making it interesting! Like for geography, the kids get to learn some of the language, make some food, learn a hobby (dance, game, sport) among other things for each country that we 'visit'. I can now see, and I'm now confident, that their knowledge will far surpass those of their peers. They will have their basic knowledge and understanding of the basic subjects (pretty much all they teach at school) as well as a rich and varied knowledge base of the way other people live in this world, etc. Please feel free to email me directly by clicking on my underlined name above to chat about this further!
Trust. Thrust that they will learn what they want when they are ready. They did when they are preschoolers. We do as adults. So why should they be different. When they are ready they will lap information / skills etc up. Strew stuff around. Provide them the idea / resources and see how interested they are. All the little conversations etc make such a huge difference to their knowledge and understanding. And mostly, since you let them lead their own learning, they'll firstly learn how they learn, developing their own style, and secondly have no fear of 'school failure' about it, as they'll be learning what they want and need at the time. And by the time they're teenagers / ready for uni, if they know that they can learn / achieve something if they want to, then they'll just go for it.
Performing arts and sports, well you need to come up with a creative solution for that, but being a pupil at school is not the only way.
Social, the other day I sat admist a group of 20 unschooled children playing around something (ages 2-14) in the playground, and was truely blown away by the way they all flowed with their ideas within and around each other. Nothing like you see (or I knew from school), but because it's not something we normally see, it is hard to imagine. The social development / socialisation out of school can be just so natural. It makes me realise how artificial school socialisation is.
In the end, the 'education' comes second to just being. And by just being, your ability to learn increases hugely.
We do no formal work, but the kids are streaks ahead of where they'd be at school.
Most of all it's probably yourself that needs the uschooling to get it. A lifetime of education instutitions makes it harder to really trust this process.
Go with your intuition. Give it a go if you think it might work, remember school is always there. But it does work!
I was homeschooled for a year during primary school (as we were to far from the local school) and then again through my intermidiate and high school years and the number one question that people ask me was how do you socialize. At the time I was involed in a home schoolers writing club, I was doing compeditive swimming for a local swimming club and taking drama classes to name a few. But I think the biggest difference about the socializing compared with school was the different ages that i was socializing with. At school you are put into a class with children your own age and tend to make your group of friends within that class, but with home schooling you are continually meeting and relating to people of all different ages. I don't just learn from my parents I learn from everyone around me, other family members people I meet, people I read or learn about. I have now finished my homeschool so to speak (even though I don't think I'll ever stop learning) and I am half way through my Diploma of Early Childhood and my interests and passion is to work with children. I have chosen to study through a provider that has a hands on approach (which suits my learning style) where i can work in a centre while I'm training, so I can apply what I'm learning and understand why. I didn't need any school certificate or anything like that, and had never written and essay before in my life. But thats the beauty of it, because my parents gave me the tools to teach myself and that learning can be fun, i can now learn out how to do the things that i need to do. It's amazing how fast you can learn something if you actualy want to do something. When I first began homeschooling I hated writing, and I think this was because at school the teacher told us what to write about (ie. family holiday etc..) but when i had the choice of what to write about I actually loved it. Thats when we got involved in the writers group which was a bunch of homeschoolers of all different ages coming together and sharing the stories or poems they had written. For me homeschooling was hard at first because I had to un-teach my brain and then re-teach it to think for it's self. There are homeschool groups out there that are there to support one another by bounce ideas off each other. I hope this has answered some of your concerns, and I'd be happy to answer any more questions you had.
"how a child can learn all aspects of life from one or two people. How do you teach a child something that you don't know and how do you know what your child will be good at in the future or be interested in in the future if he or she has not had the opportunity to sample different options."
Is that they don't learn everything from their parents - they join sports teams, they may got to a language lesson or class, they may attend music classes (with real musicians...), they might learn ice-skating or calligraphy or art - from real artists. They get to go to the museum whenever suits, and spend as long as they like looking at the animals or the egyptian mummy or the fish or whatever interests them right now. They get to go to the library and explore the non-fiction section. They get to go to lunchtime concerts, hear open lectures, join work-groups to plant trees and save waterways... Your very concern that they do get a broad scope of knowledge will ensure that they get one.
The university entrance thing is not an issue either - there are multiple pathways into tertiary institutions, including (if it suits you) correspondence school to get the NCEA credits you need, enrolling at polytech to get credits, direct entrance by portfolio/interview/exam (depending on institution), a Foundations Studies course (usually taken by international students, but available to all). The entrance criteria differ from university to university - best to check them out when your child is about 15, focussing on a varsity that does what your child might be interested in doing.
About being a teacher, the other thing to consider is - who decides what is in the curriculum anyway? Why? Are people educated in the UK or Canada any less fit to be teachers in NZ? They were not taught by the NZ curriculum. Come to think of it, none of the NZ-educated teachers were taught under the current curriculum either - seems to make no difference to their 'fitness' as teachers :)
Can I encourage you to continue your explorations - it took me about 5 years to go from "why on earth would anyone do that?!" to "I can see why some would do it, but I would only consider it if...", to "Well, it could work for some people, but we don't need it", to "Hmmm, maybe I should look into this more closely", to "Wow, this looks AWESOME, lets do this" :)
A great place to start is
An american site full of all sorts of articles from various publications - fascinating reading.
In the final analysis, only you can decide what is best for not only your child, but your family as a whole - different solutions work for different situations.
Fantastic read,thankyou everybody.My daughter is nearly 6.Tried school last year and just hated it.Too long,too boring,kids are mean.In fact her confidence disapeared.
I have taken the leap to Homeschool her,and we are both very happy and excited about it.I have taught her from when she was born anyway and she is way above kids her age,and i find her thinking and explanation of her thoughts and feelings very deep and mature.She explains things to me sometimes in a way that i can understand her.I also have a 14yrold at college who thrives at school and loves it! Every child is different and as a parent,we all do what we feel is right for our children as much as we can:)
Thankyou again for the positives on Homeschooling.
Wow - this has been a trip - looking through this thread that I started sooo long ago - 2004!
Well, we have just started our 5th year of homeschooling! At this point in time we are leaning towards homeschooling throughout college as well. I was just looking at resources for science, history and geography for the year - just browsing in a shop, and realised that the resources I'd chosen were for either NCEA level 1 or Year 9! C would be yr 7 this year and J would be yr 5!
They are prob very average as far as writing and spelling goes, maybe just above average for maths. However because we've homeschooled the children have had the opportunity to explore subjects that they would not nomally encounter until college level. That means we've done physics, some chemistry and biology, history and geography! But best of all they are happy, confident, outgoing kids with excellent self-esteem!
We have some good friends who homeschool - luckily 2 large famililes who literally live just around the corner - both within 5mins walk!
As a family we are extremely involved in Scouting - couldn't rave about how great that is enough! And both children have schooled and home-schooled friends of a range of ages.
I feel so incredibly thankful that we took the plunge. While my daughter is incredibly resilient, I think my son would have been damaged if he'd stayed in a school environment (he was there for only 6mths). I would have homeschooled from the start, however I'm grateful that we did initially give school a go. I ended up starting a GT programme there and taught 2 full days a week for 2 1/2 years - it was so incredibly satisfying and I still love running into the kids I used to teach. Plus my kids will never complain that they didn't have the chance or choice to go to school. They did, we tried, it didn't work so we tried something else.
Good luck and if you're a writer, keep a diary. It is so interesting looking back a few years to see how much your thinking has changed!
We are toying with the idea of homeschooling. The children are at a good school but things haven't been easy. They are both accelerated and that has gone some way to them being happier. However one child is not happy socially. She is frustrated by rude behaviour, slow class speed and mean behaviour from others in class. She can't understand how they don't actually want to learn!
So please tell me - is it easy to get exemption ? How long does it take? What do you do for socialization? Are there homeschool groups that meet up for gym or music or shared experiences?
Right - the good, bad and ugly of homeschooling! lol
I guess the ugly part would be the fact that you get little time to yourself. The bad would be frustration, lack of enthusiasm, impatience, irritability etc. The good however is far too much to list here! This is our 5th year homeschooling. For example, this morning the children did all the work I had planned, now my almost 12yr old daughter is baking and my son (almost 10) is spending time on the study ladder website. It's a bit of an odd day today as hubby is home and we have a plumber and builder doing some work. Last year we did an extension on the house and the children helped run wires; took photos of the stages and chatted to all the contractors. We are currently working on geography, science and technology - all at a high-school (and some NCEA 1) level. These are their fav subjects but they wouldn't have had the same opportunities to learn these at school.
They are working at their own pace and their own levels. Daughter is finally at the stage where she is wanting to learn and is excited about learning. I am giving her more freedom with her learning and as she is dyslexic and we've had years of hard work over-coming that, it is so exciting seeing her so positive. Unfortunately she's now talking about going to college (she's only yr 7 right now), I'd prefer her not to.
Both children have a variety of friends - different age groups, some schooled and some home-schooled. We have 2 large homeschooled families literally just around the corner from us and we meet up with them often. We are part of Scouts - I'm a leader - and we absolutely love it. They are both doing homeschooling swimming lessons every week - so get to socialise there also.
My children are incredibly social - we often have children here or my kids are at other's houses. However at school, neither had friends.
While I don't get so much time to myself, I've had the opportunity to practice patience and self-motivation. I love have the children around and would now feel lost if they weren't here most of the time! We have fantastic relationships with them and both are secure in the knowledge of who they are as individuals. Both have high self-esteem and self-confidence and neither feel the need to do things to be like others or to fit in. We are in Auckland and there are fantastic homeschooling groups and workshops happening all the time. If we wanted we could be out every day of the week. We are attending a special art class next month and the children are booked into 2 science workshops.
I can't say how much we have grown as a family or how much positivity has come into our lives due to homeschooling. It is fantastic and probably the best decision I have ever made.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Which homeschooling group do you belong to? It sounds very good. My children are very motivated and I feel the work part will be fine.
I am concerned about socialization. I had on my list of 'possibles' -swimming classes, gym, team sports, music classes, art classes, language classes. I think I need to talk to someone about how it all works , so any information about what I should be looking for in a group would be fantastic.
We are part of the EAHE - East Auckland Home Educators and AHE - Auckland Home Educators. We don't do a huge amount through them, but we pick and choose whatever comes our way. There are science classes, technology classes - all sorts. However we prefer to be home most of the time. We live a little out of the way - and so it takes time to get to these places. Therefore we don't do a huge amount. We have enough to keep us busy in our little community - and enough homeschoolers here to be supportive also!
I'm also part of East Auckland . Have been home educating Ben (13 and 2E) for about 3.5 yrs - best decision we ever made.
There is lots of support available. Have a look at the Auckland Home Educators website http://www.ahe.org.nz/ (soon to be revamped!)and Facebook page (you don't have to have a Facebook a/c)http://www.facebook.com/pages/Auckland-Home-Educators/267032586652993?sk=wall