Hello & Welcome back to Mai Holistic Life! As mentioned before, I am a 29yr old homeschooling mother of 2 children, a 6yr old son & a 7yr old daughter. We unschool our children, following a predominantly child led programme. We set out projects & learning activities based on our children’s interested, while,most importantly, allowing them the opportunity to devise their own lessons. I want to share with you now the many benefits of homeschooling, which amazingly promote good Health & wellness of mind & Spirit naturally. Read on to find out how!
For any of you already actively home educating, or are incorporating home learning alongside of mainstream schooling, you might enjoy my homeschooling page, https.facebook.com/holistichomeschool , on which I have been sharing our personal experience of home education, snippets of our projects & activities, recipes and any links to articles or software that could be useful in a homeschooling environment.
Firstly, many of you might believe you are not capable of homeschooling your child/ren, for you I would suggest watching School in the Cloud, https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?language=en , it may change your thinking. There is unlimited access to knowledge now with the internet, and this has made learning at home easier than ever!
For us homeschooling wasn’t particularly a Choice, it was the most natural series of events in the world to us. When our children burst into the world, like most parents, we immediately supported the learning process. Learning begins at birth, as we know, we have to learn how to do everything to function, crawl,walk, talk, eat solid food, we even need to learn how to do the simplest of tasks like picking objects up, or wiping our bums!! Everything we do is Learnt. When a newborn arrives in your life learning arrives hand in hand.
From the moment they could hold things we allowed them to scribble, finger paint, water paint, get familiar with the idea of creating from their own hand! Now, before you think I am one of these mams that thinks my kids are more impressive than other kids, I don’t! All kids are amazing, with huge capacity to soak up things that Interest them. Allowing my children express on paper early has not given them savant level artistic abilities, their art and writing are age appropriate, but the confidence it creates is amazing.
That is one example. As I say, the moment a child enters our life there is huge amounts of learning occurring and we as parents support that in our own ways. So when our own children were approaching school going age, the assumption that they would attend school did not sit comfortably with my husband & I. Yes parenthood requires huge amounts of energy and it is nice when they go on days out or sleep overs with family and we get time to relax, but honestly the idea of sending them into an environment with 20-30 under the supervision of 1, maybe 2 adults just did not feel ok. There were 2 adults and 2 children in our home and even at that it can feel a stretch trying to fulfil their every inquisition!! In a school environment there is not possibly enough time to give each child the attention they need, I feel. We, therefore, continue to this day what feels most natural, which is accompanying our children in their learning experience in the home.
I myself went through all of my schooling without realising I was dyslexic. None of the teachers I had over the years had picked up on it either. I was 19 by the time I was diagnosed. Having not known I had this “disorder” throughout my educational experience, I don’t see it as a disorder. As far as I was, and am, concerned I have my own way of taking in and processing information, as does everyone! In school I loved anything practical based, making, creating, art, visual aspects of projects, science experiments, woodwork, electrical work. O how fun!! The academic side labored me, felt pointless and arduous.
Now, I know many of you will be thinking that makes sense, a dyslexic person is going to find reading and writing difficult. Well you are right and wrong! The difficult stuff was copying something from the blackboard which took me longer than others, and reading aloud ended in me accidentally jumping ahead a few sentences! But, from a young age, as dyslexic as I was(!), I have been a prolific reader, I figuratively ate books 😉 I adored reading, getting inside other human beings and seeing the world from different perspectives, learning how other people’s thought processes differed to mine, how intriguing. Also crafts and skills could be attained from books from the comfort of my home. I could and can read mountains about any subject that took/takes my interest. But in school it was different, you had to read to speck, to a time frame, and reiterate the info in a manner that someone else got to decide whether or not had shown I had understood what I had read. The pressure of that, no thank you! Also the subjects themselves seemed not to relate to my life or living. I enjoyed creating, dancing, getting lost in literature for no reason other than to become immersed in knowlegde and skill. School made me feel squashed, wrong, and so much so that my creativity became stunted.
A friend of mine had left school at 14yrs old and when all of our circle were doing our final exams before college, he became saddened that he had left school and could not move on to new interesting learning opportunities. All of us were choosing creative courses such as performing arts and videography, and at his age then he would have had to wait yrs to enter college as and Adult student which you can do without exams. He couldn’t even sit his exams with the local adult education centre as at 19 he was too young. But we were told they could register him to sit the final exams, if he was willing to learn the material at home. And that is what we did. After summer, at 17yrs old I went to college and spent my evenings helping my friend home study the material from the exams I had just finished. At the end of the school year my friend passed the exams and was able to join us in college the following summer!
This experience changed my entire view of education. This guy had done essentially what I had done the whole way through school, he crammed information he didnt care about in his head, enough to reem off on an exam paper. It was a There was a want to pass, as it was a means to an end, a chore that had to be done before moving on to what he wanted. But he did in 8 months at home, what takes 5 years within the school system!!
That experience showed me that anything can be done at home, in whatever time frame you decide. So when my children came along, learning from the moment they exited the womb, it was the most natural thing in the world to continue that home learning environment. At 6 and 7, they are confident, articulate, kind, loving, intelligent children. I genuinely believe ALL children, no matter what their learning abilities or learning disabilities, once given the opportunity and safe environment to learn at their own pace, in their own fashion and to their own interests, with one to one interaction, will learn better and retain more.
Our children have an age appropriate reading and math level, and have a wealth of information about things I never heard of til my teens! They get to watch documentaries about hhysics, chemistry, cymatics, history, nature, music etc, read books at their leisure from our mini library,and we read to them anything they want to read that is currently beyond their reading abilities, which actually helps them get a larger word spectrum than sticking to age bias books. Also, we always have crafts materials in stock, which doesn’t have to be expensive but is a wonderful learning tool.
Steiner/Waldorf education would be our main inspiration, with play being a big factor in not only “academia” but also as a tool for learning life skills. Play and interaction with an object, instrument, Mechanisms etc allows children to act out imaginary scenarios which is how the figure out how emotions work, how to regulate their emotions, how to empathise, and problem solve. When sent to a predominantly sedentary learning environment you are robbing them of this massive opportunity, which builds skills and emotional intelligence & confidence.
Finally, when homeschooling your children you get to be hugely involved in their life experience, really getting to know them, and them you. They do not have a Separate world for 8 hours a day that they can internalise. By home time, for young children, many instances are forgotten but the emotional repercussions remains. At home, on the other hand, you see a much larger percentage of their existence, which enables you to be at hand to guide them through those experiences. And socialisation is not an Issue, for us anyway! We have wonderful neighbors and family, so our children get nearly daily play with peers of their age, as well as children of younger and older ages, and adults, all the while in the safety of their parents presence nearby for support and guidance when wanted. This has led them to be the most articulate children our public health nurse has Ever seen (that’s what She said, honestly!) She said their comprehension of conversational interaction was above and beyond the children she usually sees at that age, and I put that down to the fact they get to converse with people of all ages.
All these things, the experience we are having, has proven to me that homeschool is a wonderful environment for your child to grow and learn in, with a world of knowledge available from many different sources, access to mindfulness, support and love from their parents and family.
If this sounds appealing to you then maybe homeschooling would suit you and your family!
If you have any questions let me know!
In Love and Wellness,