I haven’t come across anyone, who homeschools their kids here, so homeschooling was certainly a bold and brave decision for us. We did try schooling for our kid for sometime but were terribly disappointed with the school.so we turned to homeschooling and never searched for another school because we realised he was happy at home and learning things on his own.We wanted him to have a chance and the time to figure out and learn things on his own, now that he was at home and enjoying life, to sum up we want him to have a relaxed childhood and learning to happen and not forced upon. The major deciding factor was also the kinds of jobs and things we had done in life, like starting a business when we were bankrupt, going through personal and financial crisis and these life experiences definitely shaped our view towards education and how we see things.
What homeschooling is not for us :
- It is not about pushing kids through various activities and following a strict timetable at home, if you have to replicate the way school teaches, I guess it is better to pack your kids off to school.
- One mom asked me if I am hiring a home tutor to teach my son since I am not sending him to school. Homeschooling is certainly not about protecting our kids from the rough world outside, hiring home tutor means you are again using school methods though far inferior and boring just so that your kid is in the secure home environment(though I really hate bullying and meanness that kids are exposed to in school).
- We are not school haters but just trying a different method of learning for time being. We are also open to schooling sometime in future, we are saying if homeschooling is best for now, a good school might be best for him in future.
What homeschooling(early years) to me is this:
- Allowing kids to learn on their own, without a teacher or adult hovering over them.
- Having confidence that kids will pick up reading, writing and other such skills without putting them through outside stimulus at an early age, before they are ready and interested, personally I would like to wait till 6 years for formal learning (infact I remember mothers getting worried , whether or not their kid will potty train, eat food on his own, socialise, learn to speak, walk……and the list goes on and on, I too have been worried about all these things myself, now I look back and realise that I should not have worried so much).
- Allowing kids to learn the basics first, what is around us? What is the that bird in the park? How is it building it’s nest? i.e develop a sense of wonder rather than start text book learning, satisfying one’s curiosity and figuring out the world around rather than learning for the sake of one upmanship and becoming a robotic learning machine with no mind of it’s own, I wonder if that is the reason that we cannot come up with anything of our own these days, we are becoming just one big copy cat nation.One of my classmate even opened some sort of learning center for kids as young as a year old and she posted videos on fb showing how small kids can be taught about solar system and periodic table and according to her they actually get it. Well I find it hard to believe but even if we give her the benefit of doubt, what is the point in teaching solar system, periodic table, and evaporation cycle to kids of preschool age? I think we should set them free and let them learn on their own, let them ask questions, be curious and creative and playful rather than start their journey of being another book worm competing for the jobs in the world as soon as they are out of womb. I have discussed this in my blog Essentials of homeschooling
- Giving kids lot of time, having lot of conversations, allowing them to play, and pick activities that they are really interested in.
- Allowing them to get bored at home. Getting bored is not such a bad thing as it is made out to be, we do not have to constantly tire out our brains, sometimes we should just be allowed to get into a zone where we do not tax ourselves for anything, it is quite possible that we are most creative when we get bored.
- Acknowledging that learning happens everywhere and everytime, it does not have to be inside the walls of the school.