As home education becomes a more popular option for many children I find myself noting the benefits as time goes on. Like with most things in life there are obviously pros and cons but three points to make are as follows. This is in no way a versus school post, just purely my own experiences so far. I am in no way anti school, in fact my 13 year old is currently ‘in school’ as that is her choice, in her life right now, and I fully respect her wishes.
However, the more I journey down this ‘alternative path’ there are a few obvious advantages for us as a family.
It never ceases to amaze me how my children have begun to ask questions, or give opinions. Without fear of judgement or peer pressure the quality of the question just intensifies. Being politically correct is not an issue and in a safe environment – home – deep conversations can be had without time restraints or taboo areas.
As mentioned above, time can be on our side. We do not clock watch or jump from one activity to another. If someone wants to spend weeks researching one particular subject that is totally acceptable and if that means excluding all other activities then so be it! When we are what I like to call ‘zoned out’ learning a new skill or reading something that completely grasps us to the point of forgetting the passing of time and outside distractions we can feel wonderful, almost meditative. This can happen at any age and I LOVE to observe my children in this state.
Now this one is interesting because it is what I get questioned about often. How do my children socialise if not in a class of 30 children 5 days a week, 6 hours a day… I almost feel hesitant to include this one as it is such an over asked and defended matter surrounding home educated children.
What I will do instead is paint a picture…
Melly is 4, today is Monday.
We wake up and she greets he 2 year old sister, waves her 13 year old sister off to school then has a conversation over breakfast with her 17 year old and 16year old brother.
We then go to our home education ‘meet’, an informal once a week meeting place to chat, play and share food, once there she plays a board game with her 10 year old friend and his mother.
She then does some craft activity with some more familiar acquaintances aged between 4-6 years old. She also meets a new friend and her sibling.
She then plays with her sister and her 3 year old friend and her baby brother (8 months old).
Melly chats to many accompanying adults in between.
This afternoon we visit her Grandmother (aged 55) and Grandad (65 years old) and her uncle is there too (he’s 25 years old by the way!)
We come home and Daddy visits and some neighbours of varying ages knock to play although we politely decline as will have dinner as a family, ages ranging from 2 years – 34 years (that’s me 😉 ).
What about socialisation they ask…
What about it? I say.