Homeschooling

Figured it was time that I wrote about homeschooling. There are a lot of sterotypes about homeschoolers, some of which certainly apply to some, but as with sterotypes, they do not apply to all.

We are the “Covid homeschoolers”, the ones who started our homeschooling journey in part, because of Covid. Homeschooling, quite frankly seemed like the best path to take as the shitshow unfolded & schools shut down in March 2020 & didn’t open until later in September. I decided over the summer of 2020, that I wanted to give homeschooling a go. It wasn’t a decision that I took lightly, but I am so glad I did, as we were able to maintain a fairly stable learning environment, unlike their peers.

The 2020/2021 school year was a rollercoaster, one day schools were open, the next they were closed, guidelines changed constantly. I don’t really fault the policy makers for the rollercoaster ride that it was, I mean no-one really had experience in dealing with a global pandemic before, but I was glad I could sit out the ride that I saw friends go through.

Those who find out that we homeschool & are still doing so in 2022, have mixed reactions, some think it’s really cool & others have a noticable change in demeanor, as they try to assess what level of crazy we are.

For the record, we believe in science (we vaccine including for Covid & mask), actually believe that Covid exists & are not religious fundamentalists. Homeschooling is something that we have stuck with because for the most part it works for us & the lifestyle that we like to live. Even before Covid we had a reputation at the school for being travellers, just because the kids were in school it didn’t mean that you couldn’t do anything. We joke that they probably have more stability now than they did at school (at least now, I actually make sure they do school work when we are travelling). It’s easier in some ways, whilst harder in others.

Easier, in that you don’t have to deal with other parents, or beaucratic school “stuff”. Towards the end of the kids stint in the public system there were issues with bullying & a “prank” by another student, resulted in months of recovery, which I admit had a role to play, but mostly it was Covid. I get it, the education system is massively underfunded & honestly I don’t have any issues with the educational instruction that the kids were getting, but sometimes change is good, especially when you realise that, that change is working for you.

Homeschooling is hard though. You are responsible for what your kids learn in the end, which can be a daunting reality. At first, I looked after all of it, but now we (G & I) share more of the responsibilites, which helps. Whilst the responsibility to teach the kids is sobering (it can be really stressful sometimes), it’s also incredibly rewarding to see growth & know that you were a part of that, more than you would have been if you had just sent them off to school like their peers. I feel way more involved in their education than I ever was when they were in school, because I am “in the classroom” every day. The classroom varies too, it can be done pretty much anywhere & we take excursions with more focus than we did before.

Society really needs to get past the idea that kids must be sent out of the house in order to receive an education with 20-30 other peers. That type of learning doesn’t work well for everyone, infact it works for less kids than people might realise. I get it though, it’s hard to take on that responsibility as a parent & it doesn’t work for a lot of families. Just don’t vilify those that chose to do it & equally so, homeschoolers need to back off with their judgement towards those that have their kids in the school system. We are all doing the best that we can.

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