Saturday, 25 September 2010

My secret desire

I am sure most of us have some secret desire or dream job that we like to daydream about. The secret desire of my heart is simply this, that I wish I could home educate my children. Much as I am enjoying the tidier house and quiet times during the day now that Tom and Lily are at school, I can't help but feel that I am depriving them of a better education. You see, here's the shocker, I like spending time with my children and I would love to have the privilege of educating them. I think a love of learning is more important than doing well in tests and exams and I don't think this is something that is of first priority in the state school system.

I often spend my free moments reading about Charlotte Mason and her method of home education. Many of my favourite blogs are those of home-educating mothers and I love to read about what they do in their 'homeschools'. I daydream about book lists, art and music appreciation, nature studies and field trips. I thrill to the idea of my children following their own interests instead of those of the crowd, learning in a way and at a speed that suits them and revelling in their individuality. I think of a world where my children can have their questions answered instead of being made to sit quietly because teacher is talking, where they can play and learn outside whenever the weather permits and where we can learn about the seaside by visiting it instead of reading about it. This is a world where the moral standards my children learn are those we believe in, not those of the state, where we can sit and enjoy books together whenever the mood or an idea takes us and where they know that what they think and who they are really matters. This is not a world that tells a four year old child she can't go and get her cardigan when she is cold, that sends words home when a child isn't ready to start reading yet or makes an almost six year old have to learn in a reception class because the school can't afford a second Year 1 teacher.
Sadly, this is just a world that I dream about and that doesn't really exist. As we all learn fairly on in our lives, we can't have everything we wish for. I just wanted to say to any home-educating mothers who might read this, you and your children are extremely lucky. I salute you!
  • A good summary of the Charlotte Mason approach to home education can be found here
  • This article pretty much sums up my thoughts about why I think home education is better than traditional schooling


Sharon said...

Hi Paula ... I am a primary teacher in NZ and I teach six and seven years old. I would say follow your heart and your dream. If you doubt the education system that much and feel your have the skills to educate your child then go for it. I do not feel that we, as teachers, can give every child the time and individual attention that they deserve. I have followed your blog for quite a while and think you would make a pretty good job of home education... the only thing they would lack is socialisation with a wide variety of children from different backgrounds (but that may not be a bad thing). I will be interested hear from you and what you decide. Sharon (Matthew's mum).
ps I never check my gmail account but is the one I check.

Father's Grace Ministries said...

Hello Paula
I'm from Australia and found your blogs from your comment on Searcy's blog.
We too are a book-loving family, and homeschool using many of Charlotte Mason's ideas. If we continue, we'll probably take a more classical lean, as our children get older.
I could relate to your comment about the house being tidier with children in school! We started off we our eldest in Christian school, but withdrew her because of teasing, and the fact that we didn't think she was really learning anything.Homeschooling isn't always easy, and I never get ALL the housework done during termtime, but it's very rewarding, worthwhile, and saves a lot of money, even when compared with free public schooling.

Paula said...

Hello Claire,

Thank you for your comment. It must be very rewarding home educating your children. I know what you mean about feeling like the children aren't learning anything at school. I sometimes wonder what it is that the schools do all day!

I have a very active 18 month old, so it's fair to say that I never get all the housework done either!