My name is Paula. I'm a full-time mum and homemaker. I live in Staffordshire with my wonderful husband Mark and our four delightful children Tom (12 years), Lily (10 years), Emma (7 years) and little Alexander (2 years). A cosy home, good books to read, access to the countryside, tea and flowers. A little time for some needlework, a little baking, time to play my piano and my family nearby...that's me happy!
Life is good!
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