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Teacher convert to home schooling benefits

PostPosted:Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:26 am
by countrysolomum
Hi all,
Thought it was a bit sad there were no posts in this category so wanted to change that. Just thought I'd share a bit about our homeschooling journey in the hope it might help others who are thinking about it.
I am a qualified, registered and experienced Primary school teacher, TAFE teacher and librarian. This means I value our exisiting schooling structure so when my daughter begged me to homeschool her when she was in year 7 I was initially very reluctant.
She was bored out of her brain at school - completing all set work within the first 15mins of a 50 minute period and then having nothing to do as the teachers refused to give her any extension work ("we need to keep the students at the same level - we can't have any going off ahead" - was their excuse when I spoke to the principal - this goes against everything I learnt as a primary teacher and I told him that. I explained that in a grade 3 / 4 class I had taught I had students working at grade 1 level and another working at grade 6 level and everything in between. You adapt the work to suit the abilities of the child. The school weren't prepared to change their mind and wouldn't allow her to skip up a level either.
So I did a lot of research into home schooling. I knew one home schooling single mother (one of my TAFE students) but she did what is called "unschooling" where kids learn what they are interested in but with no structure of any kind. I didn't want that for my daughter. I did more research and finally at the end of semester 1 I withdrew my daughter and started home schooling. I had a job working 2 and a half days a week and I found a program where she could go to "school" one day a week and get given all the following weeks work, hand in her homework and get to mix with other kids. Interestingly the other kids were all there because they needed extra help and weren't coping with normal school and she was the only one there because school was too easy. But the program enabled the teacher to adapt work to each child's ability and through this program she was able to quickly express through the rest of year 7 and start year 8. I worked the day she was at school, I bought her with me to TAFE one other day and she would work in the library and on my half day she stayed home alone. She would keep a written list of questions so that when I got home I could help her with anything she had problems with. It worked well.
In 9 months she completed 21 months worth of work and skipped a head a year level so she then started at a new school the start of term 2 the following year doing year 9.
This year she completed year 12 Biology as a year 11 student (and had she stayed at her original school she would have still been doing year 10) and she got 74%. I think this alone proves that home schooling really worked for her.
Now that I have done it I would be happy to do it again if my younger daughter ever requests it. There is definately a place for home schooling and I now also wish I had continued home schooling my daughter for longer. We have met some great home schooling families and some of the kids are truly amazing.
If you are thinking about home schooling feel free to message me - I'm happy to be your sounding board. It is a daunting proposition and I wouldn't suggest doing it unless you are really committed and your child really wants it... but in the right situation it is definately worth it.