What Home Education is Not

Did you know that homeschooling is one of the best ways to enjoy life?  Just think about it.  Ask a group of homeschoolers about what they want homeschool or home education to be. They will probably say that they like being with their children and they want to enjoy life with them and see their children take delight in learning. 

Getting distracted

That sounds great doesn’t it?  But somehow, the day-to-day reality of homeschooling can sometimes obscure the vision.  So that instead of focusing on the wonderful vision of seeing our children learn or watching them discover the marvels of the world, we become bogged down with keeping house, keeping sane and keeping our children on some sort of treadmill/timetable.

Oops! Looks like the here-and-now has wrecked the vision and the pleasure of the long-term vision.  So what’s to be done?

Restoring the vision

It’s simple.  As soon as you see you have wandered away from the vision, just refocus.  Remember why you are homeschooling.  Keep your eyes on your goal. And as often as you notice yourself focusing on the wrong thing, just focus again on your goal.  Do it again and again. Until you have a good habit in place.

Having your wonderful goal doesn’t guarantee that it will always be easy, but it does mean that life will be a happy challenge. And your goal is attainable, I know. I’ve done it.  I have loved being with my children, and homeschooling has never been a chore.

Enjoying homeschooling

Being with your children can be fun, and need not be hard work; learning together is a delight not a drudge.  Home education is not about getting through pages of a schoolbook and maths exercises.  It’s about being with your children, enjoying that time, watching them grow, guiding them, taking delight in showing them the wonders of the world and hugging yourself when you see them discovering it on their own.

Some recommended books

Some books on homeschooling and family life that might inspire you and help you stay focused on your vision for your family:

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. A gentle discussion on how to homeschool in a simple, warm, homely way.

How Children Learn at Home by Alan Thomas. Based on research in Australia and Great Britain. The author noticed that more experienced homeschoolers gravitate towards an informal style of education, very different from school education, it’s an ideal book to refer to and to show to sceptical family members.

The Surprising Power of Family Meals: How Eating Together Makes Us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier and Happier By Miriam Weinstein. This book will encourage you as you focus on an important part of family life.

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teaching to Raise Self-Reliant Children By Wendy Mogel.  A clinical psychologist offers sage advice for  parents, discussing issues like overindulgence, overscheduling, overprotection, disrespect and ingratitude. This book is full of practical tips, humour and common sense; a refreshing and helpful read for all parents.

For the Family’s Sake: The Value of the Home in Everyone’s Life by Susan Schaeffer MacAulay. I love this book!

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. Excellent classic, worthy of a place in every home library.

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson. Helps to remind you of what is important and what you want to put effort into.

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