August 10, 2007 at 1:13 am #240614Jacks KidMember
My oldest son Orion is currently attending a pre-primary that I am quite happy with as I was with his kindergarden last year. However, I am a teacher myself and I believe that no matter how wonderful a schools ethic is, how teriffic the principle is, and how great the individual teachers are, the simple factor of numbers in the classroom does now allow ANY teacher and therefore student to reach their full potential.
The foremost factor contributing to this I belive is that teachers in both the mainstream system and private system spend the majority of their time dealing with classroom management issues (and I would quite happily throw around a figure of about 80% of their time) This means that in a six hour day of which they spend about four and a half hours in the classroom, they would actually spend about ninety minutes actually teaching. (This is pretty scary when you think that your kids spend thirty hours a week at school and only seven and a half hours actually learning anything and I think I’m being conservative) And because numbers are so large (somewhere between 20 and 30 usually) it is impossible for the teacher to customise each students learning experience to meet their individual needs. Needless to say this bothers me!
Another thing that bothers me is that although there may be a teacher (sometimes two) per 25 kids or so in a classroom, when they are out in the playground I have often noticed maybe two or three for the ENTIRE SCHOOL!!! Now our kids seem to come home relatively unscathed from this experience BUT for me personally I feel that the moral/social education of our children is at least equally as important as their intellectual education and one of the most influential places for this learning to take place is when interacting with their peers. I don’t know if you have ever heard of the Virtues Project Educators Guide by the Popov’s but the basic principle behind it is teaching our children to use ‘the gifts within’ by picking up on teachable moments in their lives and teaching them explicitly about the different virtues that they already have (as we all do) but may not have developed yet. Of course one teacher in a literal OCEAN of children would have no hope of being able to take advantage of even a tiny percentage of ‘teachable moments.’
Anyway I have come to the conclusion that school is mostly a big waste of time. So what to do about it? Unfortunately unless there was a major educational revolution and an outpouring of people who wanted to train as teachers, NOTHING can be done to significantly improve the system we already have….
My dream (and nightmare) is to homeschool Orion and Tallis. The reason I write this thread is not to convince others but rather to get them to convice me to take the dive!;)
My vision is this: I would not do it alone and I feel I would not be able to cope doing it entirely on my own (gee Mrs Positive eh? – but seriously I think if I did I’d be biting off more than I could chew) I would like to work together with perhaps two other families to home school all together. This would mean we could share the workload but more importantly pool our ideas and talents. I really do feel that two heads are better than one. I would think that if the main teaching was shared by three (maybe more) parents, it would be an achievable task for me… my main personal worry being a lack of self discipline. My ‘co teachers’ would encourage me simply by being there. I feel confident in being able to follow and fulfil any requirements from the education department.
I feel that my children seem to work best first thing in the morning. I would start perhaps a little earlier than usual and finish a whole lot earlier than usual. Even if they did three hours a day on weekdays that would potentially be twice as much time learning as they do at school. I know that with a group of three-six or so kids between a couple of parents will still have ‘classroom management’ to deal with but because there are so few it would be a whole lot easier to use those ‘teachable moments’ to benefit the whole groups learning experience. They may not be learning about the subject at hand but will still be learning valuable skills in their journey to becoming an adult.
I love the idea of flexibility and a kind of melding of life and learning so that school becomes not so much of a separate activity… Of course this doesn’t mean that the kids will be subjected to lectures and quizzes all day long but rather thier learning can be integrated into everyday activities like shopping or baking/cooking. And then of course you could have the luxury of going on excursions every WEEK if you wanted to and perhaps even at some stage a camp!!! (Okay I’m easily excited)
Anyway… I sound pretty convinced and yet I still haven’t committed yet. I’m not sure what i can do to convince myself! Any ideas?:pAugust 29, 2007 at 11:10 am #309596kezp99Member
I’m not sure if I can convince you – you sound like you’re doing a pretty good job of convincing yourself! 😉 I’m going to start homeschooling my 5yo son in a couple of months so I’ll be making the journey myself. I find your figures about how much actually gets taught in a week quite scary – and I’m sure they’re conservative!
Good luck with it – let us know if you decide to take the plunge!August 29, 2007 at 11:58 am #309597SwimminMember
JK I was in a similar situation 12 months and now boast a literate, well socialised, curious …. little 6 yo.
Teaching times in school are probably less than 90 minutes per day. My sister, a private school year one teacher, reckons 50 minutes. Divide that by 25 to 30 kids and you get a glimpse of the quality of our education system. 🙁 Playground supervision is a huge issue too; it seems everyone can recall being bullied at school.
I had been worried about a lack of self-discipline but that can work in your favour – being more able to flow with a natural, doing whatever comes up in the day, approach. There’s a good chance you’ll learn much from your child! 😮 I’ve found that last year’s doubters now give glowing reports of my daughter’s social, conversational or reading skills ….. :tup:
I feel that self doubts fade as you go through the year watching your child blossom and honing your natural teaching/parenting skills. You’re right, sharing the road with other parents and children would be a bonus.
There are some useful posts on this sites where many experienced homeschooling mums are hovering, they certainly helped me take the plunge. :hug: Happy plunging 😉September 4, 2007 at 12:15 pm #309598kezp99Member
Hey Terry – you’re just up the road from me. I’m at Bolwarra Heights!September 4, 2007 at 11:39 pm #309599RobyneMember
this subject was brought up on the morning show Sunrise today. The woman who heads the Homeschool was talking about it. We might look into to it when the time comes.
The lady said her 18 year old daughter had been home schooled and is at Uni
Might be a good place to look atSeptember 5, 2007 at 3:09 am #309600bdm6125Member
I am in Perth and really like the idea of homeschooling (for similar reasons as you)…and if I was a teacher, I’d be there in a flash! I just dont feel competant to take them through it all and I worry about the socialising issues and making friends etc.September 5, 2007 at 7:46 am #309601brighteyesMember
I am in Perth and really like the idea of homeschooling (for similar reasons as you)…and if I was a teacher, I’d be there in a flash! I just dont feel competant to take them through it all and I worry about the socialising issues and making friends etc.
I’m a very happy homeschooling Mum to our two girls, 7 and 4 years, neither have ever been to school or kindergarten, yet both have bus loads of friends and enjoy many socialising events with people of all ages and walks of life, not only children their own age! But also with very young babies and Great-Grandpas!!
Personally our family doesn’t believe in any formal structure to education at home, or a set body of knowledge, we haven’t created a mini-school with schedules and such, but rather follow what is described as an “unschooling” approach.
I highly recommend any Unschooling books by John Holt, titles such as “Learning all the Time” “How Kids learn” “How Kids Fail” “The Underachieving School” “Teach your own” to name just a few, hehe
In my own experience (from my own school education and the home education of our girls) and in Holt’s wisdom, I believe children learn best when they are self motivated and pursue their own natural curiosities and interests, just as how we adults enjoy learning!!
Now this does not mean you just leave your children in their room to their own devices, but rather encourage their passions and tune in to their interests as they arise.
my 7 year old simply adores dressing up in older clothes and vintage fashion, we have grabbed hold of this passion and together we visit the local op shops for garments, she works out the money to pay for them (maths!) together we research! fashions from past online and at our local libraries.
At home we look at the science! of the fabrics, comparing them to modern fabrics, testing them under different conditions, modifying garments and/or designing! new garments to suit certain situations better and discuss why perhaps the garment is no longer in fashion, hehe
Understand this isn’t the only passion she has, she has many, as most kids do!
Another interest she is highly curious about is the human body, again we have sourced out resources to encourage her interest here too. I’m not familiar with the names of half the bones in the human skeleton, but she knows them all and therefore she is teaching me!
With “unschooling” it’s important to be in tune and listening to your children all the time, so you can pick up on these passions, they may only be a passing phase, but then they may also be the beginnings to a future Nobel Prize or a life saving invention!
Naturally, neither am I “competent in all” the world’s potential subjects, yet nor are any school teachers I have known. Besides I believe no one will ever invest or have more interest in my children and their education than myself and their father. Who better to encourage their passions and supervise this, their education?!
I would really encourage you to seek out and visit other local homeschooling families and groups, your Ministry of Education no doubt would be able to help you find some, not to mention google! And whether you are just considering or have already made up your minds to home educate, it pays to arm yourself with as much information, support and resources as possible and you do not have to wait until your children are school age, or have been pulled out of school to join these groups and share in the knowledge of others! hehe
We, personally are involved in several homeschooling groups, we organize many outings, field trips, social fun together with plenty of preschoolers in tow. 😉
Please feel free to ask me any questions or private msg me if I’ve raised any points you’d like to discuss further, I understand that unschooling is the more radical approach to homeschooling and not everyones cuppa tea! hehe
All the best!!
BronSeptember 5, 2007 at 10:36 am #309602redhen2Member
i’ve been homeschooling my 6yo son for 8 weeks. i’m not a teacher and i’m not having any problems. a lot of the stuff that kids are taught at school is chosen by the teacher. why shouldn’t you – and your child – choose what you learn? just make sure you cover the basic stuff and make your own way from htere.
there are lots of ways to homeschool – from distance education to unschooling and lots of stuff in between. we’re taking the charlotte mason path and liking it. i reckon that if i didn’t have 2 much smaller children, we’d try unschooling. because i’ve got so many distractions and things to do, i fear that the 6yo would learn altogether too much about sponge bob and the day would be over before we explored anything at all. as it is, we start at 7.30am or so and work for 2 hours at the most. then it’s lego and making cubby houses out of boxes.
anyway, if you want to make contact with other homeschoolers, have a look at yahoo groups. do a search on the method you prefer and then on the area that you live in. i’m sure there is already a group close to you.
good luck. you can always send them back to school if it doesn’t work out for you.
kathySeptember 17, 2007 at 8:20 am #309603jellieMember
I have been homeschooling for four years now, and we love it!
The kids have so much more time to just be kids and we can allow them to choose the things they want to learn about which is great.
I run a forum for homeschoolers in Perth and WA, feel free to PM me if you would like the details. (not sure if it is okay to post the link here) 😀October 2, 2007 at 10:46 am #309604mummabareMember
hello jellie 😆 thought I’d bump into someone sooner or later!
Im starting the homeschooling journey with my son, he is 4 next feb. No daycare/kindy and he has had no problems making friends, in fact I met someone today for the first time (another Perth homeschooler) and was thrilled with how the kids had a fantastic time.
I am mostly likely to go the unschooling…natural learning…method…as I feel it is was will work best for us. This I will support with a workbook here and there for writing/maths when he gets older but I am not going to be pedantic about it…I find life in itself if providing him with many learning opportunities.
Homeschooling, like natural parenting, is becoming a lifestyle choice for us…and I really recommend you take the plunge….once you get used to the temperature…its really quite refreshing 😆October 2, 2007 at 11:57 am #309605grumpy3Member
Yes home schooling is the way to go. We have been doing it now for 11 years and very happy that we started.
DennisOctober 3, 2007 at 12:25 am #309606jellieMember
Hi mummabare 🙂 Nice to see you here!
I totally agree. I can’t imagine life any other way…well I can, and I know it wouldn’t suit us.
I love that my kids can decide what they want to learn about next and I can let them spend as much time as they want doing just that.
😀October 16, 2007 at 2:04 am #309607amaMember
Hi everyone! I’ve enjoyed reading all your opinions and reasons for homeschooling (home educating!), and find it all very helpful. Thanks to JK for opening this discussion! We have just recently pulled our 2nd son out of school, and commenced home educating him last week, with the idea of also doing the same with our older son at the start of next year. I am finding it hard to decide on what approach to take for his/their education, as there is soooo much out there, and different methods. We’re trying to find an approach which suits the children and us together.
The one thing l am really having trouble with, and l’m hoping someone can help me, is our daughter is turning 5 next month, and starting to be interested in learning to write and read, but l don’t know how to go about teaching her, or what approach to take. Yes, we would like to home school her as well. I want to teach her the phonics way. Could someone please give me some advice as to what programs they have used, and how their child/ren responded to it.
I am worried about being ‘a failure’ at this, and failing my children! It seems that now we have made a start, people are looking on with interest to see if we are going to be successful or not, and l feel we HAVE to prove something, which is not the way l want it. :noapprove:
You all sound so relaxed! I want to join the club!!
amandaOctober 16, 2007 at 3:43 am #309608lorisMember
Home schooled both girls and thoroughly enjoyed the process which was very successful. I was very strict with behavioural discipline but as far as discipline for schedules etc. I was pretty loose on that one.
For instance, there would be mornings (not too many) where it was just a terrible trial for all of us. I would stop and suggest that we don’t do school that day but catch up on Saturday. If all agreed, we would call it off for the day.
We always took our school holidays when other children were in school. That way we could do lots of activities and go places when it wasn’t crowded and the roads weren’t chock full. We could also schedule our holidays to include other family members at times it was convenient to them.
So don’t panic about a nine to three routine – after a while you will establish your own routine which works for you.
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