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HS and your relationship with your kids

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    That is great DF418! :clap::clap:

    Girlfriday, although i do agree with you to a certain extent, sometimes kids don’t know what they want to learn. How can they know what there is to learn without someone telling them? How do they know what is going to be important for them to learn?


    I think one thing that bothers me about totally embracing homeschooling and natural learning – a bit like the whole immunisation thing – is if i went through the school system and came out sort of ok – and can be at a point now where I can think critically etc my children could also get there too?..

    I guess deep down I have some insecurities about ensuring my kids can read and write… and know the fundamentals… its really a huge responsibility!

    Anja I understand what you are trying to say! I remember talking with my colleagues about the same thing. We used to practice an emergent curriuculum which came from the children’s interests, but there is also the role of the adult to guide and facilitate and sometimes even take over the direction – the responsibility lies with us. I found the more creative I could be and flexible to find/negotiate ways of the child being honoured and their interests being supported with my own agenda of learning experiences that I had for them. Sorry hope that makes sense! I guess what I am trying to say, at the end of the day, (and I remember telling my colleagues the same thing) we as adults are ultimately responsible for the children – in every capacity (education, safety, health etc…) following a natural learning approach doesn’t mean a free for all for the kids and the adults do nothing… (sadly, some people think this is the case and what results is not only chaos but evaluations that this type of learning does not “work”).

    Anyway, I think there is much planning, work, care, dedication required whatever your approach!


    hey mumchook – thank you – I appreciate the depth and throughts!

    I think I will write out what I want for my kids – it is a good starting point in this huge decision process!

    I agree with you about the not real learning in schools – I remember constantly asking the teachers (mainly in high school) when in my life are we going to use all these things that we had to learn about and remember?! often it was rote learning too – dont ask me anything about it now. I have ot say I feel like a bit of jack of all trades master of none!

    I think what I really want for my kids is education is that they have a love of learning, that they can be critical, reflect and that the educational experiences that they have had open doors for them – whether that be uni if that is what they want or some other direction…. probably should be putting this stuff in my journal!

    Burra MalucaBurra Maluca

    I’m not sure how relevant this is, but my 14 year old homeschooled son did his first afternoon of ‘work experience’ with some friends of ours this week. The basic idea was to combine some ‘real work’ with a kind of mentoring, so that my friends would get some firewood gathered in, my son would learn to interact with adults in a ’employer/employee’ relationship, and my friend would learn to interact with youngsters a bit more.

    The result? Well, they both had a wonderful time swinging on dead trees and throwing their weight around pushing the trees down, loads of firewood got hauled to the house, my son has a new friend who he seems to treat like an equal, and my friend spent the afternoon behaving like he was 14 instead of 40.

    It’s not quite the way I expected the relationship to develop, but my son now has the attitude that hard work can be fun and productive, so I’m quite happy with that 😆


    df418, congratulations on your fantastic family-I love hearing the many HSing success stories.

    aim, I was really worried about the reading thing. It seemed such a huge thing to teach, but really it was ridiculously easy. My five year old has always had a massive interest in books, probably because our house revolves around them. With some rudimentary instruction, at her request, following a learn to read program, she’s nearly fluent. It’s just the big, complicated words that stump her now. My four year olds have watched this process avidly, and are starting to get the hang of blending, mainly because their older sister likes playing at being their governess. It’s such a rewarding process, watching the lighbulbs go on and everything slowly click into place-i’d hate to have given all the enjoyment to someone else.

    Plus, re: you coming out of school OK, I did too. I would be considered one of the success stories. But when I look back on how much time was wasted doing things I had no interest in, and how many subjects I did well in but now have no memory of (the memory didn’t last past the testing) it seems a bit………..well, silly. A big waste of time, i’ve learnt far more of use as an adult, following my interests. My husband is the opposite-got a Year 10 pass while being below the functional literacy level. He learnt to read and then went on to further study as an adult because he wanted to. He is still convinced he’s stupid when he’s not, I don’t know if it’s something he’ll ever be able to beat.

    stark3-Exposure to diversity promotes tolerance, right? So why, after all these years of exposure is there still intolerance? In the end, you’re only exposed to kids of a similar age, usually of a similar socioeconomic background, and adults with an education degree who usually assume an authoritarian role and don’t have the time to nurture individual relationships with all their students. It’s nowhere near the real world. The competition school encourages doesn’t do anything for tolerance either. Segregation in early life will only encourage it later on.

    Re: trusting them, I take the same approach to their learning as I do to their eating. I provide a wide range of quality food/experiences and it’s up to them to take what they want and need. Just as I can’t force-feed them, I can’t force educate them. It depends on how you view children as a whole, as empty vessels needing to be filled or as individuals who have quite good sense overall and are curious about everything. They learn in everything they do, it’s ridiculous to think that learning only takes place in educational institutions. Real, lasting learning requires context and interest, something sadly lacking in most schools.


    When deciding on the education for your child, please consider: Are we educating children reflecting on our past or educating the child for their future? The majority of our children will we working in jobs that have not even been created yet.



    I am currently homeschooling our 11year old ds and a 4 1/2 year old dd.

    Our style of homeschooling is what I could best describe as ecletic.

    We buy our curriculam for all the major subjects like maths and english, science and history and spelling. We are currently considering what language to learn and are seriously considering sign language.

    We also follow interest based learning eg, there was some native aussie bees around our roses. Ds was asking lots of questions that I simply couldn’t answer so off we tottled to the library and did some research online. There is now a whole exersize book project on our native bees. dislayed open on our sideboard for all to see.

    We also recently did a project on Recycling, which I must say was far more interesting than I thought it would be!

    Yes our family has grown so much closer than when ds went to school! He no longer hates his little sister and enjoys playing with her. No more fighting since he has “come home!”

    IT is a myth that homeschoolers only “socalise” with other hschoolers.

    Sure we do “socalise” with others that homeschool! BUT the kids also play with other kids that go to “school” on a regular basis, those children are called neighbours and friends from scouts and all the sports clubs we have attended.

    “Socalising” it’s an interesting topic!

    Many argue that children only get quality social skills at school.

    I disagree, what our ds learned at school was that being bullied was in others eyes o.k. as long as it wasn’t them that was being bullied and yes we did change schools but less than 2 years later the bullies were back. Have you looked up the meaning of socialising in the dictionary?

    Look in my oppinion other than school, where does a person in the real world as a grown up socalise with people the exact same age, at work maybe? or at the gym? In the real adult world this just does not happen often.

    Sport. This is a hard one for me as I’m not into organised sports so ds chooses two sports one for the summer and one for the winter months. He has yet to choose the same sport twice. It’s great! He gets a feel for each sport that takes his fancy. We have an understanding that when he finds a sport that he likes he’ll stick to it!

    We also go for a walk or bikeride everyday. And he rides our horse when it takes his fancy.

    Our children maybe in some peoples eyes sheltered but they are safe and happy children who love spending time with people of all ages, they understand that the very young and the very old need extra special care and understand that they must get their school work done before they can play or watch the box. Even then,they will most times be caught out doing something real out there in their free time like reading!

    A question I am asked alot is how much does it cost. We spend far more homsechooling than we did when he went to school. Far more! We do not want the kids to miss out on things that “school kids” do so we regularly go on excursions, like when we covered recycling we went to science works to do the interactive recycling exibit in the childrens area upstairs and we also arranged a visit at the recyle depo where we were taken on a tour and everything was explained. Very interesting!

    I am a sahm and was before we decided to homeschool so I feel I’m not missing out on anything! As for contributing to the family other than being the best darn mum I can be I also grow most of the vegies we eat except carrots I just can’t manage to grow them, and I love to make some of the kids clothes.

    I have forgotten to put in that NO there is no tension about me being a parent and a teacher. Both the kids understand that I am the same person. I have been teaching them all their lives I taught them to use the toilet I taught them to wash up and how to tie their shoes and yes I am teaching them their times tables, english, history and the like I really do not see the difference teaching them life skills from 0-4years old or school from 5-17years old. I have always used the kids as a guide when our son wanted to go back to school 2 years ago I said sure lets pick one that we both like, so we did! When he said he wanted to come home again I asked him why before I agreed.

    As an added benefit I can work on my own education in places that need work like my spelling!

    This is a great country! And I believe I am teaching a child that will grow into a great Australian! Isn’t it so that it takes all sorts to make a country as wonderful and as diverse as Australia? If we all did things the same way what a borning blace this would be.


    We do work within guidelines set down by the department but by doing our own curriculum we have a lot more flexibility. My eldest has ASD so a lot of his ‘lessons’ are centred around his passion- flying and planes. Its amazing how much maths, english and science you can learn about while learning about planes.:D

    We are not unschoolers (i am not entirely comfortable with totally child led learning- not knocking it, just saying its not ‘me’). I teach my children things such as cooking, budgeting, financial responsibility, environmental responsibility and morals/ ethics as well as the three R’s.

    I am very happy with homeschooling and it has made a big difference- i feel like i know my sons now after having them go ‘away’ from me during their primary school years.


    I have been homeschooling my daughter for 8 months now, best decision i ever made. Her old school was frustrating to say the least. They aimed for the average student and it was too bad for the students who were above or below this mark. Every child is different with different ideas and interests, its good to hear that some schools cater for this. i find that if you will work with a childs interest they will want to learn and retain information better, once you do that they will get the love of learning, and its amazing to watch. As for the social side, just doing every day thing brings new people into their lives, You need to get out and experience life to know about life. Its hard work but the rewards are worth it, and im closer to my daughter than ever and that can never be a bad thing. It a personal choice that no one else can make for you and it’s different for everyone, i had to sit down and carefully go through all my options before i arrived at homeschooling.

    Good luck and its not easy being a parent, too many decisions to make :hug:



    Just a PS to my earlier post… You’ve got plenty of time to explore options as your eldest child is only three, so one of the thing I would suggest you do is find a home schooling group close by and see if you can join in on some of their activites and parent meetings. If you don’t “click” with one group, try find another…

    We have a large and very active home ed group here on the Central Coast, with various styles being practised including Charlotte Mason, Steiner, unschooling, formal-school-at-home, ACE distant education, and MANY more!! These parents are quite amazing with a whole heap of experience and knowledge on board, so I’m hoping you find a similar group.

    Go here for info on support groups:

    In my earlier post I didn’t mean to imply (if it seemed that I did) schools are fairly worthless in the whole scheme of things as they’re not. It’s the teachers and principal guiding them which can make a whole heap of difference and some schools and school types are better than others. I just think we’re rather letting our children down with the current set up and the design-a-school manual needs a re-write!

    If anyone chooses to send their children to school, then don’t wave them off at the gate and pick them up at three; become an active parent and involved with your school, so that hopefully any issues which arise can be dealt with quickly.

    I say all this with a degree of understanding having worked in several schools as both a volunteer and paid teachers aide, and nearly fifteen years on parent committees and school councils, as well as having three children go through the system for many years. 😀

    All the best…


    You make a lot of sense Mumchook. :tup:



    craftykez-we’re learning Auslan, it’s great fun. We started because my son has a hearing impairment and the kids loved it so much we pursued it. We have a visual dictionary and I translate songs to learn with the kids, i’ve found that the easiest way for them to learn. I was enrolled to do a short course in Auslan but it was cancelled due to lack of numbers-hopefully next year. But it’s very easy in contrast to spoken languages, it actually makes sense! Eg. milk is the action of milking a cow.


    StarryOne- i did two Auslan courses and it was handy;-) Its easy to teach the kids as well (well as long as their coordination is ok). I found for my son with his motor challenges it was good excercise for his brain/hand coordination.

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