Saturday 17 March 2012

Reasons to home educate No. 3

A personalised education
What school can offer one on one tuition to all it's students? 
What school can design for each individual student to meet their needs and their interests? 
What school has the facilities to let a child spend the majority of their time studying what they love most leaving plenty of time for discovery?

How annoying is it when you're really into something - whether it be science, maths, writing a story or painting a picture - and you have to just stop?  When you're at that point that you're just getting into that creative flow or things are all falling in to place?  That is another benefit to home educating;  a child can continue, without pressure to finish what they are doing until they are happy to finish. 

With no bell to tell them it's time to stop and the results are usually amazing!

For some children it's the other way and lessons are too long or is taught in a way that doesn't capture the child's attention.  Some children need to learn in a more hands on, tactile kinaesthetic way!
School, with a child like this, becomes a completely pointless place to be. 
So many times I found myself daydreaming out of a window.  Did the teachers care?  Not many of them that I can be sure to say.  But to those who tried, it was an impossible mission with so many other children to teach.  I didn't want to be reading and working through books day in day out, I wanted to get practical, I wanted to make things and explore!  I wanted someone to show me why it was fun to learn!

I only have four children to teach, as oppose to 30+ in schools; I find that my children, all from the same genes are so different in the way they learn, they have so many different interests! 
How is a teacher suppose to be able to give the best education they can to so many children, with so many different personalities?  I don't think it's really ever going to be possible to get it right for everyone.

Then there's the best time of the day to learn. 
Is it the morning?  Really?  I'm not sure - can be though.  I always say I'm not a statistic, mainly because I fall contrary to the average and I hate being but in a box (I never fit) and we are all so individual, statistics are more often pointless to go on when it comes to people.  This sometimes enrages my husband with frustration when I talk like this - he's a statistics fan.  He is now used to the fact that I am a little different, he understands that I will always be prepared to go against the grain if I truly believe the rest of the world have got it wrong - it's not all that bad (I hope). 

Anyway, I digressed, going back to what time of the day is best to learn...  I find my brain works it's best in the few hours just before I go to bed - that's when ideas pop into my head.  Mornings however are very different, I am often more quiet and just want to sit and take things more slowly.  Chiara and enjoys working through her mornings however and her sisters too but late morning 9:30 onwards; she'll whizz through anything academic in the morning.  By the time you get to afternoon she's only interested in snuggling up to a book, getting on the computer, watching a film, going out or getting on with something more creative.  A different time for different things.

HB learns very quickly, but on her own terms usually.  Unless the lesson is made into something very creative, exciting and with a theme that she is able to be at least 95% independent with.  Very rarely does she stay in one place for long.  Although saying that, she can sit though whole films and spend hours at the computer learning maths, reading, english, science etc.  I think after after reading about the different types of learners she is more a kinesthetic Learner.  When I take her to a museum, actively do things at the table and she loves it!

So you see for me, in my house with my 4 girls, a school day could consist of: one child at the computer for 70% of the day; another needing a lot of one on one, soaking up information as fast a computer (that's how it feels) but only for 50% of the day and the other daydreaming out of a window unless a teacher can sit with her turning all lessons into a creative one pleasing to the eye.  Not going to happen with another 26+ children in the class all needing their own different methods of learning. 
I would never judge anyone's methods of educating their children because I really believe what I've written today.  I think every loving parent knows their child well enough to know what the best way to make learning fun for their children. 
I also think it is wonderful when parent can tell of how the school system has worked for their child.  However, for me and my family, this has been so far an amazing way of life; it has been a life full of love and adventure, a life that has already given my children a love for learning.  I believe this has happened because I have the time to help them make learning fun.

My girls are happy, content, independent learners and I am so, so proud of them and who they are.  I don't care what career path they take, all I want is them to grow up knowing they're where they what to be and that they are happy, I think they kind of go hand in hand. 
I have found, from reading the lovely Ross Mountney's blog, I am even more confident that what I am doing is best for my girls.  It's do lovely to read about someone who has followed a similar path and succeed with some wonderful stories to tell!


  1. Around a year ago I wrote on my blog "So for us it is about being in control, not of our children, but of our lives and having the freedom to seize the moments. Ten minutes with an interested child is more beneficial than a whole day with someone who is not listening. They don't stop painting because the bells goes, they stop because they have finished. "

    For me it is about being positive about life, doing what we like to do (most of the time) rather than wasting hours of precious childhood being taught things that we will not need to know!!

    1. Katie I remember reading that. A brilliant way of looking at it, you are right. I too think children learn a lot from just enjoying their childhood x

      I think sometimes we don't always see when children are learning. Really they are learning most of the day; it's just not so obvious sometimes. x

    2. and what is really brilliant is how you are so comfortable with their learning styles - I still struggle with the fact that it is not my youngest that needs the most attention as it seems so counter intuitive but it is the case and better to feel it than fight it.

    3. That has grown through the years. When we were at the beginning I did keep worry that I wasn't teaching C enough. (Turns out she was at least 2 years ahead of her schooled peers)

      Now I'm doing the same with the younger ones I just go with the flow (if they're not in the mood it doesn't matter there's always tomorrow). I think most naturally get to the point where what they are learning is more obvious to us adults x

  2. My girls all learn best first thing in the morning. They will use that knowledge to set whatever it is they want to learn in hard and fast, then coast for the rest of the day doing whatever it is they want to do.
    One of the best skills we believe you can hand a child is the knowledge of how best to utilise their learning capacity to their own advantage. x

    1. Indeed, why waste a whole day struggling. I think a lot of people in this world have forgotten that learning should be fun. People of all ages learn a whole heap quicker that way :) x

  3. What a truly lovely post - and I'm not just saying that because I'm in it! It outlines so perfectly the many reasons why home education works so very well. But thank you for the lovely endorsement! :) x