We had a homeschooling Mum’s encouragement night last week and invited Diana, a homeschool veteran mum.
All her kids have grown up, left home and have their own independent careers. One is an electrical engineer, another works for a Christian publishing company and has illustrated two children’s books; another is a nanny and works in a preschool and another works in nuclear medicine. All of her children would like to homeschool their own children.
Here are a few gems from her words of wisdom to us.
Get Used To Feeling Incompetent
She made a comment that when she was homeschooling she always felt incompetent because when she compared herself to others she fell short. She said not to panic about this. It is a symptom of finding your own path and learning to trust yourself.
Find A Style That Works For You
She said that in her experience it didn’t matter what style of homeschooling you used the kids still seemed to do well. In her experience it had more to do with the mother’s personality in choosing a style. She recommended finding a way that works for you and forget about conforming to other people’s expectation.
She illustrated her point using the analogy of a cleany and a messy continuum. Some people need to clean the house before it gets dirty; others clean up after it gets dirty. Neither is wrong they are just a different way of looking at things.
Don’t Confuse Sophistication With Maturity
This is such a good point. Although a homeschool child may be maturing they may also be unaware of some the ways of the world. To some outsiders this can be confused as being immature. Keeping our child up with their peer culture does not make them more mature. Don’t fall for that trap. Many children (and adults) today are quite sophisticated and immature.
Learning Disorders and Homeschooling
Diana began homeschooling because one of her children was having trouble in kindy with their teacher. The teacher was frustrated and didn’t like the way her child didn’t conform to the rules of behaviour. Today that child probably would have been described as having mild aspergers.
She recalls the first term out of school how a gym teacher noticed how much her child had changed. She also noticed how attractive they had become. Then she realised why—the stress had left them. The child was much happier and the tension had left their face.
When she put that child back in to school for year 11 and 12 they still marched to a different drum. After one month Diana was asked by one of the teachers if her child had been tested for a learning disorder.
In his HSC her child became dux of the school. Diana believes that homeschooling prevented her child from developing mental health problems. Keeping her child at home allowed him to develop his gifts unhindered by years of bullying and misunderstandings at school.