What Works Best

It’s interesting. I share an older post again and through the comments suddenly have so many thoughts in my head that I simply need to write another post about the subject. My last Blast From The Past just did this. It’s a lot about homeschooling today, I know πŸ˜‰

Anyway. I love to hear everyone’s thoughts about it. What I enjoy the most is when people tell me not to bother as long as things work for us and mainly for our children. I couldn’t agree more. Having said that it’s sometimes not that easy to let remarks just drop off you like water drops off a duck in the water. And the problem is not that I think those people are right in regards to their concerns. Sometimes remarks stick to you because you do question your decision every so often. Of course you do. I think you wouldn’t do a good job if you would never think about it and the rights or potential wrongs. When people ask you about why you decided to home-school and raise their concerns in a moment where you are actually in the process of re-evaluating your decision then those remarks will stick to you.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Maybe parents who had to choose a school do the same. Did you really choose the right school for your child? Would the public or private system work better for your child? Would another school in another zone be better for your child’s needs? Are the teachers the right people for your child? And so on. I bet all parents question themselves too, question their decision. I don’t buy that you are always 100% convinced about a decision that influences your child in the moment and your child’s future. You will always get to a point where you, at least for a split of a moment, question your decision. So guess what: It’s not any different when you home-school. At least not for me.

And I guess the questions I ask myself in those moments might as well be the same questions I get asked from people around me. Are we convinced that we can teach them what they need to know? Can we get them to the level they need to be? What about socialization? What about high school? Don’t they want to go to school? What about different influences, different teaching styles?

All those questions do come up. They need to. Like with a business plan you need to monitor if it still works the way it did in the beginning. Adjustments might be necessary. Maybe the entire approach does not work any longer. People change and when they do they need different inputs, different approaches.

I guess that’s why you are always a bit on your toes when you home-school your children. Because there’s nobody else to blame if their education ends up being not good enough. You screwed up. No teacher to blame, no school to blame, no school zone to blame, no financial background to blame for not being able to afford a private school, no systems to blame. That’s something people who critizise you for your decision to home-school forget. You take a risk. You are in charge. Not just for choosing the right school and the drop off and pick up in time. You are in charge of their curriculum and following it through. You are in charge of teaching them what they need to know and even more. You are in charge of getting them to the point where they can get a university degree. The responsibility lies on your shoulders. They weight is carried by you and you only. Nobody else carries it with you.

If you never question your decision, you are either extremely confident or you kind of don’t care. And I doubt that as a parent you can ever be either extremely confident or careless.

So as long as we can walk away from all the thoughts we have as well re homeschooling and we are still confident that it’s the right thing for our children, as long as they are still happy to be home-schooled, we will happily continue. And so far this has been the case.

What those remarks, questions and in some cases criticism do, is keeping us aware of what we do. And they help us appreciate what we actually have by being able to spend so much time with our kids.

I see what they learn, I know where they’re at. I see their happy faces and hear their giggles. I can spend time with my children and in all of that I know that nobody is screwing them up. So far I’ve never doubted our decision. Yes, the remarks and the judgment of some people didn’t always and probable will not always simply drop off me. But that’s not a bad thing either. It keeps me on my toes. It makes me think and re-evaluate. And as long as I can say “yes, it still is the right thing for us and yes, we can do it” we will continue and enjoy every single minute we spend together.

27 thoughts on “What Works Best

  1. “And as long as I can say β€œyes, it still is the right thing for us and yes, we can do it” we will continue and enjoy every single minute we spend together.” I think you have nailed it with this statement. You know what is right for you. You are aware of the many different options and have made your decision. You are the person with the right to judge your call not others. I am sure if for some reason circumstances changed and you felt a more mainstream approach would benefit your kids you would investigate because you know your kids, their personalities and needs. Others can say why it may be wouldn’t work for them but they should never say it is wrong for you. I applaud and respect your stance and outlook on education. Yours truly mainstream teacher.

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    • Thank you so much! What I found interesting is that I’ve never heard a negative word about our decision to home-school from a teacher. Actually most of the time they are extremely supportive. Something I find really interesting…

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      • As a Teacher you deal with a lot of kids who are dumped in the main stream because the parents think school will discipline or because that is what you do send your kid to school. School is a very rigid environment and when dealing with such large numbers the individual can at times get lost.

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      • That’s what I think too. The class sizes are getting bigger and bigger and I often wonder how a teacher is supposed to do his or her job. Also because I find that the discipline in many children is not what it’s supposed to be and that would make it harder for teachers too.

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      • I think the good solid kids get a bit lost in the fray. One of the reasons I got out out of teaching in NZ was I got tired of the govt constantly demanding test results and making lists of good school and bad schools. They think education is some kind of business model and our kids should produce ever improving test results like profit margins.

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    • We have this dreadful thing called league tables that rank schools on their results. It is like comparing apples and oranges. One school got a really lashing by the media on how low their pass rate was for their Year 11 cohort. The principal replied by stating he ran a school with a very successful special needs unit. These kids were part of the year 11 numbers but didn’t sit the exams so therefore didn’t show up as a pass. I have had awesome kids over the years who have super talents, may be not academic but once let loose in the real world went on to be major successes in their fields and now own their own businesses. I think it is worth looking at value added not a standardised test. This kid came in as a 13 year old with a reading level of an 8 year old. He lacks self esteem and struggles socially and behaviourally because he feels he is stupid. If a school can help get him up to speed with his reading, improve his sense of self and help him find some direction in terms of future prospects I think this is part of a job well done. He may not pass university entrance but he may become a top apprentice. Every one is different.

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  2. Great thoughts and so true. I love the perspective of not taking offense to certain comments and questions, but instead, use them as a reflection tool. Though, I do understand they can cause you to ruffle your feathers a bit.

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    • Oh they do. To be honest, it’s often the fact that I get annoyed about someone being so judgemental without even knowing us that gets to me rather than the fact that they question homeschooling in general. Because in 99% of the cases it’s people that have never talked to our kids and that really don’t know us at all that come up with negative remarks…

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      • Of course they stereotype. They heard one bad homeschooling story so it must be like that for everyone. Whereas if they knew you, if they knew your kids, they would understand the education they are receiving. I know there are some out there choosing to homeschool when they have no business in doing so as they aren’t providing adequate education and their children are behind. (I’m making the assumption that you do not fall in this category since teachers are fully supportive of you)

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  3. There are so many other factors beyond our control as parents in ANY situation that will effect our children in ALL aspects of their development. I guess that’s why many of us pray that we’re doing “the right thing” while we’re raising them and then beat ourselves up for being “bad parents” if they don’t turn out the way we’d hoped they would.

    I know for myself that I did not have the temperament to home school my kids. Some other parents of kids that mine played with did home school. At the time, I thought that these children were too “different” and was concerned about their potential to be “successful,” happy and well-adjusted as adults. Actually, in one case, one of the home-schooling moms sent her eldest to regular junior high school, based on her evaluation of her child at that point. I’m not sure how that turned out or if she continued to home school her other child. I have reconnected with the other home schooling mom I knew who continued home schooling her son. It appears that he meets the foregoing criteria I laid out and. is a “successful” adult.

    That being said, of course we’re all “crazy” in our own ways, even as mature adults, right?😜

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