A child cannot learn if he/she feels threatened. Someone said this to me a few months ago and I can’t forget it. Especially when I doubt my decision to home school.
A bullied child is riding the fight or flight wave. If this child is thinking about what the other kids will do to them when they are outside, they take nothing in. No medication will have any effect.
Home School: 8 months later
I honestly had NO IDEA what I was doing, when I started home schooling my kids this year. I had done my research, of course but that’s like reading books while you’re pregnant, to prepare for the baby. You have a false sense of security and you really don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for.
My first mistake, after my 12 years in school, was trying to replicate school at home. I may not have set up desks and ring the bell for break time, but I did try and squeeze 6 work book heavy subjects, into every day. But this was while the kids were adjusting to a fairly big change.
They had moved out of the only house they had ever known, the left mainstream school and they moved to an unfamiliar side of the city. We were also making plans to road trip around South Africa, so you have kids who were overwhelmed and simply needed time.
I wish I could say it take 2 months for us to find our feet, but I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing. As I look back on the last 8 months, it looks like the only thing that we’ve accomplished is that both my kids can read. They also actually understand the maths they are working through.
Zac is 11 years old, and it is only after the last 8 months that he can actually read out loud. Winning! This is a child who believed that he couldn’t do anything who is now happy to complete his reading, maths and Afrikaans. So, we can confidently say, we’re getting there.
What I have learned
It has been anything but easy, but I’m learning. The hardest thing about home schooling is wrapping your mind around how your kids learn. Then customizing how you want to teach according to their needs and talents. After listening to Martie de Beer from Dynamis at the Home School Expo yesterday, I realized that if you focus on the head, heart and hand of the child, you will succeed.
At the end of the day, the world is not going to benefit from a mindless automaton who can sprout back meaningless facts. It will benefit from a mindful human being who can think for themselves. They can then use their ingenuity to create and invent. In the current economy, there is no point raising a child to be a job seeker one day. Rather raise a well rounded, sensible human being who can recognize what is needed and can work out how to fulfill that need.
I can see how my children are growing now that they are learning in a safe, (mostly) happy environment, despite all my failings and doubts. That has to be enough for now.