Home education can be described as the parents' decision to take on the responsibility for the education of their children instead of handing that responsibility over to a school (although it should be noted that even in sending our children to school, it is still the parents who are ultimately responsible for the education received -not everyone always realises this).
Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that homeschool is to study the same material as schools do but at home. Nor is home education limited to learning in the home in the same way that school is restricted to learning within the school.
What often comes to mind when people think of homeschoolers, are families sitting around the kitchen table ploughing through dull textbooks, trapped inside all day with no one to talk to. What they imagine is an awful and isolated version of school that no one wants to be a part of, but instead, inside the home.
The truth could not be further from this poorly imagined narrative.
While some families certainly do follow school-style curriculum at home, home educators are in fact free to educate according to the needs of their child and this can be done in many different ways...with or without a workbook...and beyond the four walls of a house.
There isn’t a standard one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone. For as many families that you find home educating, you will find just as many approaches because every household is different. Home education honours all our differences in a way that schools simply cannot.
Every family will have their own method of homeschooling, often inspired by the education philosophy they adopt that is adapted to suit the personality of their home. This may change as the years go by, and children reach new stages in their learning development. Homeschools grow and change as often as children do.
Whether families follow school-style textbooks and curriculum or abandon them completely to follow their children’s individual interests; quite often many are a subtle blend between the two depending on the age of the child and stage in their education. The wonderment of homeschool is the freedom to be able to try different ideas as you would try on new clothes to see how they fit. You keep what you like and makes you feel good whilst returning the others that don’t – and not everyone looks the same with the same dress.
You may find that a free-flowing play-based style of learning transforms into something more structured as the children enter new seasons of life, or that a programme everyone once enjoyed now brings boredom. It is this freedom to make adaptions and changes when something no longer serves us that homeschool families thrive on. It’s the ability to change your homeschool wardrobe when something no longer fits.
Homeschoolers enjoy the freedom to be able to choose when and where learning happens. Most will tell you that some form of learning is going on from the minute the children wake up until the minute they fall asleep at night. You can’t stop them.
Parks, museums, libraries, play-dates, afterschool clubs, workshops, tuition classes, co-ops and more are all avenues which help to shape many learning experiences for homeschooling families.
You have to understand that everything you know about school – does not apply to home education. What works in school doesn’t work in the home, because school is school and home is home.
Homeschool is home.
It is family.
It is relationships.
It is a lifestyle.
Homeschool is freedom.
Freedom to personalise education.
Freedom to embrace and highlight areas of strengths rather than weakness.
Freedom to protect childhood.
Homeschool is freedom to learn without constrictions.