When I woke on January 1st of this year, I was excited about the goals and plans that I had ahead of me. I was going to launch my very first book, start speaking tours, grow my blogs further, get started on my second book and run a half marathon!
And then my daughter approached me with the idea of being schooled at home!
I'm sure the surprised look on my face that said "you've got to be kidding me" said it all but apparently my daughter didn't read that far into it....
My answer was a large, loud "No."
I didn't think I was a home school-type parent. I had plans!
But life doesn't always go the way we plan....
My husband and I knew my daughter was struggling and we knew we had some serious decisions to make. So we approached this like we do any huge decision in our lives....I went and got the magic eight ball... (kidding)
Three shakes on the magic 8 ball were unanimous to homeschooling, so we told our daughter the news.
We transitioned from school to home with a distance education program. The appeal was that it was the laziest form of home schooling from what I could tell (perfect for me with trying to keep my own plans intact) in that everything was done for you. The program we used was really great and taught me a lot about educating my kids on my own turf. It showed me how much they should be learning each day, taught me various resources and showed me curriculum books that we could use. I loved that the work was well planned, organised and self explanatory.
After a few months of doing DE I had a few issues that were not working for me. Firstly the kids were getting bored with the same routine day in and day out and it started becoming a chore to get them to do the work. I realised the desk thing wasn't working and my kids needed much more hands on learning.
I started looking into home schooling and after working out what my needs and the needs of my children were, we decided to register for homeschooling.
Now after some time doing both, I thought I would share the pros and cons of each so you could see which one would possibly work better for you.
With all this said, I don't have a bias toward one or the other. I think both options can be good depending on what you are looking for in home education.
For me, I chose to home school instead of use DE for the following reasons:
1. My children are very hands-on with their learning and the DE meant a lot of computer or paperwork and sitting down to complete their work.
2. Having to submit class projects by due dates in DE created work for me as my husband is not tech savvy. Uploading videos to YouTube to showcase learning was time consuming too.
3. If we had a busy week of swimming lessons, drama or other outside classes it could mean that we could get behind with their classwork and miss deadlines which could affect their grades.
4. Teaching two children (soon to be three) on two different DE programs (because of their ages) made it hard for me and I wanted to be able to teach my kids the same things in some subjects like history, geography, science etc.
Moving to home schooling meant that I was able to avoid these things which were an issue for me. I am now a very happy home school mum. I plan much of the girls work to be hands on, I don't have deadlines and work submission, I can lesson plan around our other activities and I can teach my kids together.
As for my plans? Well they're on hold for now. I figured there isn't a blessing more than being able to raise your own kids and teach them (except maybe being given a trip to a tropical island with palm trees and coconuts).
Home schooling is definitely not for everyone but it does allow a style of education that can cause your children to thrive. If you are considering trying home schooling, feel free to send me an email. I try to personally respond to all emails within a couple of days.