I guess I don’t have to tell any of my fellow mamas the following, as we have all experienced some kind of schooling from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, but seriously; homeschooling is not for the faint-hearted.
Both my husband and I were homeschooled as part of our schooling. We loved the concept and flourished in the system that gave us an academic advantage, and we always said that we’d love to give our children this opportunity. Homeschooling also allows us the flexibility to live the life we want and pursue the travel dreams we have as a family. Schooling is still a priority, but it can fit into our family’s lifestyle and timetable.
It also allows us to choose a curriculum that works for each child, their learning styles, as well as their interest. We have exact control over what is being taught to each child, and learning gaps can be addressed immediately.
One Teacher, Four Grades?
As the whole world was forced into lockdown, and schools could not reopen as planned, we revisited the idea of homeschooling our four children. After a few weeks of school work sent, it made us realize we should find a curriculum that better suited our needs as a family. We immediately noticed gaps in our children’s learning that we never noticed before. Mom became a Teacher overnight, and it was a real struggle for both myself and the kids to find a balance in this new way of doing things.
Our eldest had just started Grade 3, our son was in Grade 1, and the two youngest were pre-GradeR and 3 years old. Fortunately, we chose a self-paced, self-study curriculum, andmy oldest two could continue their work mostly on their own. We all, however, had to completely reset our minds, even as parents, to really discover and adjust to what homeschooling would look like for us as a family. I’ll admit; we had many tears, many fights, and many “off” days, but we also had extraordinary moments of breakthroughs, and science experiments that had all of us laughing, and field trips that could fill books!
According to an empirical analysis published in 2010, by Widerner Law Review, called Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research, “Homeschooled children achieve levels of academic achievement similar to or higher than their publicly schooled peers.” We had our eldest two children tested by their teachers from earlier that year, and both confirmed that they were far ahead of their peers.
All About The Balance
One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned during our two years of homeschooling four children, (and during a pandemic, I might add!) was that “Homeschooling does not look like school at home.” We do not need to replicate the environment of a school. Homeschooling for us means we give our children individualised education in an environment that best encourages their learning process, having an intimate knowledge of what and how and when they learn.
It also means that some days we wake up at 6 am and finish our works by 8 am. Other days we get absolutely nowhere and decide to call it a day, pack the kids in the car and go to the beach. When we get back, we’re in a better space of mind, and the kids can complete their work while I make supper.
The reduced exposure to Covid-19 has also been a huge benefit. We might have started our homeschool journey because of a worldwide pandemic, but considering all the wide-reaching benefits we have experienced, we will certainly continue this long after the pandemic fades.