We are so painfully close to the homeschooling finish line now aren’t we? That said, it may not even feel close enough! For sure, it might be tempting to give up on homeschooling this week, and if you’re feeling that way inclined, then definitely no judgment here. But if you DO need a little pep talk to keep you going for just a few more weeks, here Anna Dusseau of Homeschool Guru has put together six reasons not to give up on homeschooling just yet. Why not print the below list out and stick it up on our fridge to keep you going when inside you’re groaning….
6 reasons to not give up on homeschooling
Learning Beyond the Classroom
One of the great failures of the school system is the idea that learning happens in the classroom and is delivered by the teacher. In this final couple of weeks, why not free your child from this narrow way of thinking for life, by allowing them to use this time to explore their own interests and find sources of information beyond the classroom.
An academic education is all very well, but countless young adults are now entering the world unable to balance a budget or open the bonnet of their car. So much time is now spent focusing on passing exams, that we have lost the importance of teaching our children to cook, to relax and appreciate nature, to get along with their siblings, and to lose themselves in a good book. Now is the time to claim that back.
School tends to erode family connections, driving children increasingly in the direction of their same-age peers and adult professionals. Even during the short hours that schoolchildren spend at home, this time is often filled with clubs, homework, screen-time, and messaging friends who they have just spent the day with.
This sets up an unhealthy pattern of behaviour – a disconnection – that many young people carry through into their adult life and relationships. Challenge this by encouraging conversation, doing things together, and establishing a ‘no phones’ rule at the dinner table.
Home educating (as opposed to surviving the school shutdown) is all about lifelong learning and within this approach, parents and children are learning together. My advice is to give this a go, even if you know that your child will be returning to school in September. Instead of telling your child to get their work done, model what learning looks like by enjoying a good book or magazine article, beginning an online class, or spending an hour painting or listening to an interesting podcast. By demonstrating that you value your own personal development, you are demonstrating how to engage with learning for your children.
The Shape of Things to Come
Whatever happens in September, the advice from the World Health Organisation and global scientific research, is that we are unlikely to avoid a second wave of the virus this winter. Indeed, without a vaccine it is unclear exactly what the future will look like in terms of controlling ‘hot spots’ and managing to keep the economy going whilst also protecting vulnerable people from this killer virus.
Dig deep and try to find your wartime mentality, making the best of the situation and teaching your children resilience and positivity in the face of adversity.
The law places the responsibility for a child’s education squarely with the parent or guardian of that child. That means there is no room to blame school or any other circumstance for the education your child is receiving. In legal terms, whether the school is under-performing or – as now – actually not open to students, it is up to you to address it.
In order to enjoy these last few weeks of homeschooling, try to let go of the pressure of ‘getting through content.’ It is evident that there will be a nationwide drive to help schoolchildren ‘catch up’ from September and your child will be involved in this to some extent. In the meantime, try to worry less about what they are learning and focus instead on cultivating a positive ‘mindset’ for learning.
If you’ve been feeling like you want to give up on homeschooling then we hope the above words help keep you going….not long now mamas!
Anna Dusseau is a former secondary school teacher and homeschooling mum of three. She blogs at www.homeschoolguru.org and is one half of the weekly Homeschool Coffee Break podcast. Her first book Homeschool Works is out with Hawthorn Press later this summer.