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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Getting Up To Speed

After saying that I would be blogging weekly, it occurred to me that since we have been homeschooling since late February it would be a good idea to do some entries regarding some of the normal homeschool bloggers stuff that seems to be mandatory.
Hence the following flurry of entries where I will be going through some of the background around why and how we homeschool. Lets get started;

WHY WE HOMESCHOOL

Bambina attended a small Islamic nursery / primary school from the age of 3-5. She only went 3 days a week for 2 years and for us this was perfect! We both loved it, she was happy and so was I. Let me say at this point that our decision to home educate was NOT based on me and my husband being unhappy with the school itself. We are eternally grateful for finding the school and indebted to the teaching staff for the loving care Bambina received.

Having said that, it was when Bambina went full time into Reception that we noticed a marked difference in her self-confidence, energy levels, self-esteem, attitude to learning and level of work. And NONE of it was good!

On top of this she lost all confidence in her ability with numbers and I mean all. She was dissolving into tears every day after school, upset because she was getting things wrong in her numeracy work and was "behind" the other children. She was not even five yet (December baby)! Although we did communicate with the school that we felt there was undue pressure being placed on such young children, and I was trying to work with Bambina at home in the few precious moments we had together, nothing was improving.

We were especially upset to find out that the maths work we were being sent home as examples of her not performing well was Year 1 (grade 1) work!
This concerned me and Superman greatly, why were we paying for our child to be uneccessarily upset? We began having doubts....

All of this was compounded by the fact that Bambina and I were not enjoying our time apart. When I was expecting Bambina, we had discussed home education as our preferred option. However after having her I began to freak out about her being an only child and getting lonely. I hold my hands up here, it was all me. Superman let me know his preference was home education, but being the amazingly supportive man that he is, he acquiesed. It was fine when she was part time, we had four out of seven days a week to do everything we needed/wanted to do. We were "semi-homeschooling" if homeschool purists don't shoot me for saying so.

But what could we do? Reception aged children have to go to school don't they? Isn't home education tightly and exhaustively monitored? Would my only child become horribly unsocialised and a "loner" if we homeschooled? Was I qualified?

These were the questions milling around in my head until a dear dear sister friend and I had a life altering conversation one freezing January morning...

Blowing on our hands and stamping to keep warm, we stood on the corner of the road after dropping off our children and bemoaned the fact that we couldn't have the best of both worlds as we had when they were in nursery. Complaining bitterly that we missed our children and resented having to turn into screeching Sargeant Majors to get our poor little children to school every morning.

Suddenly we both had a lightbulb moment! A look was shared and the unmentionable was uttered...."Lets look into the options, perhaps a homeschool co-op or flexi-schooling?" There was light at the end of the tunnel. We went off and began to research, our husbands got used to their wives constantly being on the phone or messaging each other, and very quickly we came to the same decision. There are options and more importantly, we were going to use them. Within six weeks, Bambina was officially de-registered and we were on the cusp of a new era......

I hope that wasn't too long winded, but thats our story and we have never looked back. Just 5 months later and I can't imagine not homeschooling! Wow, surely "We plan and Allah (God) plans, and He is the best of planners" couldn't be more true! Praise God

See you soon

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