Last night at Brownies one of the mum’s asked me a few questions about home schooling and what support we get – do the Ministry of Education give you a curriculum? (no) Do they tell you how to teach reading and writing? (no) Do we do regular school hours/terms/take summer holidays? (no). The girls in the group I was helping heard, and curiosities piqued, pitched in with their own questions – do they get to play lots? (yes) what do they learn about? (whatever interests them!) do they bake? (yes) Can I come and live with you? (sorry…).
It’s the first time in a quite a long time that I’ve been asked about our decision and what we do, and it was really nice to be in a casual situation where the questions were genuinely curious without having overtones of judgement. Even the mother who had asked – who was a secondary teacher – was simply curious and wanting to know more because she didn’t know. I really appreciate people just asking about it, judgement free, and I totally understand why it makes people curious. Not everyone knows a home schooling family 😉
I always find it amusing when one of the aspects of home schooling that I love – writing our own ‘curriculum’ – is the thing that seems to make many parents shudder. I remember feeling overwhelmed about it back when Ivy was still at school and I was researching whether home schooling could work for us. There was just so much to take in, and so many options. But just over a year in I feel like I’m good with this. More relaxed about our approach, more trusting that the kids will learn things and that following their interests is the right way to go. They are so alive, so vibrant, so filled with curiosity and joy that I can’t imagine ever wanting to send them back to school.
I’m pleased that someone asked me those questions again, because it gave me an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in the last year. How much more confident I am in what we’re doing, and how I no longer fear judgement or feel like I have to give the answers they want to hear. I can just be honest, and that’s nice 🙂