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Why We Decided To Homeschool

Our kids are currently seven, five and we have a busy toddler. Our eldest two did a relaxed three terms of play school at my dear friend’s play school in Port Elizabeth, during the lockdown year of 2020. We moved back to the Overberg in January 2021 and have kept them home ever since.

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So here’s the funny truth. We always planned to send our kids to school… until we didn’t. Back story, Pieter and I decided quite early on that we were willing to make financial sacrifices so that I could be a stay at home mom. Having mom present and available for most of the day throughout our kids’ formative years was important to us. I loved being home with my babies, leaning into the beauty of mundane routine. We enjoyed a slower pace, playdates and just the togetherness of doing everyday life. I started noticing that more and more of their toddler buddies were heading off to play school most mornings, from around the age of two or three already. It felt as though the ‘school going age’ had become younger and younger. We prayerfully carried on as we had set out, to keep our littles at home until they had to go to school.

 

Being a deep diver, researcher and somewhat of a podcast enthusiast, I would learn from moms I admired as they shared and taught about life, motherhood and all the things in between. It strangely seemed that most of them were homeschooling. I found this super confusing to be honest. I ignorantly believed that the only children who homeschool are those who can’t go to school because of a learning limitation or a behavioural reason. Plus I foolishly thought that all homeschool’d children would turn out socially awkward. (I’m giggling out of embarrassment writing this in real time). I started feeling God speak to me about opening my heart and mind to homeschooling. It was a strange nudge, I wanted to ignore it and go with the familiar schooling path that I had walked and loved. But the more I considered and looked into schooling options the more my heart would find rest in the thought of homeschooling.

 

Our kids are currently seven, five and we have a busy toddler. Our eldest two did a relaxed three terms of play school at my dear friend’s play school in Port Elizabeth, during the lockdown year of 2020. We moved back to the Overberg in January 2021 and have kept them home ever since. I’ve definitely had days and even weeks of considering sending them to school, but then I think of everything we would have to give up. Slow mornings, quality time together going through daily rhythms, hours of fostering sibling bonds, the incredible feeling of experiencing your child learn something new, flexibility to change up our day, spontaneity to skip school and adventure to the beach or the forest on a warm day, taking school outside the home and experiencing things in real life and not just in books. Even giving up the harder things would make me sad. I love that I’m always near to correct and walk through unkind behaviour, to get completely overwhelmed by all the curriculum options just to stop, cut back and reframe our days. I’m learning alongside my children and often joke that I, as a former school teacher, need to do most of the unschooling to truly enjoy and make the most of this beautiful way of living and learning.

 

I’ve thought and learnt a lot about homeschooling over the past few years and have come to the conclusion that it’s an ideal way of educating children. However, not all homes are happy and safe, and some children are better off at school. I’ve also felt a strong conviction not to idolise homeschooling, to always be open to God calling us to a season of school. Obedience will always trump my idea of what’s right for our family. This journey has also shifted my views regarding children and outsourcing many of our parenting roles. Whether you homeschool or not, you should still take responsibility for your children’s education. You can get involved in their school, encourage a love for learning, curiosity and even look into many beautiful principles that a homeschool day includes. Lastly, without a shadow of a doubt I believe that every mom is perfectly created and capable to homeschool her children. Homeschooling has brought me to my knees in surrender and radical responsibility. I’m forever thankful that I heard that still small voice whisper the thought of a homeschooled life into my ear. I’m also thankful to the mothers who have gone before me, who have opened a window (many through Instagram, vlogs and podcasts) into their homes and outdoor adventures. They’ve encouraged me to see childhood in a new way, something to protect, cherish and slow down.

 

 

The original mothers I listened to for hours, bought their books and read all their blog posts were Sally Clarkson, Jody Mockabee, Ruth Chou Simons and Ainsley Arment. You can find them on Instagram or a quick google search. If you have any questions about homeschooling or our lifestyle in general, please comment below. I’d love to open a window into our homeschool life and encourage a fellow mother through honesty and maybe even a little spicy food for thought here or there. Be blessed.

 

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office@themomarchive.co.za

Thank you Beth for this beautiful blogpost. We look forward to your homeschool series and know it will help so many parents.

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