Recently I’ve really started to think more about the idea of home education. And I mean really think about it. I know it’s something that I want to look more into because I can feel myself getting excited by the prospect of doing it. If something excites you this much, then you owe it to yourself to look into.
To put it simply, I just want Isabelle to be able to become Isabelle. To have the freedom to pursue what she wants to become without the suffocating hold school sometimes has.
What I’m going to do here is merely list a bunch of reasons why I like home education. I was going to do some of the possible downsides to it, but I thought I’d save that for a separate post.
What I Like About Home Education
Quality Time With Isabelle
First up is a pretty obvious one. We, or whoever has Isabelle, can actually spend quality time with her. Rather than sending her off to school and missing plenty of hours out of the day, that time can be spent with her. The idea of waking up and actually being able to plan out an educational day with Isabelle in whatever manner we feel fit really does excite me.
It Can Be Child-Led
If Isabelle wants to learn to play the guitar, then we’ll learn to play the guitar. If she wants to do philosophy and yoga, then we’re doing that. I don’t see the point in sitting a child down for years upon years of French lessons when they don’t want to do it, purely because a school wants them to.
Of course, I wouldn’t let her completely rule it. I know there has to be a certain level of base education involved. But you can make them applicable to real life and you can still make them enjoyable. You can have an hour or so each day dedicated to core subjects. Then basically go “what do you want to learn?”
This will actually fuel the desire to learn, instead of turning it into something you have to do because you’re told to. I enjoy learning things a lot more now that I’m an adult because I’m free to pick what and when to learn. If I fancy learning German, then I’ll learn German. It’s as simple as that.
I don’t take work home with me, so why should children? I don’t like it. And I especially don’t like the amount that children have to bring home.
By the time a child goes to school, gets home, has a little bit of of down time, they’re then faced with the homework. On top of that you want them being involved in clubs outside of school. There’s no wonder they might burn out and have a resentment for school. With home education there is no homework. Well, there is, because they’re doing work in the home. But you know what I mean.
Bye, Bye Uniform
I hate uniform in schools. I understand it. It’s to help prevent bullying and keep everyone the same. But it stunts creativity, it reduces individualism and doesn’t allow for a child to be able to express themselves. Yes it has some real life application, as I wear a uniform to work. But not all jobs these days are like that. I would much rather fuel a child’s ability to become an individual than fit them into a box before they even know who they are.
You Can Go With the Flow
Fancy getting out of the house for the day? Well then I could take the lessons somewhere else. I could simply go out and take Isabelle climbing. Have a day trip to a castle or art gallery. Learning doesn’t have to be confined to the home. And if we fancy doing something different then we can.
If I have to do the weeks shop, then let’s learn as we shop. You can easily turn a food shop into a maths challenge! Oh, and they’ll also be out interacting with all sorts of people, and not just kids their own age. Which is a problem of regular school.
No Bullshit Stickers
No more bloody stickers for doing well in school. I honestly don’t like them and believe they fuel reward for learning as opposed to fuel a desire to learn. What they teach is that a child should seek judgement on what they do rather than how they feel about it. Can you still say “good job!” of course you can. But these ‘reward systems’ can be damaging to those falling behind, and also to those up in front. Those who are behind feel like they’re not good enough, and those in front get a kick out of the sticker and not the actual process of learning. I could almost write a post on the negativity of these reward systems, as it’s much more complicated than I’m making out, so I’ll leave it at that.
One on One Learning
Thirty students with one teacher is not a good concept for efficient learning. You just can’t do it. There are too many variables between students that mean too many people learn in different ways. One child could waste an entire hour because a lesson was simply about reading the pages and learning that way. Maybe they don’t learn well that way. And that’s ok. With home education I can work out how Isabelle best learns and go with that.
No Term Time
By going with home education we can dictate when we go on holidays. No worrying about fines for taking a child out of school during term time and no worries about inflated prices during half term. We can simply book days off when we see fit and pack up and go to London for three nights. If we want to go abroad, say Berlin for arguments sake, then we can have a month or so of learning German, whilst learning about Germany. I can mix language lessons into history lessons whilst combining geography. Perfect.
I love the idea of home education because if I have an idea for a ‘lesson plan’ then I can do it. I can have Isabelle design and create a menu for a cafe, then have Rachel order something and we’ll cook it. We can make a fake newspaper and report on something local. Maybe get her to go out and actually interview someone for it. Perhaps I can contact a local theatre and ask for her to visit backstage. Heck, we can even do a day volunteering doing some sort of charity work.
To teach her about religion I can simply ask to have her spend a Sunday at a church and learn from the people themselves. She can have her own section of the blog where she can write short stories, poems, or whatever she wants. We can make mini video documentaries and put them up on YouTube. We actually learn about geography by seeing real life geography. No more “here’s a waterfall in your book” and instead “here’s an actual waterfall!” We really will struggle to run out of ideas.
I would love to home educate Isabelle. But this is something we really have to look into. She’s currently only eleven months old. So we have plenty of time to make a decision. There’s just too much I dislike about regular school these days that I have to think about other legitimate options. I already looked into Montisourey schooling when Isabelle was first born. Yes I think that far in advance. But I believe you have to pay for it, or they’re too far away for us.
But the idea of this excites me so much that since I’ve thought about it, I haven’t really thought about much else. I already have notes filled with ideas of things to do. I know there are concerns. But I will do a post about that later on.
Thanks for reading. Just out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on home education? Is it something you would consider, or perhaps wish you could do? Or do you have your doubts about it? Feel free to let me know, either via the comments below or by Facebook or Twitter.