Home 9 Feature 9 The Daunting Decision of Home Educating

by | Mar 18, 2021 | Feature | 0 comments

As I reflect on the countless conversations I’ve had over the past decade with parents standing at the crossroads of pulling their children out of school, I’m reminded of the unique challenges and fears that often accompany this decision.

The anxiety of making the right choice, the fear of judgement from friends and family, the pressure from the school to maintain enrollment, the overwhelming sense of not knowing where to begin, and the added stress of suddenly becoming both “teacher” and parent. The list goes on. Does it sound familiar? 

It can feel overwhelming.

It’s a journey that may make you feel alone at the start, but I want to assure you – you’re not.

Deciding to embark on home education is indeed a life-changing decision, one that brings both uncertainties and immense possibilities. If it doesn’t work out, returning to school is always an option. However, if it does work, imagine your child:

  1. Well-Rounded: Picture your child developing holistically, with a balanced range of skills and interests.
  1. Enjoying Learning: Envision your child finding joy and fulfilment in the process of acquiring knowledge.
  1. Motivated Learner: Imagine your child being driven and inspired to explore and understand the world around them.
  1. Engaged Exploration: Picture your child actively participating and immersing themselves in their educational journey.
  1. Calm Presence: Envision your child approaching challenges with a sense of tranquility and composure.
  1. Feeling Understood: Picture your child experiencing a deep sense of understanding and connection in their learning environment.
  1. At Peace: Imagine your child in a state of contentment and harmony, fostering a positive relationship with education.

The gains, if successful, are tremendous.

Looking back, many parents express regret about not starting earlier. The lost years in the school run and the time missed watching their child grow become apparent. Home educating might not be for every family or lifestyle, but for some, it becomes a rewarding lifestyle choice.

Whatever prompts the decision to pull your child out of school – be it COVID, an unhappy child, falling behind, bullying, lack of school support, or an inability to cater to your child’s special educational needs – prioritise what’s best for YOUR child, not others’ opinions.

Engage your child in the decision-making process. Education is a two-way street that can’t be forced. Instead of asking if they want to be home educated (a choice they might not fully understand), inquire about what makes them happy, what they enjoy learning, their preferred activities, and their unanswered questions.

Offer options they can relate to, such as choosing between an afternoon of exploring insects in the garden or creating insect models. With each question, discover more about what excites your child, what brings them joy, and what alleviates stress.

Then ask yourself: Can school provide these experiences, or can you?

Remember, this journey is unique to each family, and you’re not alone.

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