Friday, November 27, 2015

It's OK To be Ordinary!

Is your homeschooling brand strangling your homeschool?

I don't proclaim to be something I'm not. To put it quite simply I'm just your average ordinary mum doing what I feel is best for my kiddo's and one of those things is the choice to educate them at home.

There is so much out there in the homeschool world to ponder, to think about, to consider.

Am I doing this for all the right reasons?

Am I giving my kids the education they need and deserve?

Am I ensuring that I look after myself through all of this?

Have I got everything I should have in my arsenal to homeschool my kids?

Have I considered our homeschool philsophy?

What about plans? Not just for now but for the entire year and all of the years that are ahead of us?

Have I considered all of the brands of homeschooling?

Yes I like to call them brands because really that is what they are. Boats all do pretty much the same thing but they too come in all different brands. Yes some brands will suit us better than others or some aspects of certain boat brands will suit us better than other aspects but at the end of the day they are all still boats.

That is why I have never fully aligned myself to any particular brand of homeschooling.

I simply do what works.

Do what works for today.

Do what works for each child.

Do what works for me as their guide and travel companion in this adventure.

I don't need every single aspect of what we do to be scripted to the finest detail. In fact I want our homeschool to be completely the opposite of that.

I don't need to be told that I'm doing it all wrong if we choose to use math curriculum but call ourselves unschoolers.

I don't need to worry if I am fulfilling the correct requirements of the morning basket routine to state that yes I am indeed using a morning basket.

I want to be able to enjoy nature with my kids in any way that it pleases us without the worry of being told, "But Miss Mason would've done it like this".

It brings tears to my eyes to see you mummas that are out there trying so damn hard to get things right in your homeschool. Working tirelessly every single day of your lives in your homes, only to be torn down by well meaning other homeschool mums.

I see it all too often in the homeschool groups I am a member of. A question is asked or a statement is made about something that is getting done in a particular home and bam! You have a barrage of well meaning people jumping up and down telling you how you are doing it all wrong!

Actually I had this exact thing happen to me recently in a facebook group.

I have been looking very closely at a particular curriculum item that is gaining popularity among Christian homeschoolers. It is produced by a Christian family and appears to be a fabulous looking, thorough and very well put together curriculum.

Now, I ustilise many resources in our homeschool that are produced by Christian publishers because quite frankly their personal world view bears no relevance on if the product will be great for my kids or not. What I do normally like to know upfront though is just how well these resources will work in a secular homeschool.

I downloaded the available samples and from everything I saw I was impressed, but I still couldn't answer my question about whether it would work in a secular home. So I jumped on to a facebook group for secular homeschoolers hoping that amongst the thousands of members someone would've used the particular resource. 

Almost immediately I was basically told to go away and to not ask such a question within that group and not only by one person either. Are you kidding me? Isn't this exactly one of the reasons why we have secular homeschool groups so we can give feedback to other families on resources we may be considering?

Thankfully I am a confident long term homeschooler, imagine if I was just beginning my journey. How may responses like that affected me? Suffice to say I deleted my one and only post in that group and have left it.

Why is it ok for someone who knows absolutely nothing about me or my children to go ahead and tell me that what I am doing or potentially going to do is wrong? How is that Ok?

Why is anything wrong, aside from abuse, if it works in that particular home, for that particular family?

Why is it wrong if the family enjoy doing things in a way that works for them?

Why is it wrong if it gets the results the family is aiming for?

This homeschooling gig really is just another part of this thing we call life. There is no right way to do it. We are simply all doing the very best we can and no we do not need to fit under a particular homeschool brand.

I'm going to say that again just in case you missed it. We do not need to align ourselves under any particular homeschooling brand to be successful at homeschooling.

We really don't!!

So what do we do then?

Stay tuned for part two of this post coming soon.

Happy Homeschooling,

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Ticia said...

It's amazing how cliquish homeschoolers can be. Now I'm curious what the particular curriculum was. I loved this post.

Kirstee @Forage and Forge said...

I wholeheartedly agree. It is one of the reasons I took so long to say we unschool. I don't need the negativity from those who don't this we are unschoolish enough. In the end I decided to roll with the label for the positives it gives; finding a community, quickly explaining our approach, etc but I still feel wary. Loved this read, thanks x

Kylie said...

Thanks Ticia.

Kylie said...

Thanks Kirstee, love that you have found your happy comfortable place within your home ed journey. That's really all it is about isn't it!

Melissa said...

Well written article :)I do believe there are certainly ways of educating children that are more effective than others, but I also believe that each child will respond differently to different methods/curriculums. As home educators, we have the chance to help our children learn in the best way they can.. helping them to grow strong.

annette @ A net in time said...

well.. that was a mighty encouraging read. THANKS! :)

Leah Courtney said...

This is very good and so true. I call myself an "eclectic" homeschooler because I draw from whatever works well for us. :-)

Kym Thorpe said...

What a shame that you were treated so harshly by other homeschoolers for asking a question! I still like to say we're "eclectic" homeschoolers because we do a mix of whatever works and I don't want to be pigeonholed into a particular brand, as you say.

Alison W said...

That has been our parenting motto since my first was born! We do what works, until it doesn't work, and then we do something else :) It is how we have responded to people's questions (and judgement!) about everything from sleep, discipline, and to education!

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