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  • in reply to: a home education journey #6846

    Yes, I agree on all counts. It took me a while to begin to appreciate that the learning I had been exposed to during my own education (in the public school system in New South Wales) was not going to be the way that we would learn as a family.

    Even outside the school system, I found that some learning materials just did not encourage curiosity or initiative – some materials either reminded me of a merry-go-round that kept going faster and faster, building up more review, lessons becoming larger and larger until suddenly you were dumped out feeling dizzy from the effects – or they became like a crushing weight we just couldn’t carry. The best learning materials were those that engaged our family to want to learn together or that spiked an interest in someone to go further and find out more.

    For core subjects like phonics, spelling and maths I had to find texts that were of excellent quality and which worked for our family. Each child traveled through phonics, maths and spelling at their own pace. Everything else was learnt as a family, all learning together until they reached the age where they developed individual interests and taught themselves. We would help them find resources, but they followed the trail till their interest was satisfied or desired skills attained.

    Because my husband had a love of history, I purchased accurate historical novels and the atlases, topographical maps, texts etc that piqued his interest. It wasn’t long before the kids were looking over their dads shoulder to see what he was up to. We never tested this subject or had them answer multiple choice, short answer or tick- the- box questions. Those materials were incredibly dull and very expensive. I could tell they were really learning by the way they were relating to their dad, the questions they asked, the conversations they shared as they played Lego together, and from the games they played in the back yard, which tended to have an historical flavour. We all spoke the same language because we were all learning together. I am sure this would work for many subjects, not just history. We didn’t have TV readily available.

    As for indoctrination, sadly this is so true. Even if our journey had not been academically successful, it would have been worth it for the harmony it brought into our home, the space it created for us as parents to learn from our mistakes, and for the absence of peer pressure, which just let the kids enjoy growing up together as a team of four.

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