- Introduce yourself – where you stay, how many kids, their ages etc.
My name is Lizanne, I’m a 32-year-old mom of 4. We live in the very sunny and beautiful Cape Town. My kids are 8, 6, 2, and 6 months.
- Why did you decide to homeschool?
We actually decided to homeschool even before we were married with kids, we just always knew it’s what we wanted to do. I think our faith plays a rather large role, and the fact that we want to experience life and learning with our kids. I want the kids to learn in their own way, so not in a set “one size fits all” attempt like many schools follow. Our eldest also has some sensory integration issues, so for him it’s better to be learning at his own pace and in a comfortable environment.
- Are you following a set curriculum?
We kind of mix and match to get the best out of what’s available and what works for us. In truth I haven’t found the perfect curriculum for us yet, we kind of do self-directed learning or unschooling vibes, because that seems to work best with my eldest. Although this year we are starting to use more books and things with our 6-year-old so we may end up with a curriculum for her. We use Easy Peasy All in One for them, it’s free and it’s actually quite good, and we use a lot of Letterland supplies, and we tend to use games a lot in our learning… and loads and loads of books. For Math we are using Singapore Math, which is really great and not that expensive.
- If you are, which one?
- If not, what are you doing?
- What is or has been your biggest challenge homeschooling?
Lack of support from family, it feels like our families are constantly second guessing our ability to homeschool. This is really hard, even on the kids, as they feel like they constantly have to have an answer for the “what have you learnt this week?” Question. It’s really stressful because its things like “when they go to school” or “she would learn to read faster in school”. I want to know, why MUST a 6-year-old read? Just because some 6-year old’s do, why MUST mine? Anyway, that’s my biggest challenge. It also doesn’t seem to matter that so far; we have had nothing but success with homeschooling.
- What has been or is the best thing about your homeschooling journey so far?
Seeing my kids learn and grasp things or just seeing them enjoy learning new things, it’s also amazing just being the facilitator of their learning. I guess it’s a sort of pride, knowing I taught our eldest to read, which opened up his world so much.
- What is your absolute favourite resource?
Currently it’s actually a person/blog… se7en.org.za is literally the most inspiring for me as a homeschooling mom. I picked her brain a while back and I feel so much better about how we homeschool. I highly recommend that new homeschooling moms find a veteran mom who can help you and assure you.
- What is the one thing you can’t do without (obviously related to homeschooling)?
Books. Like reading books. We use them for our read aloud time and for self-study. No specific ones, just all the books!
- What has surprised you the most about this journey?
How much I’ve learnt about myself. I’m an introvert and homeschooling and being home with 4 kids every day pushes me out of my comfort zone, I have been forced to make friends with people so my kids will have friends. Surprisingly it’s not all bad… even though it’s been a challenge to get out my own head. It’s definitely made me grow, although given the choice I’d still prefer to not see people.
- One piece of advice you would give to a family considering homeschooling.
As I mentioned before, find a veteran or more experienced homeschooling family who does things like you would like, to advise you and to encourage you. It can be hard and lonely, and some days you’ll want to give up and send your kids to the nearest school… those are the days you’ll need the support from other homeschool families.