If you follow me on Social Media you would have seen this announcement already but if you have missed it, we have decided to home school from January next year. For now it will just be Jack and Kiara, with Emma following the year after next. It may seem like a sudden decision as I haven’t spoken much about wanting to do this and I did make the final decision sitting next to the swimming pool waiting for Cameron to swim one Saturday morning. But this has been something I have been considering for a while.
The timing now feels right.
Cameron is 16 years old, I have been dealing with teachers and schools for 14 years. We have moved the kids around more than I would have liked and so I have dealt with teachers in both the private and public schooling systems. My mother is a teacher, my aunt is a principal, I am very well aware of the challenges that teachers are faced with. I have tried to give the system the benefit of the doubt, I have gotten involved in all the schools we have been at in an attempt to be a part of the solution but I have reached my breaking point.
The reasons we decided to move our kids is complex, there is no one reason but rather a culmination of reasons and incidents that have led us here. Everyone has their own reasons for making the decisions they do for their family, these are ours.
The system is flawed. I am so hesitant to say our education system is terrible or useless or all the other things that people just throw at it but I have to admit it is flawed, deeply flawed. It doesn’t cater for children who don’t fit the mould. It doesn’t just not cater for them, it actively tries to eradicate them from the system entirely. (Ok possible that is slightly dramatic but only slightly.) I have a child who fits the mould and he has done really well within in the boundaries and confines. I I have more children who do not fit the mould, they are not functioning well. In fact they falling behind because the “system” doesn’t know what to do with them. As a parent, I am tired of fighting this fight and coming off second best.
Our children are not learning enough of the right stuff. Yes they are being taught how to read and right but what are they actually learning? Are they learning how to be contributing adults in society? Are the learning what to do when they leave school? Are they taught about anything other than what the curriculum says? What happens when a child questions and the answer isn’t in the book? I personally feel there is a big gap in what they are actually learning.
Teachers seem tired. We have had some amazing teachers over the years, Emma currently has one of the best teachers any of my kids have had and I grateful every single day that Emma was placed with her. We have also had some not so amazing teachers and it is these teachers that have, unfortunately, left a mark on all of us. When I speak to teachers they seem tired, they seem to have given up and they seem to have lost their spark. I get it, it’s not easy. The system changes often, the workload increases, I get it. But unfortunately the job of a teacher is vital to the success of a nation. I cannot accept a teacher taking there thick, horrible red pen and writing all over my seven year old’s book “You need to try harder” when the child is still learning how to write. I cannot accept teachers telling me to have my child tested because they think she is stupid. I cannot accept teachers telling a whole grade of children to take Maths Lit because it is easier. I have tried fighting back, standing up for my kids but I now have another option and I am taking it because the teachers we are dealing with seem tired and they seem to have given up a little.
We are too busy, all the time. Yes having 4 kids means life is busy but we are too busy unnecessarily and it adds pressure and stress to all of us. We spend afternoons rushing from this school event to that school event and we must wear this to this one and that to that one. I don’t think we need all of it. My kids can still do all the sports and activities they want to without the constant chaos and rushing all the time.
My kids are anxious. There is so much stress placed on getting it right, wearing the right thing, bringing the right thing on the right day that my kids are little balls of anxiety. It is not how life is supposed to be, not when you are still so little. Learning isn’t supposed to be something that adds stress to your life is it?
School fees are a killer. This is one of the lesser reasons because we knew going into having a large family this was a thing. I don’t mind paying the fees but then I want to get what I am paying for. I don’t want to still have to convince you to teach my kid properly when I am paying premium rates.
I am tired. I have spent a lot of energy on teachers over the years. Yes, of course this is part of my role as mother. I need to always advocate for my kids and I always will but I am tired of fighting about the same things over and over again. I am tired of sitting in teacher meetings listening to all the reasons why they can’t teach my kid properly. I have had a meeting with a teacher who spent 35 minutes talking to me and had no idea who my child was, even though I repeatedly said his name and he trained the soccer team he was in.
The kids seem pretty excited to start this new adventure and I am terrified but also looking forward to being an active part of this journey with them.
I would love to hear from all the homeschooling moms out there!! I know there are more of you than I though and have connected with some of you already.