Belle is fast approaching three and so lots of people have been asking about school. Well, she actually started about six months ago… at home. It is time for us to drop the ‘H’ bomb on y’all… yes, we are homeschooling.
I know that homeschool is super controversial and people have lots of opinions on it. I am not here to advocate that everyone should homeschool – I actually really don’t think they should. I just wanted to share what we are doing for now and a bit about why. If this is even a little bit helpful to just one other family making the decision about preschool then it is worth talking about. Plus it might help some of our family and friends understand a little more about what we are doing and why.
I am not ‘anti-school’ at all. Both J and I went to public mainstream schools and had a really great experience. We are not deciding now that we are going to homeschool each of our children until they are 35. Who knows what our life will look like, even next year?! Homeschool might not be for us. We will make the decision each year, for each child and do what we feel is best for the whole family.
However, we have decided that I am going to homeschool Belle for preschool this year and we are really excited about it.
I am at home full time with no plans to return to work outside of the home anytime soon and so for us, childcare is not a factor in our decision. Whilst it would be nice to have some 1:1 time with Freddie, we can find other ways of making that happen.
I have dipped my toes into the homeschool world with Belle over the last few months while we have been making our decision and it has been far more natural that I expected. Much of that is because we are starting really young, but as I have explored it more and more, I am starting to feel less intimidated by the prospect.
There are so many misconceptions about homeschooling out there. I am thankful that we know some amazing home-educating families who are brilliant examples of homeschool done really well. Well-rounded, confident, sociable children who have totally blossomed learning from home. Some families have never sent their children to mainstream schools and some have homeschooled for a few years and then for different reasons sent them aged 6, 7, 8, 9 and the children have adapted amazingly well to the school environment.
The thing that I love the most about homeschooling right now is that most of what we do is based around play. We read, draw, sing, paint, cook, count, playdate, shop and talk … we talk a lot.
We are very fortunate where we live, because Belle could have a FREE preschool place and I hear that there are lots of good preschools around. But for us, for this next year, we are skipping it. I am excited to eventually venture into teaching her to write and read. But in these early years I am far more interested in shaping her little character and helping her understand the world around her, and I absolutely love that I get to be the one to guide her through all of that.
There are SO many great resources out there, many of which are free or very cheap to use, especially for preschool. For anyone else starting out with homeschool preschool, I found this blog post really helpful. I love that her main message is to keep it fun and simple and that at this stage, you really cannot mess it up.
I know that homeschooling is on the rise here and more and more people are taking this route. We are right at the very beginning of the journey but I intend to document it all here so if anyone else is homeschooling toddlers please do get in touch – I would love to share ideas and tips!
And for anyone making decisions about education, whether it is homeschool, private, public or faith schools then Risen Motherhood put together some really great resources to help you navigate the education discussion. I recommended having a read/listen through some of it if you are feeling a little overwhelmed – it is a great starting point.