The other day Reneé of Mummy Tries wrote a post in which she talked about the possibility of taking her daughter out of a formal school setting and home schooling instead. This made me ponder the idea too (in the idlest of ways).
I do worry about the way the government is taking schools and the National Curriculum, over- crowding because of the population explosion and the talk of a lack of pastoral care in favour of results and measurable achievements in some cases. When you factor in a parent’s natural fears about the possibility of bullying/ social pressures then the concept of home schooling definitely takes on a warm fuzzy glow.
However, the next thing that occurred to me was “would I be up to the job?”
Heaven knows I haven’t researched home schooling in any way ( and before anyone jumps in with some advice or encouragement let me just say that this post is not any kind of mission statement).
I do know that the process essentially involves the ability to impart some useful knowledge to your child – at the very least!
I know a couple who took on home schooling and (purely through Facebook posts, I hasten to add!) I could see that they had gone down an eclectic route to developing a well rounded individual – P.E. involved Tai chi (the dad was a Tai chi instructor to adults already), history was all about getting out and partaking in medieval skills like how to handle a bow and arrow (I blame his dad’s love of Live Role Play on this one!).
Having said this, I’m sure that behind the scenes there were some more mundane but necessary skills of the maths & English variety going on too and actually? I really enjoyed the idea of taking learning ‘outside of the box’ as it were. So, good on them, but for me? I really don’t know if I would be up to the job.
Even now, seven months into Reception year with JJ I sometimes forget to encourage him to get out his reading books (and I’m writing this in the light of World Book Day and even my own great love of books and reading so I’m well aware of how big a deal it is). If I’m this bad at imparting information that I love and I’m good at (English as a subject in general) then how would I ever figure out how to teach a subject like maths – a field in which I am utterly (pardon my French, but:) shite. And that reminds me, my (actual) French is also a tad rouille (I had to look that up 🙂 ).
In reality I can’t see home schooling being something we would ever seriously consider as it just wouldn’t be financially viable for me to give up my job, but I’m not too worried about JJ’s in-school experiences on the whole at this point. Socially he seems to be getting on fine. Essentially he loves it at the moment and gets disappointed when its school holiday time. What *does* worry me, is the pressure there seems to be on parents to “finish off” what the school has started. I’m not sure if it was always this way, but homework seems to be fierce these days from an early age, and parental involvement in it seems to be critical.
I like to think of myself as a well-educated, knowledgeable person and hopefully I’m passing some of that knowledge on without even realising it, but sometimes I know I could be doing more already, encouraging JJ to play educational games more regularly and thinking of ways to increase his skill set to put him one step ahead of the curriculum. I know I’ve been a bit rubbish, maybe letting him spend too much time on his tablet, watching Octonauts or Postman Pat. Maybe I’ll steer him towards Numtums and Numberjacks from now on… 😉