Imparting your knowledge to the next generation


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… 😉


And then the fun began...


14 thoughts on “Imparting your knowledge to the next generation

  1. As I said in my post hon, it’s not for everyone. My hubby has similar worries that you mention here, and I think for him it comes down to being concerned that home ed would limit their future opportunities. In reality these days, I don’t think that’s the case through reasons too long to go into detail here about. Every kid is different, some thrive at school and some drown. My daughter is flitting between the two, but if she starts consistently drowning then I won’t stand back and watch her become a statistic…
    Renee @ Mummy Tries recently posted…Thankful for my friends on International Women’s DayMy Profile

  2. It must be a massive undertaking home schooling. It’s not something I have considered with my girl but I think as she gets older and ready for school I need to look into all options. I think you forget times change; I loved school and did well so you assume everyone else did and I assume she will. Obviously this may not happen but like you I wonder would I really be up for that and even able? xx
    Sarah Howe recently posted…I just don’t want to stop…..My Profile

  3. Great post and hats off to anyone that undertakes the job of home schooling their offspring!! I’m have the same thoughts really. I was rubbish at maths and science — loved English, art and French. I cannot IMAGINE trying to teach the boys something that I have no love for!! But I will definitely do my bit at home and support their school education — I just won’t be schooling at home on a full time basis! X #TheTruthAbout

    Caro |
    Caro | The Twinkles Momma recently posted…The Twinterview | Beth from TwinderelmoMy Profile

  4. I’ve toyed with idea several times as well but as i have trouble getting my boys to do their homework I think I’d be useless! I totally agree that the pastoral care is pants. I worked in a school while doing my degree with the intention of training to be a teacher but the lack of actual care and contact with the children put me off, through no fault of the teachers but on the sheer amount of pressure they’re under they just don’t have the time.
    Ali recently posted…A local’s guide to East DevonMy Profile

  5. The home schooling debate fascinates me. My eldest daughter is shy (and I don’t mean in a small way). She does well at school but has become easily ‘left behind’ in some subjects – in a class of 35 it’s no wonder really. At her most recent parents evening her teacher struggled to speak about her as a person, he didn’t seem to know who she really was. Alarm bells are definitely ringing.
    We’ve discussed private school (and the possibility of not eating for the next 10 years!), we’ve also discussed homeschooling. Like you I love English but I fear for her if I were in charge of maths!
    I know a family who homeschooled both their children while living on a boat in the Caribbean (I know, seriously!). Both boys speak several languages and the eldest has just been accepted to a major university in America – It clearly can work (or perhaps the parents are superheros?!)
    JoyandPops recently posted…Finding Joy – All About HealthMy Profile

  6. We have friends who are home-schooling their son who has had some learning difficulties and I take my hat off to them for the amount of effort involved and the pressure it piles on them to get it ‘right’. I can absolutely see how this kind of individual, tailored approach is hugely beneficial for certain combinations of kids and parents but I can’t imagine ever doing it ourselves – the thought of schooling three kids is frankly terrifying!
    Tim recently posted…The real stars of #SingleDadWeekMy Profile

  7. Every now and then we bring up the option of homeschooling, usually after we here some horror story about public school. There are a lot of things that concern me about the way the schools are run in general, but I honestly don’t think I could handle it. I’m a little lazy as it is, I can see it being a mad dash to get caught up before whatever inspection-type thing I’m sure occurs. I also don’t want to take away some of the better experiences of public school. I enjoyed school for the most part an want my daughter to as well.
    Brandyn Blaze recently posted…Hobbies Are For Rich People (And Other Harsh Truths)My Profile

  8. Great post Sarah on a hot topic. I’ve just signed Seb up for ‘Explore learning’ tutoring. Not because he is struggling, in fact he’s bright and completely where a 9 year old should be, but because the curriculum has now changed and even though he’s year 4 he is now supposed to know some year 5 areas. How is that fair? We have grammar schools in our area and there isn’t a great normal comprehensive so I’m forced to push my son so he can be up to scratch in time to sit his 11+ exams. It’s very stressful and way too much pressure for kids and parents. I would never be able to home school though because besides a complete lack of time and maths ability, I just wouldn’t have the patience!! I think parents that do it are amazing. xx
    teacuptoria recently posted…No cake, no wine!My Profile

  9. Kids waste a lot of time in public school, but they also learn a lot, too. I don’t think I could improve on my kids’ education by homeschooling, just trade some pros for cons and vice versa.

    Probably the #1 thing I like most about my kids going to public school is that they are exposed to kids who believe all different things. So many good conversations about who we are and what we believe have come out of them noticing or asking about a classmate of theirs who lives life differently.

    That said, there are some days when I wish we homeschooled because they really are gone a lot. I miss them!
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files recently posted…Who Do I Speak To About Opting Out of Daylight Savings Time?My Profile

  10. Such an interesting and thought-provoking post. I quite like the idea of home-schooling although think I would also like my children to have the social interaction that comes with going to school. With Jessica’s heart issues, home schooling is definitely something I would consider if I didn’t have confident with the school being well informed about her heart and any potential issues that they needed to be aware of.
    Louise recently posted…From tardy to timely: 5 tips which improved my timekeepingMy Profile

  11. I have thought about home schooling before largely as I am such a control freak and get nervous about handing the kids education over to the luck of the draw with teachers and schools, but in reality I don’t think I could do it, its a heck of a job and a responsibility and not a life I would choose for me or for them ideally! You never know what the future holds though! Xx
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…Blurring Behavioural BoundariesMy Profile

  12. This is a really interesting post. On so many instinctive levels I am drawn to home schooling but practically, I know I would find it really difficult. I think I could do a pretty good job in a group setting, but sitting round the kitchen table doing sums when there is a pile of washing to get through would be hard. Not to mention my patience. But I share your concerns re traditional schools. We have some pretty major issues with my son’s school at the moment. It’s a real worry. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the matter. xx
    Jude recently posted…5 Child-Inspired Ways to Avoid Charity Fundraisers and Market Research TypesMy Profile

  13. God I wish I had the patience/skills to embark on that kind of thing, I know my strengths and they definitely are not in teaching my (or any) children!!! I have maximum respect for those who can and do though as I can see the benefits.

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