Why We Homeschool

I've found that people homeschool or unschool for lots of different reasons and start at lots of different times. Some have children who've never been to school and some started out in the school system, but for various reasons came out. We are a family that started out in the school system, but changed to homeschooling.


Although homeschooling for my daughters sat at the back of my mind as an option, I always thought it would only happen if they were being bullied. I couldn't afford to put them into the school that I went to because the prices were no longer as affordable as they used to be; so state school (what we call the government school system in the UK) was where they were headed.

Problems became apparent quite early on with my eldest daughter. The teachers liked her well enough, she was a quick academic learner. Nursery school was fine and she was excited to start reception at big school. Unfortunately, a third of the year (one term) in and she was in tears most mornings on the way to school. It was heart breaking to feel like I had to take her and pretty much force her to go. Everyone said she had to learn how to deal with these things, because that was the real world. She wasn't being bullied or anything like that, she was pretty much just bored to tears. Even the teacher said that she was way ahead for her age and there wasn't much else he could to in reception to keep her moving forward, so she was just repeating things.

In year one they were able to advance her a bit more and she lasted two terms before the tears set in each morning. By year two they were preparing them for SATs and happily fed her more and more advanced work in eagerness for her to gain the school good scores. We left for Australia before she did those tests though.

My youngest’s experience was a bit different, but problematic in other ways. In nursery she had four different teacher/carers so no consistency. In reception the teacher was originally the head of the nursery, but because she had teacher training and they needed more teachers she was moved. Unfortunately she didn't want to do that role, so we had a completely disinterested teacher. Not too much of a problem as, again, this was when we emigrated.

On arrival in South Australia we actually found ourselves at a rather nice public school. It wasn't perfect by any means, but the combined class set up allowed more freedom to allow my eldest to advance and she even had one teacher who truly challenged her for the first time. My youngest had a very good teacher for her first year and a half. This teacher even taught me how to help the children learn! With her next teacher I found that as lovely as she was, the teaching left gaps which I ended up filling in at home myself in order for my daughter to grasp what was being taught in school.

Then we moved to the house we have now. We had to move further out into the suburbs to be able to afford what we wanted, so we had to change schools again. The local public schools didn't have a good reputation, so we put them into a private school that was viewed quite highly and was fairly well priced as private schools go. Less than a term in and my eldest was bored to tears again! I was so busy trying to sort things out for her with the school that I missed what was going on with my youngest. She was being humiliated by her new teacher and I even observed it myself. It seems that this is common practice for those who haven't had a previous generation at the school. A way of saying look how uneducated these ones from other schools are.

By this point I'd started looking into homeschooling and discovered it was much more common than I'd thought. I didn't want to push things too much with the school for fear they'd take it out on my daughters. Then realising what was going on with my youngest was the final straw. We were homeschooling in time for my eldest’s 10th birthday.

My daughters have never looked back. My eldest did try high school for a little while for a dance programme they were doing, but that only lasted a year and a half. My youngest was all set to join her when my eldest ran into problems with a teacher similar to what my youngest experienced and she changed her mind quick sharp!

They have no regrets about leaving the school system. My eldest has loved going at her own pace and having the freedom to choose whatever she wants to learn about. With my youngest I was able to experiment with different ways for her to learn until we could figure out how she learns best. She's actually more of a visual and hands on learner like myself.

People often say to me that they couldn't teach their children, but I couldn't imagine leaving it up to others now. I love the time it gave me back with my daughters, to be involved with their development and growth.

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