Homeschooling Harry

Towards the end of last term, when Harry was at home one day a week, I already felt like it wasn’t enough, we’d end up wanting more. At the last meeting I had with Harry’s Head Teacher, I floated the idea of full-time homeschooling, but I wanted to try it… it’s seems like such a big decision to go for it without really knowing whether or not it’s going to work. I wanted the Head to offer me, say, the school equivalent of a career break: Yep, take three months or six and, if you’re not happy, you can come back. She didn’t do that. But, of course, I knew Harry could go back anytime, maybe not to that class, that school, but to, you know, proper school.

Anyway, Harry and I talked about it and said that we’d see how we went on over the summer and if, come September, we wanted him to stay home, he could stay home. Great. But that’s not really how my mind works, so over the summer I fretted and read and talked to friends. Could we really give up school completely? Could I really homeschool? And then, after lots of reading (of books and blogs), could we unschool?

Everything I read about unschooling sounded right to me. I love the idea of it and I feel that it would be brilliant for Harry, but it’s just so radical. Although even from the one day a week I knew that, at home, Harry resists anything that smacks of me teaching him. (This, I’ve learned, is very common in homeschoolers!)

We’ve had a brilliant summer. We’ve had a holiday, yes, but we’ve also had lots of days out and lots of lovely days at home. Harry and Joe have got on brilliantly and we’ve (finally) managed to get ourselves into a routine that seems to work really well. One morning at the beginning of August, I was sitting in bed reading a book and drinking tea. Harry came and snuggled in with me with the iPad. Joe was still sleeping. And I thought “I wish life could be like this all the time.” And then I thought “Why can’t it?”

More soon… obviously πŸ™‚

N.B. Given that I received some obnoxious comments on my flexischool posts, I’m wary of comments on this one. But this is my blog. Rude/abusive/obnoxious comments won’t be tolerated. So be nice, ‘kay?
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17 thoughts on “Homeschooling Harry

  1. Well after lots of great chats with you on Twitter I’ve enjoyed reading this post tremendously!

    Good for you all it’s a brave bold move but you taught your children everything they learnt before school. Why should that stop?!

    You’ll do an amazing job and I look forward to following your journey.

    Lisa x

  2. I thnk it’s great! Sorry you’ve had some negative feedback before but some people are so entrenched in the historical ways of education they can’t see the benefits. Anyone can home school if they want to and I don’t understand why many people are so against it. I have to say that I always wince when I hear parents say “I can’t wait for the school holidays to be over”. Not sure why they have children in the first place! Also wish I could have done it myself but as a single parent, I had to work full time to earn a crust. It’s not just the children who benefit from homeschooling. The only way to know if it works is to try it, congratulations and best wishes πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Thanks, Maz. I think part of it is that people think if you choose to do something differently you’re criticising their choices (like the whole breast/bottle debate), which is not the case at all. I just think/hope this will work for us. And, yes, I’m looking forward to learning a lot too (but that’s part of the theory of unschooling: we never really stop learning, do we?).

  3. I think it’s a wonderful idea, Keris! You are an amazing Mum and will surely prove to be an amazing teacher too! Your boys are very lucky that you are so devoted to them and their well being. Best of luck! Maybe I can join you on a “unschool” trip one day. ;o)

  4. You are a brave lady Keris. I think I’d be too worried that I’m not good enough to teach my kids what they need to know to homeschool! I look forward to hearing how he’s getting on πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, but the point of unschooling is that they learn as they live, they don’t need to be taught. Plus teachers don’t know *everything* you know, they look stuff up too πŸ™‚

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