Sharing part of the interview with you, for the full interview check out this month's Otherways.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a home educator?
With a wide age spread of children to educate, meeting the needs of all is a juggle. Not only the logistics but the mental mind shifts needed, one moment I’m teaching a 5 year old phonics the next explaining mathematical concepts to a highschooler.
Ultimately I've had to accept I can’t ‘do it all,’ I started with a vision and due to sheer logistics have scaled down to teaching the essentials, creating a love of learning and providing opportunities and encouragement for the children to pursue ‘the extras’ independently.
If you could give some advice to those who are new to home education, what would it be?
We have been home educating now for over a decade and a half, and with hindsight I can see some of our weak areas, my advice is to focus on the basics, give your children a solid foundation, then they will then have the skills to pursue whatever interests them.
Also instil an inner rhythm; this is vital across many areas of your children’s future lives. Study, personal hygiene, cleaning, prayer, sleep, dietary habits etc will all have a major impact on how well your children will function in their later lives. This self-discipline is a gift of a solid foundation for their adult lives.
What’s the best thing about home educating?
The benefits have been innumerable, the goals we dreamed of so long ago; close family bonds, made possible by the gift of time, strong self esteems and the ability to be ‘true to themselves’, thanks to a lack of negative peer pressure, these all came to fruition!
We have been blessed in so many areas. The joy of teaching your children, that first moment when your child reads, when they understand a new concept we have been there, sharing. To individualise learning to each child’s interests and abilities to inspire a love of learning, we have been blessed to foster this lifetime gift. To be able to nurture and guide our children into the incredible individuals they are, of whom we are so proud, this opportunity has been made possible by our lifestyle.
We set out on this journey so many years ago and have been immeasurably blessed to watch our children blossom and grow, to bloom into their full potential; we are incredibly humbled to have been a part of their journey.