Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three. Confucius

28 March 2011

Hi Everyone,

We've had a fairly major shift in our house over the past week.
Alexandra our fourteen year old has decided to resume homeschooling rather than continue with Open Access. She began studying by correspondence in January of this year after quite a few years homeschooling so this was a big decision.

I admit that it was kind of a relief because I saw that she was repeating a lot of what she had already learned and was spending many hours each day on the computer. My main concern was with following through on what you commit yourself to.

I questioned myself about how much to force a child to continue with something that may be fantastic for some children but just doesn't fit your kid. So when
Alexandra approached us and said she really wasn't happy with how things were going, we thought seriously about how to respond.

Eventually my husband and I decided that if she learns more quickly and effectively from home, it's illogical to continue with learning by correspondence. As our usual policy is that if things aren't working and they aren't likely to work, change them, we contacted the school and withdrew her the next day. The fact that Alexandra had been homeschooling for five years with a current exemption made this choice a lot easier for us.

I think it is important to acknowledge others, so we asked Alexandra to contact and thank each of her teachers for their time. There is no doubt that the skills of the specialist teachers far outweigh mine, and I freely admit this to Alexandra (like she wouldn't notice herself!) But the bonus of learning at home, is that I am usually around and I can make time to follow through on tricky concepts, or refer her on if necessary.
We have also been looking at options for entry to university/TAFE, which are a lot broader than may first appear. I'll keep you posted on that one :)

There is still a part of me that is uncomfortable with making waves, and saying 'Thanks for your time, we've decided on another option' but on a gut level I know we've made the right decision. And really, homeschooling at this time is not a mainstream decision so I have gotten used to being assertive over time.

The rightness of our decision has been confirmed for me by witnessing
Alexandra over the past few days. Since recommencing homeschooling she's read a book on teenage film making, is formulating a script, and planning to contact friends who may be interested in making a short film with her. Her excitement for learning is back and I really couldn't be happier....
Talk Soon, Cynthia x