059: Homeschooling – Our Journey with Self Reliant Education
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Homeschooling is sometimes considered the self reliant way to go about education. We’ve been a homeschooling family since 2007 and are often asked about our journey of homeschooling on the homestead. Why did we decide to homeschool? How did it work for us? What were the pros and cons? Is there anything we would change? That’s what I’m talking about in today’s episode.
Note: The actual “how-to” of homeschooling depends on your reasons for choosing homeschooling, your educational beliefs and goals, and also what state you live in! If you’d like direction with that, feel free to email me: [email protected]
(Listen to today’s podcast by clicking on the play button on the black player bar above, or find the Farmish Kind of Life podcast on your favorite podcast player!)
The (absolutely cliff notes version) summary of today’s episode:
- What made us decide to homeschool? My husband’s work schedule—and also because I just wanted to.
- Why did we continue to do it? The longer our kids weren’t in the public school system, the harder it would have been for them to go into it. The longer we homeschooled, the more our views conflicted with mainstream education.
- What curriculum did we use? We are much closer to unschoolers than “homeschoolers” and therefore learned mostly from real life experiences and interests on our own timeline. And yes, unschooling works. My 16 year old passed the exam to start full time college as a high school junior.
- What are some things to set up for kids to learn about on the homestead? Life on the homestead is just what happens on the homestead, and you do not have to set that up curriculum style. You won’t even realize all the things you are teaching your kids just by them being involved in the things that happen on a homestead.
- What would I change if I did it over? When you’re in charge of your kid’s education, there are so many things you can worry about and I realize (now that we are so close to the end) that 99% of what I worried about or cared about never really mattered and caused me a lot of unnecessary stress.
Pros of homeschooling – Flexibility with time
Family time, family time, family time!
You can learn about something as long as you want or can move on because you already understand it.
You have time for super big, hands-on projects. My kids have had a lot of time to build in the garage (welding, building guitars, etc).
They’ve also had huge amounts of time to hone certain skills. You generally don’t get super skilled at a musical instrument in 20 minutes a week. My kids can and do spend hours a day working on this stuff.
Cons of homeschooling – can be a lot of work, mental stress
You have to provide opportunities, people, and other teachers (when necessary) for your kids — which seems obvious, but it can be overwhelming if you are hyper focused on “I am self sufficient!” and try to do everything yourself. Although it’s “self sufficient”, it can also take a village.
People will still critique what you do and don’t do — even within the homeschooling community. You will not get away from that.
It can sometimes be hard to find your people within the homeschooling community.
You can put a lot of blame on yourself when your kid is struggling, especially if someone else feels they should already be at a certain point in their learning or development.
Links referenced in today’s show.
Off Kilter Brownies (grain/gluten free brownies)
Story of the World (history, great projects!)
Why you’re not always the best teacher for your kids
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