Do you still have work to do or do you have plenty of free time? We chatted with our MD Clare Fuller who has been homeschooling for nine years, as well as creating and building Hamilton Grace.
When we first started homeschooling our boys were six and seven years old. My eldest had been going to school for three years and my youngest for two.
I will always be eternally grateful for those years as they both learned the basics of reading, writing and maths, giving us a great foundation. The reason we decided to homeschool is for another day, for now I thought it might be helpful to share our failures, our successes and what advice would the older me, give the younger me.
1. Jumping in too soon
I was excited to be homeschooling our boys and I wanted to just get on with it and keep them on target. I joined several homeschooling groups, listened to many homeschooling mums and tried everything they suggested. I didn’t start with a period of de-schooling to understand their learning style and for us to find OUR way that would fit around OUR schedules. We did eventually, but oh how I wish I had done it straightaway.
2. Trying to be like others
I spent the first few months trying different curriculums and activities that were right for one family but so wrong for ours. I kept comparing our situation and what we were doing to others and feeling like such a failure. It held us back and stopped us from finding our own enjoyable rhythm that fitted with our schedule, learning styles and things we enjoy.
If we had started with de-schooling this would have saved a lot of tears. It's so important to remember that you and your family are unique and not like other families. Therefore what works for one family may not work for yours. I know many mums who are blessed and able to be at home full time with their children. This has never been the case for me. I know families who love reading, for my boys it’s like pulling teeth unless they have a reason for it. However, they enjoy maths, business studies and music.
By (eventually) giving my boys (now 13 & 15) the freedom to choose their topics alongside the compulsory English, Maths and Science and teaching them that they hold their future in their own hands, we have finally found what works for us. Yes, it has taken that long!
They study their academic subjects in the morning whilst I work, then after lunch they do their more creative subjects. Sam really enjoys his drums and is very committed to becoming the best drummer he can be. He loves drumming to rock songs, as well as playing drums in the church band and he is now learning bass guitar. Ben is a very keen piano player, loving the classical music and is now joining his brother in learning the drums.
Another benefit of homeschooling is that they don’t have to study so many subjects at once and they can sit their iGCSE’s early if they are ready. Sam already has his iGCSE Maths and was due to take his Physics and English this June whilst studying for Business and History for 2021. Ben will be starting his iGCSE studies shortly.
© Hamilton Grace 2020 - by Elina PMS