Friday, October 14, 2011

SACH Blog Carnival #9: Our Journey into Home Schooling

It's my turn to host the blog carnival and I'm so pleased to have the pleasure!
But first let me tell you about our own journey into homeschooling so far!

Although our children are still very young and nothing we do could really be considered schooling at all, I do think our journey into homeschooling has been a lifetime in the making, starting with our very own school "careers".

Both my husband and I were what is considered good at school, easily achieving good grades without much effort, generally complacent, obedient and so forth...I say generally because we both had our moments of rebelling against the system, but it was nothing too drastic.

However we both hated school, there were many many things we didn't like, care for or understand about the system, and we couldn't wait to be rid of it. Both of us left with little understanding of what we really wanted out of life or what work we should busy with ourselves with, but we met and merrily bumbled along together, discovering our own way in the world.

During these years I was also watching my parents struggle with my youngest brother's schooling going career. After successfully putting 3 achievers through the schooling system they were faced with a child who just didn't fit and a system which was not much interested in helping them at all, in fact the system seemed to do almost the opposite.

Years of battles, hordes of different schools, various diagnosis and general consensus by doctors and teachers to " just medicate" ended up with a young boy who was declared on the verge of a nervous breakdown before he even hit his teen years. And when I say nervous breakdown I'm not referring to what us Moms claim we're going to have after a trying day at home with the kids...but the very real & serious medical condition.

At the time my parents did try a brief stint of homeschooling but it wasn't hugely successful.
Luckily my parents finally did find someone who discovered the underlying cause of many of my brothers problems (which turned out to be celiacs disease, which deprives the body and mind of nutrients and has a host of side effects) and it was treated reasonably successfully, but he never truly fitted into the schooling system and eventually left it before finishing his matric.

The whole sorry mess certainly didn't make us any fonder of the schooling system or the people working it. Sadly we'd seen just what it was capable of and how it could destroy a child's character and confidence.

I must point out that we weren't really considering homeschooling at this point, being young and carefree ourselves and just glad to be out of the whole school system. But we were certainly aware that not every child fits into the system, and that we weren't sure we wanted to send our own kids to your average run of the mill school.

Then finally we were ready to start our own family. Like most parents we had questions about many things and the answers we got eventually led us towards a natural, nurturing path and trying to live a life apart from some of the societal norms we are used to...a free life!
As our children were born and raised, our questions about how & why things are done certain ways have continued, and we've carried on trying to create a lifestyle which we think is healthy and beneficial for our family.

Early into our parenting journey we were approached by people constantly asking if we'd got our kids onto waiting lists at various school (sometimes before they were even born), and asking why they weren't in playschool by the time they were only a year or 2 old.
Sure I had my own days where I was eager enough to have a few hours free from tantrums & tears, but I couldn't understand this constant underlying pressure to send my children away from their home and their parents.
We found ourselves wondering what this whole obsession with school was, whether it was even healthy and good for our children, and why it was just assumed everyone had to automatically join in. So we started looking into schooling and what educations we wanted for our children.

Initially I was unsure whether I personally would be able to homeschool.
While I had realised that it was certainly possible, I hadn't yet understood that homeschooling didn't necessarily mean school at home for 8 hours a day with me playing teacher teacher, the thought of which didn't appeal to me at all and quite frankly still gives me the heebie jeebies.

Also we were concerned about socialisation...I know, the thing all homeschoolers HATE other people asking about, but it was the first thing anyone asked the moment the word homeschooling passed my lips and I had no answers myself as yet. All it took was a little time, thought & reading, and I soon came to understand why it's not really an issue.

So in our effort to understand more we were reading, and reading, and talking and reading, and we learnt so much!
About how & why schools were created
About what schools teach our children
About how people learnt before schools
About how children learn & fail
About what education really is
About what families are and should be
About why schools work like they do
About our society & socialisation
About politics
About religions
About different lifestyles
About so many things I couldn't possibly list them all here!

And the exciting part, is we're only at the beginning of our journey, we still have so much to learn & discover!

The reality though is that over the last four years my husband and I have come to realise we can't in good conscience send our children to school. We want a different way for them in this life, and a different lifestyle from what has become the norm. We think it's improtant to live the life you want and walk your talk.
So we travel down this road trying to find our way, and we continue questioning many things including schooling, homeschooling & education.

So far it's been truly enlightening for us and has taught us so much about what we want out of our lives, and what we want for our children.

Now on to the carnival of bloggers who have also shared about their journeys into homeschooling. Please head on over to the different blogs and have a look see, every family's journey is unique and interesting, and they all have something different to share!

Trys from Trixi's HomeEd Acadamy talks about Letting Go & Moving Forward in her blog post on their journey into homeschooling.
They found their brilliantly clever, but struggling son, in need of remedial & extra lessons, despite being enrolled in a private school. It came to their attention that his learning problems were caused by his private school's inability to address gross & fine motor skills, and they became angry their son wasn't getting the help he needed in exchange for the high school fees they were paying. “They caused the problem, why should we have to fix it?” they asked and - this is where their journey began...

Nadene over at Practical Pages had company on her journey to homeschooling which she tells us about in her post Our Journey into Homeschooling.
Having tea with 3 other Moms at her church led her to discover they had like hearts and a desire to nurture their children, which led them into homeschooling. At times she had friends nearby and at times they've lived far from other homeschooling families and friends, but she's appreciated all the company she's had along the way!

Karen from Karen's Clan blogged her insights in A Joyful Journey
She tells how hearing other parents stress about school enrollment in a Moms & Babes group made her wonder if there wasn't another way to live, and how God called them to a life of freedom outside of the world and it's ways.

Thandi from Imperfect Mom of Two recaps her reasons for homeschooling in Didn't I do this already? Why I Homeschool...
Like most homeschoolers, her reasons are many & varied and includes concerns about crime & bullying, to being unable to find a school that upholds the morals and values she holds dear.

Nicki from Of Right Mind shares their story in Goodbye School!
Sadly her son encountered many obstacles in his few years of schooling and after various assessments they were finally advised to medicate. When thing went even more downhill from there they finally decided to walk out of the school and into homeschooling and happier child.

Taryn from Hayes Happenings tell us how she's grown over the years in Our homeschooling we got here
She tells us about her very first enounter of homeschooling, her reaction to it and how over the years her perceptions changed. We follow her amusing but also honest journey from student, to school teacher, to homeschooling parent.

Lulu over at The Life and Ramblings of a Life Blessed shares in how did I land up homeschooling my kids how homeschooling was their destiny, and despite sending their son to 6 different schools in 6 years (including a school they started themselves) they found themselves as homeschoolers.

Lindi from The Greaves Family posted Our Journey Into Homeschooling on how a book introduced them to the idea of homeschooling and how they subsequently stepped out in faith into unknown territory despite the lack of information available to them.

Donette at the aptly named The Journey, posted Our Journey Into Homeschooling.
She talks of how God put the desire to homeschool in her heart, but also of the judgement she sometimes faces because of their choice, as well as the temptation to judge in return, something I'm sure many homeschoolers can relate to.

Esther from, A House - A Home and Learning, shares Our journey into homeschooling
She shares how God kept putting homeschooling in their paths. She talks of her first experience of homeschooling as a child herself, and how it changed over the years as our country changed. She also shares some of their reasons for hoemschooling, including their son's diagnosis of Apraxia of Speech.


This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers where South African home schoolers share experiences, ideas, philosophies and much more. You can join the carnival too by heading to the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers sign up page. We hope you enjoy the carnival as much as we have!


  1. Thank you so much for hosting this week's carnival Tanja and for sharing your journey. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's journey soon :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it seems homeschooling from the start is the best way to go these days as it saves fixing up the system's mess. I just saw myself in your second picture. :)I too hated school with a passion although I always got good grades because of my ability to memorise like a parrot... Today my only regret is not having started sooner. Could have saved our family a whole lot of stress & frustrations.

  3. Thank you for a Wonderful post. It is great to see so many blogs taking part in the carnival too.

  4. Thanks for sharing, i identified with so many of the questions you asked yourself...about..schools..

  5. Thanks for a wonderful carnival! (It is great to see so many contributions this carnival!) I am so inspired and encouraged at how the Lord has led us all on this amazing homeschooling journey!

  6. (Please let this comment post!) Great post.I LOVE reading about how people came to this decision.And I love how you and hubby were on the same page from the start.That's an extra blessing.

  7. PS. Nadene's post doesn't show. I don't know if I'm the only one having this problem or not.The others come up...It says "Not Found Error 404"

  8. So, I presume mine got lost in cyberspace. Nasty experience for first blog carnival. Could you please let me know.

  9. Hi Thandi - thanks for pointing that out, I've fixed the link.

    AutumnVine - I'm not sure what happened and am so sorry about that.
    I am adding you to the carnival, please don't let this affect any future contributions.

  10. Sorry, my name is Esther, should have added it, but I was on the run. Thanks. I realised the best is to notify on fb too.

  11. Hi Esther - just to check - did you get the email with the instructions to send the posts for this carnival to Tanja? I'm noticing that not everyone seems to be getting their mail. It's a mailchimp mail. Check your junkmail. :)

  12. HI Tanja
    Thanks for hosting - great job! And wonderful to see someone else out there who has sought out a lifestyle that is "other" - refreshing to know I'm not alone. And it really is a journey isn't it? A constant learning and growing!