When I started Nurture, my son was 5 months old. I was so excited to start a magazine that brought natural parenting information to the masses. Articles on Babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-led-weaning, emotional development … it was exactly what I was going through at the time! But that was 5 years ago now! William and I are moving on to a different phase of our parent/child relationship.
This phase is equally as exciting as the last! We have moved into the phase of home education. A common question people ask William now is ‘are you in prep’ or ‘did you start school this year?’ His response is the same; a confident ‘I’m home educated.’
The general response (luckily) is ‘how wonderful’ and the adult enters into some dialogue about how they wished it was an acceptable option when their children were younger. Some however ask the usual questions and I give a variation of the following responses: Why did you choose to home educate?
We felt, for our family, that home education was the best option. This was for a number of reasons.
1. This phase of our relationship is just an extension of our strong family connection (natural parenting). For us, sending William to a school, 5 days a week, 6 hours a day would be too much time spent away from the family unit (at this tender age).
2. In the lower years of school, my understanding is that the average time children spend ‘learning’ in school each day is approx 51 minutes. We can spend 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon and he will still receive more learning than if he went to school ~ but he gets to play for the rest of the time!
3. (IMHO) Children learn how to conform in school. For my son, this is not a lesson I would like him to learn. I would like him to be a free thinker and not follow rules simply because he is told to. Questioning everything is important to me, and something I would like to instil in him too.
4. Every child has unique gifts, many of which are not valued within our school system. Children can go to school and, if their gifts are not the ones that are valued, they may be left feeling inadequate or dumb.
5. The Australian educational system is showing a decline in results year after year. I feel that, as a former practicing lawyer (5 years at law school and 5 years practicing), giving William one-on-one tuition, I could provide a better educational foundation.
What about socialisation?
We have a very big social life. It is what people mean when they say ‘socialisation’. William does not spend 30 hours a week with other 5 year olds, but nor would I want him to. At 5,they are still learning what is right/wrong/good/bad and they model other people’s behaviour. If he was spending that much time with the same aged children, he would be modelling the other children’s behaviour –which may not be the best thing!
Some of the highlights in this edition of Nurture are 7 Reasons to Not Set Limits with Your Child, Toxic Chemicals in Your Home, Feeding Children Without Stress, 10 Tips to Teach Your Child to Read, Grand Mythyth, Breastfeeding & Weight Loss plus loads more.
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Enjoy the gift of Nurture!