Monday, March 18, 2013


Volume lesson
Playdough letters

NOTE – While I would not chose to homeschool in an ideal world I do believe for this season in life it is the right choice and portray it to my kids that way.

Here are some of my thoughts on homeschooling so far. Please note that these are my opinions, take them as such, I’m not trying to offend anyone on either side of the fence.

I had someone ask me recently whether I had ‘falling in love’ with homeschooling yet as apparently that happens often once you start it. I had to honestly say that I have NOT! I (we) homeschool for the following reasons:
  • Expense is the main reason. To send our girls to private Christian Schooling here it is at least US$5000 per year, you might get the fourth one at a reduced cost but even so it is a HUGE expense that I (we) cannot justify when there is another alternative.
  • Flexibility. It has come in very handy to be able to ‘school’ around Albert’s schedule. His time is precious and so we can ‘drop’ what we are doing and do some family stuff instead. As we are going on a summer internship we are able to take school with us!
Here are some of the problems/reasons why I have never homeschooled before and wouldn’t do it if there was an affordable Christian School.
  • Self-discipline. Unlike Albert it is not one of my strong points and so this continues to be an area of struggle for me. This is the main reason why we chose Sonlight as most of the work is laid-out for me ie very structured.
  • Me Time – Ok before you judge. It is an issue for me to have the girls (love them dearly) around 24hours 7 days a week 365 days a year. I just need some breathing space sometimes. This is one of the main reason that I’m swimming three times a week. Something for ‘me’ and also to keep me healthy and fit. Folding washing in the basement has taken on a new meaning, not only do I catch up with my bible reading plan (on audio) but also some quiet time!
Things I miss about school:
  • Adult interaction. I am a social person and so I do miss the interaction I had on a daily basis. I have joined a homeschooling co-op (thanks Jenny W to one of her friends for suggesting that!) which all of us really enjoy. We also try and have people over to our place for meals.
  •  “Spring/Deep” Cleaning. It sounds ridiculous no doubt but I used to do these things while the kids were at school. I’m not sure how I find the time now. I only just ‘switched’ the summer clothes to winter clothes and oh winter is just about over, never mind.
  • Cleaning/Tidyness. I know, I know I’ve got girls to help me. BUT in order for them to help me, I need to teach them to do a proper job first.
  • Positive Peer Pressure/Competition. You just don’t get it while you homeschool. My girls have benefited so much over the years from this and we miss it.
  • Time to cook and bake – Again I know I’ve got kids who could help me and they do but I still have to teach them first which takes time.
Positive/Advantages of homeschooling are numerous, here are a few:
  • Bible reading – huge amounts of it. I read my own devotions, devotions at breakfast for the older girls and then separate devotions with the younger girls
  • Reading time with the girls. I have been really enjoying sitting on the couch and reading some of the excellent material of church history, ‘nonsense’ books and some poetry as well. I'm learning a LOT!
  • Flexibility – SNOW (don’t need to say more)
  • Our Co-Op – Kingdom Builders, an awesome group of talented ladies that have taken me under their wing!
Reflections on homeschooling so far. God has NOT let me down despite me not being a homeschool ‘convert’. HE has provided me with girls who are VERY eager to learn, LOVE to read and are very SMART (like their father no doubt!). The homeschooling curriculum is a perfect (or as perfect as you get get) fit for me and although it requires a lot of reading the girls are learning heaps and are really enjoying it. Initially I was quite concerned about the cost of Sonlight but since then talking to families here US$2500 is a drop in the bucket compared to private education. I will continue with Sonlight next school year and hopefully the girls will continue to thrive. It will also make a difference once Zara can read as then she can do some things on her own. 


Miss Margaret Dashwood said...

Hi Hanneke! Sorry I don't comment very often, but I always read your posts :-)
You are doing a great job!
What are you reading aloud for church history?
It's great to hear you are enjoying the snow!
God bless and love from NZ,

Hanneke said...

Sonlight uses "I Heard the Good News Today" for 1st Grade (Kate's age) history. Not technically 'church history' as such but I've been very impressed with the book. It tells true stories of the "Good News" in missionary settings, from Europe, India to America and places in between. We read a chapter or two most weeks.

Lois said...

Great reflections on homeschooling. I think the responsibility of having one's children for (almost) 24 hours a day brings many related challenges into the home situation. But I'm glad you see the positives too. My favourite was reading and learning along with our children at the various stages that we did a little homeschooling.
And from my perspective, getting up at 4:00 to go swimming shows a huge amount of self-discipline.