Learning together

Quite often I see comments from people saying that they would love to home educate their children but they worry that they wouldn’t know what to teach them, or that they aren’t confident enough in their abilities to help them. I’ve seen comments about parents being unable to even help with school homework so how would they ever be able to home educate.

So, here is the thing, we don’t suddenly reach an age where we are only able  to learn from books in a classroom, nor do we reach an age where we are no longer able to learn new things. See the huge number of mature students in colleges and universities, studying from home and completing training courses in the line of work, it’s very clear that we are never too old to learn.  So what is stopping you learning alongside your children if they want to cover something you are not confident in? I have met home educating mums who are maths whizzes, coding experts, fantastic bakers and palaeontology experts due to their childrens passions.

While home educating teens I have learnt more maths than I ever remember learning in school, I have been able to learn it and master it in ways that work for me, and then support my children to do that same, long division, long multiplication, algebraic equations etc all make far more sense to me now than they ever did before I removed my children from school. I am able to spot and identify birds of prey as we pass them perched on fences by the fields or soaring in the skies overhead and just this week my 16 yr old daughter and I had our first sewing lesson together.  I think its also safe to say that I have learnt far more about British history and politics since home educating than I ever learnt at school. The great thing is, I have learnt all this casually alongside my children, we talk about things together, if something comes up that we don’t know then we look it up, google is used frequently on all of our phones as often in the car one of them will look something up while we are talking.  They absorb knowledge like sponges, more than I even realise we cover, at times it isn’t until I hear my children talking to someone else in casual conversation that I realise how much has clicked. Observing conversations that my son has had with staff at the natural history museum, at nature reserves, zoos and even at the tower of London, seeing the speed with which he can identify cars and tell me about their value, top speed etc really draws attention too  how much knowledge he has stored.

I love that I am able to see their faces and be there when it clicks, when they learn something new. I also love seeing their face as they watch me learning, knowing that we are in it together and they are learning from me that it is ok to say “I don’t know, but lets find out.”  With that in mind one of my biggest bug bears with home education is when other adults ask them something and then say “something for you to look up”….. they don’t need to be challenged to look something up that is irrelevant to what they are focussing on just because you want them to find out for you, my  children know that it is ok for adults to look things up for themselves.

So there we go, don’t doubt your own abilities, don’t doubt yourself. No one has to have all the knowledge or all the answers straight away.

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