Sunday, August 17, 2014

The joys of home schooling

As a home schooler of 10 years I could say that I have some experience. It has been the most fantastic and the worst time of my life. The most enjoyable and the saddest time of my life. And yet, I would not change the last ten years if I was able to.

We started homeschooling for many reasons. The most important one was that we moved to the Eastern Cape. The schools were all Afrikaans and because we had many other reasons to home school we didn't even try to find a school. Caleb was 5, Hannah 3 and Sheth a couple of months old.

We bought a curriculum called Konos, Math-U-See and Llatl. We thought we were set! Well when I opened up the Konos file I panicked! It was overwhelming. The supplier didn't help at all when I contacted him. So, I started planning all my own lessons. I still used Math-U-see and Llatl. We hated it. It was taking us 4 to 5 hours per day to get through 1 page in each book. Caleb cried, I shouted and cried, and I felt like I was failing my child.

I read Better Late Than Early and stopped schooling him. I had gone to Waldorf Constantia when I was at school and had loved school. If there had been a Waldorf Home school curriculum then that's what I would of done right from the start. Well, we bought Little Footprints and did that for a year and a half - with me writing a lot of the schooling as well.

5 or 6 years ago my friend, Carle, told me about Waldorf Homeschooling. I bought the kindergarden to grade 8 from A Little Flower Garden for 175 dollars. She even let me pay it off! What a beautiful and trusting woman Melissa is. I started reading and didn't stop for years. I got onto Waldorf Yahoo groups and blogs. I bought more and more resources and became fully immersed in Waldorf education. I became happy, Caleb became happy, Hannah and Sheth were happy.

Caleb started reading at 11.5. He started reading the Narnia Series. He hasn't stopped reading since. Hannah started reading at 7 and hasn't stopped. Sheth is 10.5. He has just started reading his own school work, slowly, but he has yet to pick up a book and read by himself. I am not worried as I realise that every child is different.

We started Waldorf at grade 1 with Caleb and Hannah, went through it quickly as they were older, went through grade 2, 3 and 4 quickly and then started settling in at the appropriate grade for each child.

Caleb finished grade 8 Waldorf, then worked on Scout advancements, and badge courses. He had a lot of studying and log keeping to do for scouts. This was what kept him happy. This year he is doing SOS, grade 9, badge courses, Llatl, Math-U-See, Khan Academy and Creation Science. SOS is monotonous, and boring. We are using it because it gives the child a report at the end of it. Caleb will need this report as he will be applying to study Engineering and Related Design next year at college.

Hannah is finishing up her Waldorf grade 8 this year. She has almost completed her First Class Advancement so she will have to wait 2 years before she can get her Explorers. Next year she will be working on badge courses through Scouts, working on getting her Bronze Presidential Award and she will be doing projects for schoolwork.

Sheth and I will get fully immersed in Waldorf, I can't wait!

So what is my conclution? Every child is different. Remember that and adapt accordingly. If you love your child and want them to prosper in life you will never fail them. You will give them what they need to get an excellent education. And, they in turn will make you proud.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely read! So much beauty in the waldorf way. We are in Zim,and we home educate using a waldorf/ unschooling type mix of our own.