Monday, 18 January 2016

Homeschooling - what I love and what I really don't

My husband Luke and I have been home educating our first born son for the past three terms of Reception (his first year of official school). Luke works casually and is studying nursing so we juggled the home schooling between each other. I would do school while he was working or studying and he would home school on his days off while I would go and do my grocery shopping or get some jobs done around the house. We are very much a team so it only came naturally that we home schooled together. We work as a team with many areas in the home and with our children's care too. I am the main cook and he is the main dishwasher. I take care of the children while he's at work and he mostly takes care of the children's baths and bedtime routines. I do all the laundry and he takes care of all the electronic and house maintenance jobs. We both sweep and vacuum. 

Anyway - back to homeschooling. Our first son 
Francis will be doing grade one at school this year - it was a hard decision but we thought it would be best as we welcome another baby into the house this year. While our second son Arrow will be home schooled

For anyone considering home educating their children either for one year, just primary school or for their whole education this is - from my small experience so far- what I LOVE and what I ...well...don't love...about homeschooling.  

I'll start with what I love:
  1. Being the main influence over my children's lives as opposed to their peers
  2.  Having my children around to commit more time to developing character and being able to notice and correct any bad behaviour immediately
  3. Having time to linger in the mornings and do a children's devotion with them, we call it our 'Discipleship' lesson. 
  4. Being available to them almost 24-7 to answer any questions that may arise about God, Jesus, creation, heaven, hell or the world in general. We have on going conversations which can last for days. Our 6 year old is bubbling over with questions at the moment! 
  5. Lessons are completed quicker than in the classroom situation because there is no commuting, shuffling from rooms and calming down a class of 30 students. Which means more time can be focused on a topic of my children's interest. For my 6 year old this meant practicing piano, building LEGO, drawing building diagrams (he wants to be an architect) and reading books and LEGO instructions. Many athlete and actor children do home school lessons with a parent or personal tutor so they can spend the majority of their day developing and practicing their skills and talents. 
  6. I love having my children around me, watching them grow and learn
  7. Not having to worry about packing lunches, uniforms, and school drop off and pick up. 
  8. Being able to be selective with whom the children socialise with. - Yes we do socialise. We choose a few groups we would like to be involved. We used to live out on a farm so it was hard to get to many social activities but now we live in a town, 15 minutes from a small city and an hour from our capital city so we have many options. 
  9.  It has been a much cheaper option for us than paying for a private Christian school. 
  10. You can tailor their education to what your children want to learn and are interested in - it accelerates a love for learning.
  11. My little boy does not get as tired home schooling than he did when attending a classroom so he can concentrate and learn while he's at his peak. 
  12. No homework! - (well technically it's all home work but we can choose the time of the day it gets done)
  13. I can make up my own schedules and school terms and work school around our lives instead of the other way around; and take days off whenever we want 
  14. There is no bullying on an everyday basis (putting other people down is not tolerated in our house), the children have the freedom to be themselves. 
What I don't love about home schooling:
  1. The constant ruckus and noise levels of the house of being around the children 24/7 with little breaks and time to breathe. Homeschooling is kind of like 'school holidays' that go for 24 hours a day and 365 days a year because the children are always around me. (this is good - but it can also have a negative effect on my sanity levels.    
  2.  Having to figure out a curriculum to use. I find it really stressful trying to work out the curriculum - there are actually almost too many options for home schoolers and I find it overwhelming at times. We are currently researching 'distance education' through the Australian Christian College. This may be a good option for us in the future. They offer schooling online with qualified christian teachers. This would take the curriculum worry away from us plus add a more structured approach to school at home which is what our eldest son really needs. Here is a link if you want to have a look: //
  3. Being isolated was becoming a huge problem for me as we were living on a farm and trips into town were limited as we only had a certain amount of money to spend on petrol, plus getting out the house with 4 small children is an event in itself that requires lots of motivation, and takes about 2 days to recover from. We are now living in a town and there are home schooling meet up groups near by so it  shouldn't a problem in the future to get out and about.
  4. I find it hard at times being consistent and some days I felt like I was just going around cleaning up one mess after another and breaking up one fight after another by the children. But I think a lot of this has to do with having 4 children under the age of 6, this is life with little children and it's often...always...messy. 
  5. The feeling of being responsible for our children's education is at times, almost too much to bear.  
  6. Homeschooling is time consuming and I keep finding there is little time left to do anything else inside or outside the home. 
Even after saying all those negatives I still really love home educating my children! Home schooling is a calling on one's life and I believe that it is one of those hard things in my life that is still worth pursuing even though it is hard. 

Most things that are worthwhile are actually hard. (think, having a baby for instance, getting a medical degree, being a pastor etc.) When you know what God is calling you to do you just do it. It doesn't mean it's going to be easy 

Blessings, Peta   


  1. Yep, relate to this all!!
    Wishing Francis, and you a wonderful year :)

    1. Thanks Erin! It's nice to know that even a homeschool mum who's been at it for years can still relate. I'm excited to see your comment! I've been reading your blog over the past 6 months or so it's been refreshing reading about another Australian home school mum. I hope you and your family have a wonderful year too.
      Blessings, Peta

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  3. Hi Peta, I just found your blog through a comment you made on Large Families on Purpose. I am an Australian mum of 5 and we have been doing distance education for the last 3 years through Jubilee Christian College using the ACE curriculum. Anyway, I just thought that I would say hi and encourage you that there are other large families in Australia. Blessings,
    Kylie Marjoram

    1. Hi Kylie, nice to hear from another Aussie! What are the ages of your children? Are you enjoying distance education? Thanks for the encouragement, blessings, Peta

  4. Hi Peta,
    This year my children will be 8,7,5,3,1. We have 2 girls and then 3 boys. Distance education has been the best decision we ever made. I did it for high school myself, went to uni and became a teacher and now love having my children around me everyday.
    We lived in western QLD for the last 6yrs and moved at the end of last year to the central coast of QLD.
    It sounds like our daily lives are rather similar; packed full of activity and adventure.
    If I can help in anyway, just yell out. Blessings, Kylie

    1. That's fantastic! Your family sounds lovely. It's great that you had some experience doing distance ed before teaching doing it for your own children. I'm looking into it, but the only distance ed school that takes SA students starts at year 3, so I've got a few years before we can start.