2020 has already been a heck of a year. We had catastrophic bushfires, my mother passed away, and covid-19 hit. And that was just by March. Needless to say, this year has really driven home how short life is, how it can be taken from you at any moment, and how much more of my family I want.
We had considered homeschooling our youngest son on and off for a while, but with the sudden apocalypse, we like many of you, were forced to school at home. After the initial panic, I relaxed into having my youngest home, and ALL that entailed (Our eldest son has severe special needs, so he attends an amazing small special school, which remained mostly open). Given how hard it is for us to do stuff as a family, having him around without his brother means cooking, craft, excursions, experiments, all those awesome things that we just CANNOT to do, were now possible.
Where do I start?!
As some of you would know, I’m a bit well, let’s politely say ‘organised’. I like to have every contingency planned, multiple back ups, and as carefree as I seem, I really don’t leap without a LOT of forethought. How do I educate my son? CAN I even do it? Sure I’m smart, but do I know the things I NEED to know to teach him? Turns out, yeah.
First step, Facebook. As much as I have grown to hate Facebook, its the go to Mum search engine. Want to connect with over 40’s slam dancers? There’s a group for that? Need to know how the heck to go from zero to homeschool? There’s a group for that. Theres actually a whole program called that. Enter, Kelly.
I stumbled onto ‘Zero to Homeschool’ in my first round of searches, and man I’m so glad I did. From applying for registration, to what to teach, how to teach, how to not panic, its all there. Seriously, if you are considering homeschooling in Australia, or already do and need help, pay Kelly at Fearless Homeschool a visit. You may even see my testimonial around the place. I wasn’t paid or gifted anything to recommend t, I volunteered my testimonial after using the program (and her Homeschool Summit, Deschooling, I’m a bit of a fan..).
I’m a really big believer in telling the universe what you want. I like to call it ‘putting down a stake’ (think the mad land rush in Far and Away, sooo loved that movie). It doesn’t mean packing the car and driving across the country, or selling your house, it means making a small, determined gesture, announcing to you, and whoever is running things out there, that you’ve got a request. Kinda like flipping up a flag on your mail box.
My flag, was our awesome new study nook. If you haven’t seen how it came together, you can check out my post, but suffice to say, I wanted some pretty new furniture, and I wanted to let the universe know, that I wanted more family time. So now I had the perfect learning space sorted, and an awesome kid.
I’m still navigating the whole teacher thing, I like to think I’m doing ok, my son is happy, we’ve managed to organise some playdates with his former school buddies, and the home school group meet ups start back next term (yep, that’s right, ‘socialisation’ is not a problem). I’ve also been so blessed to see my little man learn things he’s interested in, his anxiety had reduced, his reading and spelling has improved already, and he’s creating more and more amazing lego creations. In short. We did good.
Thinking about looking into homeschool?
Other than Fearless Homeschool, my other big recommendation is check directly with your governing body, about what requirements you need to meet to register. Here in NSW, it’s NESA. I also highly recommend you join a national or state homeschooling group on Facebook, as well as your local homeschooling group. Not only are they are font of knowledge and will be a HUGE help, they are also families to hang out with, especially if you have a kid that LOVES kids.
Other great resources
- Teachstarter (I get sooo many ideals and class materials from here!)
- Teachers Pay Teachers (especially for my US families)
- Twinkl (AUS, US, and UK)
- Reading Eggs/Mathseeds (created by the ABC)
- Fearless Homeschool
- Common Sense Media (great for reviewing games or movies, especially if you don’t have a large social group to chat with)
- Teacher Super Store (all the cool school stuff, without the Spotlight price tag)
These are all my personal recommendations, not paid or reimbursed in any way. They are also just links, not affiliate.
Got any other great recommendations? How’s your homeschooling, intentional or otherwise, going?