Home education is not always easy and for parents who do this journey on their own, with no significant other, you have my deepest respect. For those home educating parents like me, who have a partner or spouse, home educating your children together can work wonderfully for you both.
When my husband and I first started home educating our children, my biggest concern was how was I going to do it all; the washing, the cleaning, caring for the babies, the education, the parenting etc. Like everything else in our life together, I quickly realised that I didn't need to do it all because I am a part of a team and gradually, home education became a way of life.
Although my husband works full time outside of our home and travels often for his work, this does not mean that I "sole" parent or that I home educate on my own. My husband and I are a team and this is how we make it work.
We discuss everything. Talking about our children's progress, any worries or concerns we may have about their learning and development and how to deal with the negativity from others. We also talk about what resources we have or might need and use this time to bouncing ideas around. This open communication has strengthen our home educating experience and made for a more united front.
Support and Encourage
Sometimes at the end of a very long day or week, I just want to quit. I'm exhausted and tired and just so over it! Thankfully I have the support from my husband who knows when I need a break sometimes before I do. When we are stuck on what to do or what approach to take with our children's learning, reassurance and ideas from one another is always encouraging.
See Each Other As Equals
My husband and I both have different strength that we bring to our family. We are both out-of-the-box thinkers and where he is exceptional with hands-on learning, I am more creative and visual in my approach. Seeing each other as equals in that we both have something to bring to the table with different qualities, knowledge, ideas and skills, has enabled us to work together as a team for the benefit of our children.
Finding that balance
My husband is a natural born unschooler. He is a high school drop out (school did not work for him) who followed his interest and this led him down the path of electrical engineering and building. He is very successful at what he does and is a wonderful example of interest-led learning. I, on the other hand, am a university graduate who learnt very quickly what real learning is from my husband and children. When it comes to our children, we have had to find that balance between my husbands approach and my own, and seeing what works for them. I learnt very early on to let go of the workbooks and embrace the natural process of learning as our son learns better this way.
Finding a balance with housework is another area too. I am very grateful that my husband was raised by a strong women who taught him that men can clean the house too. Although I do majority of the housework, my husband has no problem jumping in to wash dishes, vacuum floors and working together with me to keep our home clean. Having this balance really makes a difference between an organised, clean home and a house full of clutter.
Always be willing to learn and change. I have learnt so much from my husband about what interest-led learning is all about and he has told me that I have taught him more phonics then he ever learnt in school. Learning works both ways in our home and learning together sets a great example for our children. When my husband is home, learning happens around him and he is greatly involved. I love this quote:
Setting Goals Together
"Change is the end result of all true learning" - Leo Buscaglia
Setting Goals Together
Setting personal goals that challenge each other to grow as well as setting goals for our family has been a main part of our team effort to educate our children together. One of our main goals this last year was to spent more time outdoors together as a family. A trip to the ocean to collect shells, dig in the sand and watch a sunset was just one way we acheived these goals while making special memories together. Setting goals keeps us focused and working together.
"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things" - Mother Teresa
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