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Our Reason To Homeschool!

In the Sand
Master P Playing

Island Life
Miss M Enjoying the Sunrise

In 2016 my husband and I decided to move from a small country town to the city, my children were 5 and 2. My son had a respiratory illness and needed to be closer to his doctors. I also had just closed my business 1 year prior and really needed a change of pace, not necessarily a busy city pace just some anonymity to process the grief of losing my business. We soon came to see the city pace was too fast for us but it eventually provided us with the anonymity to change our lives for the better. Before we knew better we put my daughter who was 5 at the time into a school purely because my friend went there and I knew the principal, so trying to find a rental was going to be easy not having to be in the catchment. My friend was very proactive in helping me get what I needed fast such as uniforms, stationery etc as this decision was made quickly due to the encouragement of my friend and also principal (family friend) helping me get the T’s crossed. I look back on this now and think if I had of done this without those 2 influences I probably wouldn’t have put them into the school as I wouldn’t have gotten in, we might have cruised a bit and taken the pressure off. No point looking backwards though, everything happens for a reason. Before we knew it she was attending this massive school, enrolled into an elite dancing school and getting invites to the class parties, the toxic whirlwind had started again and it was just bigger. The school was up there on the leader board according to the states academics. It’s not what I was after but you just go with the flow don’t you and hope for the best. We went from 1 stream in Kindy in our small country town to 5 streams of Pre Primary. My daughter cried when she got there, no one smiled to say hello, the teacher was like Sergeant Major and made it very clear she didn’t want parents in the classroom. We were to drop and run. My daughter eventually crumbled under the pressure of having to read and write well before she needed to. However, because she was a bright cookie she kept up with the pace initially and she was writing small sentences by the age of 6. They had words that were written in the homework folders and they had to come up with a sentence about that word. She did it with ease as she is the type to perform for the teacher. I just thought this was normal, children learning to read and write before the age of 6. Everyday we arrived, no smiles, no hellos just line up and goodbye, going from knowing everyone in the town to knowing 2 people was a shock but anonymity was what we needed, not my daughter though she needed stability and a village of people that love and care about her. She really cried everyday, I would walk to the car with tears in my eyes just not knowing what to do.

I can‘t just blame this particular school as the small country town school was the same in Kindy. The teacher was another Sergeant Major and my daughter screamed going into the classroom. The teacher continued to insist her to look her in the eye and say “Good Morning Mrs V…….. my daughter was too terrified to look up. I was allowed in this classroom but not for long I was soon asked to leave and hand over my daughter. At this point my daughter was kicking and punching. The teacher looked me in the eyes and said “GO!”. I handed her over to the teacher and left, balled all the way to the car. I was running a business at this point, I had no choice but to go to work I had 14 staff to manage. My daughter had been in daycare since the age of 1, 4 days per week 8-3pm. It was too much for her and I see that now, she cried everyday. I saw the trust in her eyes disappear as I walked out the door. Who knows what happened at that daycare centre, we put the trust into other peoples hands for what? A business, a job? Money? Someone else was raising my daughter and with what other influences surrounding her on a daily basis.

When my son was born, I felt he was born to rock our world, shake it up, teach us to stop and smell the roses. He had an illness and needed constant care. My business suffered, but my kids started to receive. I couldn’t put my son into daycare as it was a fairly life threatening situation when he caught a virus. My daughter continued to go to 3 year old prep school but that was purely just to get her out and enjoy playing with friends. We reduced it to 3 days and only school hours. I saw the smile starting to return, she was less angry, cried less. However she still didn’t want to go, she wanted me full time I just didn’t realise this I thought socialisation at school is what she needed and it was the norm so it must have been ok. From prep school then into Kindy she continued the cycle never being truly happy. Mums mind was now on running a business and managing staff from the phone and caring for a newborn son who had a life threatening illness homelife was getting better but the business continued to spiral out of control.

Before my son was born we booked tickets to Thailand, little did we know he would be born with an illness and realised we couldn’t take him. I must have been out of my mind at the time, but instead of losing the money and not going on the trip which was about $16000 I sent him to New Zealand to go and live with my parents for 1 month. A 1 year old boy with a life threatening illness, going to the coldest and most remote village in the North Island. I literally howled when she took him, my amazing mother did this for me though I think she secretly knew that I needed this time and I did, I needed the time to listen to my soul and make some important decisions. The holiday was a turning point and we decided to close the business and move to Perth. This process was all done in a year and we were gone. Perth wasn’t the answer though and we soon found that out after putting my daughter into a huge school that was academically driven, absolute madness. It was just a stepping stone.

What was the answer? Homeschooling? I wasn’t working at this point, just dabbling with a essential oils and I believe surrounding myself with spiritual essential oily people I soon got to meet lots of different walks of life. They seemed very centred, stable, caring people and some of these lovely people homeschooled their children. I was very intrigued, I thought homeschooling was illegal unless you lived on a remote station like school of the air. How hilarious when I look back at those thoughts now. Homeschooling was definitely the answer, my husband and family were so supportive I withdrew her immediately. I lost my friend in the process she thought I was absolutely crazy, the Principal knew better than to judge and has continued to support me and be in our lives to this day. They know don’t they, teachers, they understand, they get it, because they see the destruction of what a school system can do to some children, it can completely shatter them. So the next process in our lives was to begin rebuilding my daughters trust and to let her have a say in her life from now on. We learned to learn through life and follow our gut instinct when making decisions and boy have we flipped our old life on it’s head. My children are confident, vocal, say exactly what they think and are learning to love learning through life itself and a little bit of guidance from me. We have been living on a single income for 7 years now, we earn less, but save more because we have time to budget, to cook and to think about what we are purchasing. Our kids have been homeschooling for 4 years, they have trialed the school system again which wasn’t for us. We are happily homeschooling whilst travelling and looking for our dream peace of land to call home. Welcome to our story and I hope this helps you to take the courage to follow your homeschooling journey. I will be working toward creating guides to help you begin your journey and keep you on track and just give you the confidence that you are doing the right thing for your family.

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