When I began this adventure into homeschooling I really knew nothing about it. I knew the stereotypes of weird isolated families and I had come to know many families who had broken that mold. I never thought I would be a homeschool parent but my frustration with the education system in which I was quite involved, was getting worse and worse so I was curious and started researching homeschooling. I never thought I’d actually do it. After deciding to take the boys off on a sailboat for a year I started my research into homeschooling in earnest and was convinced it was the way to go, whether we sailed or not. Yup, I said it. I may have homeschooled in the end even if the sailing adventure hadn’t been there for impetus.
I started homeschooling at the beginning of the school year because all the advice I read stressed that starting homeschooling before you move onto a boat is a smart idea. They were right! It took the boys and I around 3 months to find our groove and get into a routine. That doesn’t account for the TON of research I did on homeschool alternatives and the abundance of resources I checked out before we started.
Homeschooling is much easier these days. There is so much information online, from un-schooling, world-schooling, to distance learning and homeschooling and as many ways to teach and resources to use as there are people homeschooling. Which by the way has increased year after year in Canada. One source estimated there were 60,000 families homeschooling in Canada. A Fraser Institute study estimated a 29% increase in homeschooling families from 2008-2012.
I’ve discovered some surprising benefits of schooling at home:
- I love being with my kids every day, all day. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t need a break every once and a while but I think I needed more breaks when they were in school for 5 hours a day – how does that happen?
- Homeschooling is way less stressful than school – no morning chaos before school, no deprograming attitudes and unwanted learning after school.
- Our day is much more flexible. We are not early risers. Well Cameron is but he enjoys his quiet screen time before Casey and I are up and at it. We work when we get to it and we go until we are done. Simple and flexible. If plans change, they change and we fit the work it when we can.
- The boys fight less – this should be #1. Who knew! With no outside influences, more sleep, less stress and just each other to depend on, they are getting along way better than they used to.
- We are all enjoying our first homeschool experience! The boys enjoy the opportunities to learn what they want to learn at any given time and I’m enjoying watching them learn and giving them the attention they need to thrive in their studies.
So far so good I’d say! We have become quite dependant on the internet though and that should probably change before we get on the boat. Internet is not that reliable in the Caribbean so I’ve started sourcing out some tangible material to take with us. I’ll be posting more about our adventures homeschooling as we move along on this journey as well as some of the great resources we’ve found. Stay tuned!