Friday, October 23, 2009

Discovering a whole new world of ideas……

Discovering a whole new world.....

The library was running out of books to read and I was starting to feel that I needed to find other types of support. When I was teaching I always had two or more colleagues whom I could go to, to ask questions or bounce ideas off of. Now I had no one whom I could turn to who was following the same path.
I was going through a patch of “ What exactly am I doing here?” After ten years of teaching, where every day was mapped out and you had a clear idea of who you answered to, I now had no one telling me: These are the “rules” follow them!
None of the books I had read related to home schooling in South Africa. The few home schoolers I knew didn’t really know about the legalities of home schooling in South Africa, so I couldn’t even turn to them for help.
After much consideration and discussion I think I finally convinced my husband that it was time to ……… get internet access at home!
Wooooohooooo! I felt like Jan van Riebeek!!!! (Ok, I know he probably didn’t discover South Africa, but as history was not my favourite subject I’m not really sure who did!)
As I learnt to use the internet I spent a lot of time reading other families accounts of their home schooling lives. Again I was drawn to the more unschooling type families-it just seemed to be far more relaxed! I think I had teacher burnout still from all that planning and anything that looked remotely like planning and following a curriculum, just seemed like I would end up being ruled by the curriculum again!
Eventually, I started to find sites which were South African based. I had always known that there was a S.A home schooling community out there, finding it hasn’t been that easy. Realising how young home schooling is in S.A compared to the USA or UK helped explain the small amount of information available to us. I joined an S.A e-loop and my world opened up even more. Here I could see that home schooling was indeed growing in S.A, as weekly, new families would introduce themselves.
I discovered a wonderful, comprehensive site written by an S.A home schooling mom: Homeschool Curriculum for Life. Here I began to learn more about practical home schooling tips. Somehow the fact that it was coming from a fellow S.A mom helped me feel like it might just be possible to do this in S.A.
By now my philosophy about education and learning was changing from: a set in stone curriculum is needed to map your way to: the Lord created us all as individuals and each family should seek Him as the ultimate curriculum provider! Who knows us better and who knows our needs, desires and gifts? Learning to trust Him for this guidance was part of the home schooling journey. Learning to trust and let go control to Him is my daily challenge! But by His grace the teacher in me is learning to let go of a need for a curriculum whilst the mom in me is saying: Slow down, watch, wait and see: they are learning everyday, in their own way. He is their ultimate teacher, I am here to enjoy the journey.