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Saturday, 14 January 2012

An epiphany

I had an epiphany the other day.

It is coming up to a year now since we registered with THEAC as home educators.  In the next couple of months, I will need to collate & assess our first year, as well as make plans for the next couple of years.  Because Jasmine tends to resist written work, we don't have a lot of physical evidence of her learning.  That fuels my fear that maybe we'll be judged negatively at the next visit from THEAC; that people will think she hasn't been doing 'enough' to keep up with the State curriculum.  

But then it struck me.  If Jasmine's education is about meeting the expectations of other people, I might as well send her to school.  I realised at that moment that it really doesn't matter and I felt a deeper trust in the 'process' of unschooling.  It does rattle me a little when her friends are starting to read quite advanced books while she still freaks at the mere suggestion of learning to read.  However, I then think of all the stories I've read of children who don't learn to read &/or write until 7, 8, 10 or even older, but have then caught up within just a matter of weeks.  I think Jasmine's one of those kids who just needs to do things to her schedule - no one else's.  When she wants to do something, NOTHING can deter her.  Head-strong is an understatement & I know that drive will carry her through.  

I think I've been doing some deschooling in the past year.  Even though I understand the philosophy of unschooling, I'm still working through some of the ingrained expectations from my own school years - and it is still a work in progress.  Reflecting on my own experiences also helps me to understand how Jasmine feels when coerced  to do something she's not comfortable with.  I hope that other people (hello family) can give Jasmine the space and time she needs to learn when she's most ready rather than commenting on what she "should" be doing at a certain age.  We are not trying to speed up or slow down any areas of her learning based on a curriculum.  We are not doing "school at home" so there will never be a direct comparison between Jasmine and those who undertake institutionalised learning.  She has the freedom to learn what she wants, when she's ready and at the end of the day, she'll have all the skills & knowledge she needs to be a fully-functioning adult.  It's all good :)


  1. It is ALL good. I hear you on the learn to read, my second child is similar and I spent some time deschooling, trying to let go of the need to have him read at a "peer" level. And he reads now. In his own time. Long vast chapter books, with several on the go at the same time and tells me the plot outlines and what appeals to him in the stories. It was so hard to let go of my own need to "prove" to others that he would at some point read. Now my critics are silenced and I'm approaching "reading" with my next child far more relaxed.

  2. had a similar revelation with D the other day :) and wrt your next post about Jasmine having trouble understanding that the order of the letters is important - D struggles with the same thing! He had a brain spurt the other day and it suddenly clicked for him, but he still needs me to describe the shape of letters etc... Your writing help sounds eerily familiar lol

    1. Seems to be increasing common amongst our lot ;)