Video and transcribe available below

How best to think about home schooling

Hi folks I’ve been out filming some material for a digital online communications product that we’re creating, so I’ll keep you posted on that. I wanted to just do a quick share with you.

For those of you that are parents there has been all sorts of interesting reactions from people about home-schooling and the fact they’re having to take their kids into an environment and basically spend time with their kids studying and going back over lessons.

Learning with the kids, but also finding a way to manage the kids during this process, and it’s not easy. We’ve got two children and my fiancé’s been amazing. She’s done a lot of the driving actually, she’s been incredible.

We tend to talk about it in the morning and evening and I’ve been talking to my daughter because she wants to learn about communication so we’re going to introduce that into the home-schooling experience.

I’m just reflecting as a parent, so this is not meant to be any sort of teaching or anything like that, but my learning that I’m taking away from this is that this process of watching our children at home learning and sitting with them, without a doubt certainly for us, is giving us a better insight into what she does and doesn’t know, but also how she learns. 

I’ve had this conversation with a few people.

Some people are grumbling others are like oh gosh where do I start and I thought my child was at this level. It is a brilliant opportunity to get a sense of what inspires them.

For example, our eldest daughter Savannah we’re getting a much clearer picture of how she gets stimulated, when she switches off, what causes her to switch off. What timeframes of studying switch her on and off, and how to keep her engaged.

I think that’s really insightful for us as parents. I just think that for most people that don’t do home-schooling, i.e. locked into the conventional education system where the kids go off in the morning and they come back in the afternoon.

The average person’s only real measure of how their kids are doing is a school report, exam results and what the teachers say on parents evening.

That’s a snippet, whereas here we are in a situation where we have the opportunity to genuinely spend time with them and to notice how they are reacting around the studies.

I have got a PhD, I spent years studying and climbing the whole academic ladder etcetera and I’ve got my style of learning and each adult has their own way of tackling things. The challenge we’ve got as parents and I’m noticing this as well with our kids, we have a certain way we want to sit down and study a subject or how we learnt it, but they may have been learning it a different way.

There is no right or wrong way to any of this. Every human being has a different mechanism to learn.

Some are more visual, internal, more academic, less academic, auditory, etcetera and it’s really interesting for us to see that in Savannah our daughter. I’m inspired by that.

We’ve taken this in a very positive way and we are using it to grow ourselves but also it is showing us where I think the gaps are in the schooling system.

Our daughter goes to a fairly different type of school to most people because we didn’t want to fit into the normal schooling system.

I’m sure if you’re looking at your kids right now, you might be questioning certain things, for example, one of the questions I’ve raised on the table about the whole education system is how much emotional development do kids get.

I don’t think it’s a lot and we’re quite lucky our daughter goes to school where there is a fair bit of that. But even then, kids aren’t taught about values and beliefs, communication, understanding other people and that level of presence. 

It’s not really a subject, because we’re so academically biased towards studying German, language, history, maths, science etcetera which is all great. There are certainly gaps in the overall system in my view and  I think this is a chance for you to look at your kids and for us to look at our children say, where do we feel those gaps could be?

How can we help them grow into the area?

What we’ve started to do with Savannah for example, is say what are you inspired by?

What do you want to learn?

What subjects would you like to learn?

Why don’t we go online and find some books that interest you, so that it gives them a chance to have a different level of engagement as opposed to saying this is the school’s curriculum.

This is what you’ve got to learn, you’ve got to do this this week, do this, do that, and then go out and play.

There is nothing wrong with that and I’m not trying to criticise all I’m saying is, I think we have an opportunity here, this is unique we are not going to be in another lock down like this again, I don’t believe not quite like this anyway.

Because the next time anything like this happens there will be a different level of preparation.

So as parents, you look back to childhood and I’m sure there are things that you remember unique times. I remember the year of 76, for example, the summer of 76 was a crazy hot year. I still have very distinct memories of that particular period. We had garden hose bans all that kind of stuff. I still remember certain things. We just ask ourselves the question, what great memories can we leave for our kids in this moment, so when they reflect back on this, it wasn’t just about the illness. It was also the experience the kids had along the way as well. 

Just a thought, I’ll leave you with that one.

Enjoy watching your kids learn and see if you can understand a bit more about them, what inspires them and maybe give them a slightly different breadth of knowledge as well. 

Every parent probably has got a passion for and maybe that’s something to bring to the table that they wouldn’t get in a classroom.

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