Looking back on our first year of homeschooling

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Well, here we are at the end of what some might call our first year of homeschooling. We don’t really go by grades and as I’ve explained before, what we do is just a natural continuation of everything we’ve been doing since birth. Nevertheless, this year would have been the first year my eldest daughter was in school, if she had gone.

Naturally, I’ve been looking back, thinking about how the year has gone and where we are at now. And would you believe when I think about it I don’t really feel like we have done much? You might not believe me. I share the things we do every week. I’ve written lots of posts about natural learning and how it happens in our house. But still, I don’t feel like we’ve done a whole lot of ‘work’.

I decided to take a look at the Australian curriculum and see what Miss 5 might have learnt if she had been at school this year. Now I don’t like to compare against the school curriculum as what we do is so far removed from that and we also learn at our own pace. However, it is always interesting to me to see how much and how easily we cover the mainstream curriculum just through everyday life. What I found was I could tick off everything on the curriculum for this year. And not only that, in most areas we had gone far beyond the scope of the Australian curriculum.

So how was this possible when I don’t feel like our year has been that busy? Certainly nothing like what I imagine the school year would have been like. At this time of year I’m seeing many many facebook posts about how exhausted everyone and their children are and how the holidays will be a welcome relief. How have we managed to accomplish the same amount without even realising it? I have come to the conclusion that it is because that is just what natural learning (or unschooling) feels like. It’s not a chore, and it’s not work. It’s not a list of things to tick off, and there’s no time limits. It doesn’t feel like a rush, and it doesn’t feel pressured. It just feels like…life. I guess it feels like normal life, on holidays. No pressure, no stress, the ability to choose how your day pans out, or change it at a moment’s notice.

So, what do I remember about this year? What are the parts that really stand out to me?

We had fun, we enjoyed each others company, we got to know our newest family member, we deepened friendships…

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

…we immersed ourselves in the outdoors, we took our time, we had adventures, we tried new things, we played, we laughed, we noticed the small things…

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

…we explored our interests, we snuggled, we got to know each other even more, we grew, we spent time with family, we loved, we learnt, we felt free, we were happy, we were together…

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

Our first year of homeschooling | Happiness is here

It has truly been amazing. I never knew education could look like this and I’m so glad that we found this way. I would not give up all the experiences, all the friends we’ve made, and all the time we’ve had together this year for anything. It feels like we’ve stumbled across some magical secret and we couldn’t be happier. What started out as a year to try a different way and see if it would work, has become an amazing lifestyle that we’re committed to. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us.

 

17 thoughts on “Looking back on our first year of homeschooling

  1. I just love your summary of how your year went. It looked so very magical. I decided to change our way of homeschooling after only two weeks of what everyone else was doing. It has been such a blessing for us. I am learning more about my boys true interests. It sometimes does feel too easy, but then just living life should. I look forward each week to seeing what you and your other friends are up to. I get lots of inspiration from you all. Many blessings .

  2. People really have no idea! So many of us have been snowed for so long and bought into the system. While not everyone can or should homeschool (financial or they can’t devote the time/intention), most people have no idea how much their children are capable of on their own (with only our support).

    I love your beautiful photos that reflect genuine learning. As your children get older, it gets trickier, but stick with it, keep expanding those “lessons” building on foundational learning and keep it calm and curious. Love it!

  3. I love your photography, and the photos of the two sisters together, so precious. And I totally agree. We didn’t learn our mother tongue by classes or school, we just lived life and naturally learned it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Melanie. True! Reading the curriculum some of it seemed so strange and obvious and I wondered, are we taking kids out of the world to sit them down and tell them about the world? Seems like we could just let them live in it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. As someone who is very interested in unschooling, but sometimes unsure of what it would look like and how it would “work,” I very much enjoy reading your blog. Since I only found it a couple of months ago (around August, I think) it’s nice to read about the year in review!

    I look forward to seeing what the year may have in store for you and your family in 2015 – but I’m sure it’ll be a good one :).

  5. Love this post. We had a very similar year – my 6 year old son would have been in Prep but stayed home and we had a “natural learning” year too – so many adventures and memories were made but I also regularly get that “we didn’t do anything” feeling despite all that we did.

    Like you I checked the curriculum from time to time and was always pleasantly surprised to discover how much was covered naturally, without formally ticking off a checklist. Wishing you an awesome year of learning in 2015! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. My husband and I were playing with the idea of homeschooling since we are planning to move to another country. I am a little hesitant because I know it may take commitment and a lot of work. I am also trying to weigh the pros and cons of homeschooling vs going to a regular school. After reading your blogs, I want to say I salute you for your dedication. Your kids are so blessed to have you as their mother.

  7. Wonderful images, so many ideas to play with children. Sometimes I feel like run out of the ideas, but now I understand that there is so many things to do with our babies.
    Love your blog!

  8. This is so so so lovely. Ahhhhhhh… this was my first year of NOT homeschooling and reading this does pull at my heart strings <3 It looks like you are doing a wonderful job – and being able to notice & cherish your sweet, simple, successes is glory in itself. Thanks to my sweet friend B for leading me to your site.

    Amber. x

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