I’m so pleased to be a guest blogger here on Becky’s site. We met via our blogs ages ago and I was so uplifted to find someone who believed that we didn’t have to have a massive income to provide happily for our growing children – it’s not money that makes good parenting!
Budgeting was always part of our family life and we had to be very good at it, managing on one (small) income so that we could home educate our two children.
We hadn’t necessarily planned to do this; they originally went off to school like other children. But as we watched their happiness, health and interest in learning fade so dramatically, when they’d been interested in everything when they were pre-schoolers, we thought; there must be another way, surely. And we discovered that there was!
Many parents think that home educating is going to incur a terrific expense. But as with all things parenting it doesn’t have to. You can find, share, swap resources and there are so many opportunities to learn all the time all around us as well as online, much for free. Expensive equipment and books are not nearly as important as an engaged and enthusiastic adult who’ll inspire and guide the children with their learning.
This is what many don’t understand. You can have the most beautifully equipped school but if the people there don’t inspire the children to learn, or cater for their needs, then the children won’t reach their potential. Teachers and schools and therefore education are so inhibited by the structures imposed upon them from governmental strategies and objectives etc., they’re in danger of ruining an inspirational experience – as learning should be – as we came to understand through our home educating days.
For the reality is that learning happens all the time, whatever you are doing with your child, wherever they are, through your conversations and guidance, the places you take them and the things you show them. You will have taught them so much before they even start school! And this organic approach to it is how families educate their children out of school. Then when the time comes for formal learning, following courses for exam perhaps, the children have retained their motivation and desire to learn, have built their skills, and can accomplish them easily.
It was this inspirational style of learning that prompted me to write my books. I realised that so many parents wanted to do the same but lacked the confidence and faith in doing so. So I started writing to support them. First; a guide to home education; ‘Learning Without School Home Education’. But I guessed many parents would not want to read an educational text book (me neither) and I wanted to show how home schooling really works, so this led me to write our own story; A ‘Funny Kind of Education’ in an entertaining way so people could have a good read, a good laugh and learn about learning along the way – a bit like home educating works!
I also wanted to write something for the children so they had a book to read that contained a family like theirs doing what they did, rather than only school-going children, which is how my two children’s books ‘Who’s Not In School?’ and ‘The Wrong Adventure’ came about. Both describe the enthusiasm for learning the character has and how it sometimes leads him into trouble. You’ll no doubt have little ones who do the same!
My latest book to support home schooling parents is ‘A Home Education Notebook’ which continues to tell the stories of a learning life.
So, returning to the subject of budget, my books – and there are six of them now – haven’t made me rich. But like with raising the children, sometimes your priorities lie in other areas and mine was to help bring support and inspiration to those families whose children were not able to thrive in school and who wanted to try an alternative.
Home educating our children, who are now grown and flown out into the working world now, was the most inspirational time of our parenting. And showed that you don’t actually need masses of money to provide an enriching and successful education.
Like with all things parenting, and as Becky’s work here shows, it’s not only money which can make lives rich!
(You can find out more on my site: http://rossmountney.wordpress.com)
Thank you so much Ross lovely to have you visit.
The books by Ross that Bird’s Nest Books has published (‘Who’s Not In School?’, ‘The Wrong Adventure’ and ‘A Home Education Notebook’) are available from their website www.birdsnestbooks.co.uk. They are also available on Amazon, along with Ross’s other books.