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Yesterday a friend of mine asked me a very interesting question, “How did you start home education?” I have posted the motivation and the reasons of doing home education or homeschooling previously in “Why Homeschooling”. Here is the time to reveal our how. I don't mean that this is the method to start home education officially, but I just want to share the way we started it.
- We discuss the vision and mission of our home education. That is the most important things for us. We never imagined or expected just the ideal moments, events, and things in our home education. We were ready with chaos and we thought it was normal. We would learn things from trial and error. I am very lucky that my husband is very supportive and cooperative. We always discuss things together. I am often impatient, while my husband is the opposite. We don't think “too far away”. We pray a lot so God will help us to take the decision. We believe that God that has blessed us with life, love and abundance won't leave us alone anytime.
- I browsed the internet a lot as there wasn't any home education family that I know at that time. Nobody I could consult or talk about home education before I found a home school community, Klub Sinau. I found some great blogs and websites which were wonderful, showing different world of education. Although I knew that home education is legal in Indonesia, I visited the government education department which was not clear about which section that in charge of home education. I looked for the procedure to get official certificate from government. Finally, I found the right section and consulted regularly
- I read a lot and learnt about several methods and curriculum of homeschooling. I have been very interested with Charlotte Mason methods and curriculum. There were a lot of things that I could learn from Charlotte Mason. I was very astonished with “For the Children's Sake”, “When the Children Love to Learn”, etc. However, I didn't think that the boys would be ready with that lovely method considering the Indonesian government pressure at that time and also the english readiness to read and narrate. Then, I turn to the classical method presented by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I feel this method has a lot of similarity with CM and it can help kids a lot in reading and narrating practically. In some ways, this method is different or in the opposite of CM, but the reasons make sense. I will talk about curriculum on different post. It is a very interesting thing.
- I started planning the program. When I review it right now, It looks very chaos. I always change the way I plan from time to time to get the fittest one with us. When a plan doesn't work, I change it till we get the one that suits us. I always start planning by thinking the end of mind or the goal. Starting planning by looking for resources has never worked for us. Sometimes we feel that certain activities are fun, but because our goal is not clear, we cannot do it well. We got some lessons in this case. Sometimes just fun is fine so we won't get bored, but it will be more useful if it is meaningful. The learning goal doesn't have to be too prestigious. Phrases and words are enough as long as we know what we want. Although kids learn in freedom, there should be achievement. It will be great if there is some achievement beyond our expectation.
- I looked for learning resources. I started with the free ones before I touched the paid ones. I will write more about resources in another posting.
- I looked for activities to get the kids “socialized”. I knew that socialization had always been the main issue in home education in our country. Too much “socialization” outside is not good also as one of our objectives in home education is to get kids close with family. There are some kinds of groups having regular weekly meeting that kids can meet friends:
- Sports Clubs
- Church activities
- Arts Courses.
- I planned assessment methods for the goals that I have in the planning process. Not everything that kids do are assessed and not all assessment result in a form of numbers. Assessment doesn't have to be in a form of test. It can be in forms of portfolio, performance assessment, self assessment, peer assessment, and journal. The objective of assessment is to support the evaluation process whether the learning goals have been achieved or not.
- We evaluate all processes of planning, teaching, and assessment. I usually discuss it with my husband which result that needs more help or more attention to get better and which results that need to keep going.
- I visited some social media to meet people. There are also a lot of Homeschooling blogs which can give me encouragement. I always try to get the positive and supportive environment so we can strengthen each other.
- I am a planner. Anyway, not everyone could follow all planned things. Thus, FLEXIBILITY take the most important things in this case, not too tight and not too loose.
I hope that this sharing post can help many people. Have a great time and God bless you and family.