Elizabeth Matheson

As parents, transitioning from traditional schooling to homeschooling can be a challenging and emotional process. Having been a teacher in schools for almost twenty years, the idea of homeschooling my own children would have seemed incredulous to me when they were born. However, due to declining academic achievement, lack of traditional virtues in education, and progressive educational philosophies in schools, exploring all available options becomes crucial. Looking back, I have no regrets about embarking on this wonderful adventure called homeschooling. In fact, my only regret is not doing it sooner!   The success of my homeschooling journey is not solely mine; it relies on accessing resources and seeking assistance where needed. Connecting with others on the same journey is vital for advice, support, and fostering meaningful connections.

Choosing the Right Approach

The first decision to make when switching to homeschooling is what type of approach to use. In Australia, various approaches, ranging from unschooling to classical education, are available. I am convinced that classical education is the epitome of a holistic approach to educating a child. It enables them to engage with great works of literature, appreciate the elegance of mathematics and science, immerse themselves in the transcendent beauty of the arts, and gain a profound understanding of history, culture, and wisdom. Choosing classical dducation for your child's homeschooling journey is the ultimate key to unlocking their full educational potential.

Homeschooling Trend in Australia

Homeschooling in Australia is a wonderful choice, and you're not alone in making it. While homeschooling used to be a small part of the education landscape, it's now experiencing rapid growth. Over the past three years, homeschooling rates have increased in all states. In NSW and Vic, there has been a 20% growth, while in Queensland, the surge has been a remarkable 46%. It's safe to say that homeschooling is the fastest growing form of education in Australia! This consistent rise reflects a growing interest in alternative education models, such as classical education. It reaffirms the relevance and effectiveness of homeschooling in nurturing children's intellectual growth and character development.

Embracing Deschooling

Transitioning from traditional schooling to homeschooling can be both exciting and overwhelming. To ensure a successful shift, new homeschoolers are encouraged to embark on a deschooling journey—a crucial process that helps students and parents adapt to this innovative educational approach.

During this time, families have the opportunity to rediscover the joy of learning as children explore their interests without the constraints of a rigid school schedule. Deschooling helps break free from the mindset of institutionalised learning, eliminating factors like bells, long assemblies, and waiting for lessons to continue while the teacher attends to other students. It eliminates the morning rush to get lunches made, uniforms ready, and out the door by a prescribed time. By doing so, it promotes creativity and critical thinking.

As an added benefit, the deschooling process nurtures stronger family bonds as parents actively engage in their children's education, leading to a more supportive and enriching homeschooling journey. Let us embrace deschooling as a stepping stone towards empowering and nurturing our children's educational growth, allowing them to flourish in their newfound homeschooling adventure. From personal experience, this is as important for the parents as it is for the children!

Balancing Structure and Flexibility in Classical Education

 Providing an enriching and effective learning experience in Classical Education homeschooling involves balancing structure and schedules with flexibility. A well-designed schedule teaches students the importance of time management and accountability, while a systematic progression of knowledge ensures that students receive the right information at the appropriate cognitive level. Beyond academics, the classical method focuses on cultivating intellectual habits and virtues like critical thinking and perseverance. The structured environment also prepares homeschoolers for future academic endeavors, empowering them with time management and independent study skills. However, flexibility is also crucial to allow students to explore their interests and learn at their own pace.

Joining a Christian Co-op

Forming or joining a Christian co-op that embraces classical education can unlock a world of benefits and immense potential for homeschoolers and their families. These unique educational communities provide a nurturing environment that fosters both academic and spiritual growth. Co-ops offer a well-rounded experience for children with enriching activities, theatrical productions, sports events, and poetry recitations reinforcing Christian values. Additionally, Bible studies and scripture memorisation sessions cultivate a deep connection with faith, helping homeschoolers develop a Christ-centered worldview.

The decision to homeschool may seem daunting, but with research, preparation, and organisation, it can be a successful and enriching journey for both you and your child. by selecting classical education, creating a schedule, and connecting with other homeschooling families, you will be well on your way to success. Remember that this journey may involve challenges, but the rewards of homeschooling can be immeasurable. By giving your child the gift of education through homeschooling, you allow them to be educated in all that is true, good, and beautiful. So why not take the leap and give homeschooling a try?

  • About the Author: Elizabeth Matheson, Director of Via Classica, viaclassica.com.