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Posted on: Wednesday, 16 March 2005 @ 12:39pm
Blatting about

[imported from livejournal and backdated]

My mother surprised the hell out of me last night by being supportive of the possibility that we may homeschool when Tao is old enough o_O My mother is full of surprises. Just goes to show that I can in fact discuss whatever with her, and she may or may not agree with me but she respects me enough as a person to listen and offer her own viewpoints and life experiences without making me feel like I'm doing things "wrong".

That and it turns out our beliefs and stuff are a lot more closely aligned than I'd thought previously. Boy am I dense.

Anyway. The talks Josh and I have with [info]terrycat and [info]kowren did the often good thing of shaking me up a bit (I learned a while ago to listen especially when I felt set in my ways) and making me think. Terry said something about sending a kid to school would be a good idea so they could learn anything that you might miss. I thought and thought yeah what if we miss something?

With current discussions it seems their kid will go to school as per normal (that's now, anything could happen in 7-8 years time). It's kind of a given that Tao and their kid (who should be maybe 2 years younger) will grow up together. Now if their kid goes to school and Tao is homeschooled, their kid depending on what they think of school may wonder "why can't I be homeschooled like Tao?" and Tao might wonder "why can't I go to school like [insert name here]?" I talked this out with him having no idea how much of it he was understanding, I tried to give a balanced viewpoint but I failed miserably.

Obviously I have no idea how T&K will deal with the question when it pops up, but with Tiny I figure two things could possibly happen.

1) he'll want to go to school in which case we will enrol him in one, probably public school, for a term if possible, and let him see how he likes it. If he likes it, he can keep going. If not, we pull him out. I don't think he would like it though.

2) if he talks to T&K's kid about their respective days I'm sure "I went to the zoo/AQWA/Adventure World/the beach/wherever today" will sound more interesting than days in the classroom with breaks in the playground and possibly the occasional excursion.

I was still suffering the typical parental "am I doing the best for my child?" thing so I tried to find disadvantages to homeschooling on the net, where previously I'd found a million and one advantages to homeschool. I found quite a few but they were badly cobbled together and most revolved around "socialisation", with the kind of misguided belief that if kids weren't exposed to other kids their own age all the time they'd become socially inept and if they were homeschooled they wouldn't know how the real world works. People can google if they're interested enough in how it really works.

So perked up a bit that we are doing the right thing for our child, I still needed more reassurance (what can I say, I'm insecure). So Josh and I made up a list of all the stuff we remembered being covered when we were in school and under each heading wrote up how we would cover that outside of the school environment. Obviously the list isn't comprehensive and is just a bunch of ideas for our own reassurance, it can be edited til it comprises its own massive website :P


  • reading

    • we have many many books and are likely to get many many more

    • and comics

    • point out signs etc

    • trips to the library to get yet more books

    • Internet searches

  • writing

    • letters and emails to grandparents and possibly other relatives and people

    • encourage a journal perhaps for DET?

    • scrapbook outings (which might come under the journal and could cross over with art)

    • stories etc

Social Studies (or whatever they're calling it these days)

  • documentaries on tv

  • history

    • war memorials

    • cemetaries

    • old buildings

    • museums

  • geography

    • invest in a globe and atlases and maybe a bloody big map

    • run around an area of land on a map making mission

    • which will require acquisitioning a compass

  • economics

    • monopoly money in a fake stock market

    • stock exchange

    • let him manage his own savings


  • count things out for him (like 1...2...3 in the jumping game)

  • how many cats are inside?

  • cooking requires maths (Josh's domain)

  • fun with fractions (and decimals)

  • playing Monopoly

  • calculus

  • g&t

  • stats


  • playing with sand and water and food colouring etc

  • get a microscope and one of those bug trapping magnifying glasses

  • lego technix (for making circuits and to learn programming)

  • electric museum

  • docos

  • Scitech

  • physics

    • rides at Adventure World

    • waves at the beach

    • cars, computers

    • gravity (fun with planets!)

    • aerodynamics

    • Newtons laws, optics, dopplers

    • making flying stuff

  • chemistry

    • making homebrew with Josh

    • flog a chemistry set

    • kitchen experiments

  • biology

    • zoo

    • AQWA

    • various parks and gardens

    • natural museum

    • beach, bushland, wetlands etc, all those kinda places

  • human biology

    • all the systems as interest in them crops up

Phys Ed

  • kung fu

  • lots of walking around doing other homeschooling activities

  • walking the dog

  • learning how to skate maybe

  • swimming lessons

Industrial Arts

  • donno bout metalwork but am sure will find some woodworking projects (such as making weapons and toys)


  • crayons, textas, coloured pencils, paints, chalk etc and a whole lot of paper

  • playdoh

  • art gallery

  • sand sculptures on the beach

  • collecting objects (shells, gumnuts, sand, leaves etc) to make collages and stuff with

  • paper mache

  • scrapbooking as mentioned previously

  • maybe a cheap camera for him to take photos with (or he can have ours if it still works coz we'll probably have a funkier one by then)

  • possibly let him have a go at digital art

Home Ec

  • help cook and clean the house

  • go shopping

  • get him to help look after T&K's baby when they get around to having one (get drinks for Aunty Karen, fetch a nappy, pull faces at the baby while it's getting changed, watch while it's being breastfed (though unless he weans himself beforehand he will probably also be breastfeeding :P), stuff like that ;)


  • give him a small vege patch to grow a couple of vegetables on

  • get him to put compost in the compost bin and take care of the worm farm (we don't have one yet but we should do by then)


  • erm. Farm this one out unless I miraculously relearn to play the bass

  • alternately, recorders are cheap as chips but not nearly as tasty

I don't think we missed very much though I'd be quite happy to be corrected on that. And "they" keep trying to tell us that we "need" to send kids to school. HAH! :) I'm actually pretty happy with that list but if there are any more subjects etc that we missed yell.

So now I'm back with my convictions that we will most likely end up homeschooling. I don't see having to spend several days in a row with Tiny to be disadvantageous, in fact I think it will be quite fun. Something to look forward to :)

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