As a Tasmanian home educator is it necessary to register with the THEAC. This is a journey I began earlier this year.
It took a long time for the process to be completed, which, actually isn't even final for me yet! The process starts by calling the council and letting them know you want to start home educating. They send out a large envelope full of information and papers to fill out. I love getting big envelopes full of things that excite me! After you have explained how you intend to teach your children you send the forms back (which I forgot to have certified so they had to send it back to me, delaying the process further! Don't forget this step people!!)
Eventually you get a letter back saying you are provisionally approved to home educate. This was very exciting for me, but also very scary and intimidating. I did what most home educators do and tried to have a formal class setting. I tried to think back to my school experience and emulate it. I wanted my children to be at least as good at English and math as the publicly schooled, but that in itself is so broad that it complicated things even more. Day after day I gave as much work to the kids as I could. They wanted to go back to school. Doubts and fears kept flooding in but at the end of the day I just know it is the right thing for our family and so I matched on in the great dark abyss known as 'home education'.
I had read so much information, talked to so many people, but once it was just me and the kids day after day (and in a caravan to begin with) it was tough! After a few months the THEAC called and made an appointment to go over what we had been doing and make sure I was actually educating my kids.
I was so nervous about this step. I had actually been home schooling all year but hadn't yet done the paper work because it needed birth certificates and I didn't have access to them. However that wasn't an issue, the THEAC are very understanding (Phew!). I thought I would be okay with their assessment of what we had been doing because a good friend of mine (who keeps a lovely blog of her own) is a teacher and said that they only really manage to teach two things a day. Still, I couldn't help but feel inadequate (as most of us do). The visit was actually very pleasant! The lady that came was warm and friendly and very supportive. She gave me great confidence and put my mind at ease. I really do look forward to future visits! She said that I was approved but I would get an 'official' approval letter from the minister of education in the mail some months from now! So, that I am still waiting for, but I am approved. Such a load off my mind!
Since I have been approved I have truly started looking around at home schooling without fear. That has meant a huge change in the way we do things. I think I am headed more toward an unschooling approach as I want my kids to be free. Free to learn about what interests them, which in time will lead them on the right life path for them. I have a lot of thoughts on this subject so I'll have to post about that later.
So, if you were wondering about this whole process, don't be scared. It is the best thing you could ever do, after getting married and having children! Speaking of which.... we are expecting our 6th in February next year! Hooray!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I'm back. After a long blog sabbatical I decided my life is again stable enough to fill cyber space with my ramblings!
Since my last post, my family of 7 packed all our belongings into storage, lived in tents, lived in a caravan and finally found a place to live only 5 minutes from where we were living 3 months previously! The irony.
We started home schooling! Yay!
Here are a few pics to give you a taste of what we have been up to.
This was our campsite, complete with long drop toilet up the track.
Another view of our temporary home. (Our extended family Kathy and Jules in the camp chairs)
We visited the Gunns Plains caves.
We had some fun times!
Living in a caravan with 5 kids and home schooling! Am I mad? Much longer and maybe I would have been! Haha! The caravan belongs to our good friends, who were so welcoming and hospitable that what could have been a nightmare was a real blessing. It certainly did stretch us and bond us as a family. It was a great experiment to see if traveling was a good idea for our family. We did enjoy most of our time, despite a lot of cold rainy weather, broken tents, leaky air mattresses, cramped living conditions, our car kept braking down and a very small budget! It is nice have a home again.
Home schooling is definitely for us! But more on that some other time!