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I graduated from University in 1997 as a primary school teacher and headed straight for the worst area in London to teach for 2 years.
Since then I’ve mostly taught children that have come from disadvantaged circumstances in North Carolina, Dublin, and Bangkok. Except for my two years teaching on the North Shore of Sydney, where I taught children such as the son of the head of Sony Music Australia, and the son of the Director of AMP. That was pretty bliss (although not without issues.)
I thought I’d be right on top of teaching my own child on this great Australian road trip. Hmmm.
I’ve heard it said many times, you can’t teach your own kids. It’s a completely different experience. Yep. Give me a class of 30 challenging kids any day. (Well maybe not really!)
We’re starting to find our groove and when it flows right, I do really love teaching my own child.
We’ll be regularly sharing our experience for the next 12 months, but for now, here are a few tips.
When you travel with your kids, you have two homeschooling options (well at least in Australia). There are a lot of factors to consider and it all depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. There is no right or wrong way.
Homeschooling is when the responsibility for learning is placed upon the parents. Parents have to make sure they are checking off objectives and outcomes for their child’s stage of learning.
You have to plan, implement, and evaluate and then report that to the authorities. I don’t know much beyond that, but you can check out more information here.
There are many children in Australia who live in remote areas, miles from the nearest school. Distance Education, or School of the Air as it was once known, was created to cater to their schooling needs.
Lessons were sent by mail and teachers teach the students over radio. These schools still operate, and if you are traveling, this is, by law, your only option. We considered homeschooling, but couldn’t because we would not have a permanent residence.
For distance education, you enroll in a school (our school is Sydney Distance Education – SDEPS) and they send you two weeks worth of lessons at a time, with all required resources.
There are instructions and marking guides, so we just implement (my dream teaching job). Everything is aligned to the traditional schooling curriculum and students are assigned a teacher. They correspond with the teacher via Skype, phone or email. We also connect with Kalyra’s class and teacher through an online community portal.
Some of these are positives of homeschooling too.
I am thinking of putting together a book sharing all my tips on how to raise children who love learning. Let me know if this is something you’re interested in and what your biggest challenges are that you’d like me to address?
Much of the best learning happens by interacting in the world around us.
Having said that, technology presents amazing opportunities for learning. Kids lap up the games and concepts without realizing they’re learning. I suggest you incorporate games and tech stuff into your every day teaching. Limit it to 20-30 mins a day.
Just let them write. Kalyra loves opening a new page in S notes and just free writing. She learns a lot about spelling, editing and tech stuff. And it’s hands off for me for the most part.
Reading Eggs is a fantastic program for teaching reading skills. The program comes with Distance ed – another bonus. I think it’s the bees knees and definitely worth subscribing to. Kalyra learns so much and Savannah often sits with her to listen and sing along to the phonic songs and play the games.
Kalyra’s teacher sets certain tasks to do related to the maths unit of study. Maths Online has short instructional videos with questions. There is also diagnostic testing available within the program.
We haven’t dived too deeply into Study Ladder yet as we’ve had no time. But it looks good and I’ve heard great things about it.
Read more posts on homeschooling and distance education:
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