01 July 2015

Homeschooling in illness or times of difficulty

After reading a post on one of the boards I belong to, I realized there must be Moms here in South Africa, who daily face the struggles of illness. 

Perhaps their own illness, or perhaps physical limitations which prevent them doing a lot, or going outdoors.  Perhaps a child has difficulties that limit your activities and schooling, due to hours spend in therapy or appointments.

 I wanted to encourage you.  You are not alone.  There are others of us here, and I hope we can support each other.  One of the reasons that I hardly blog anymore is that in dealing with illness, and homeschooling and managing a home, I leave all my time to do important things first.

 You know, I often think, that especially us Moms who homeschool with illnesses or other difficulties (whether ours or a child's) almost need "permission" to let go a little and to really believe that less is more.  I think we beat ourselves up about all that we are not doing, can't do, especially when it appears that others are doing and achieving so much.  Then that unnecessary guilt sets in. 

Crafts, in those happy preschool years
Yet, if we do what the Lord has called us to do, we are doing what is right.  If we seek Him first and do His will for our homeschool, peace follows.  We are in the right place.  I know this is not easy, and something I have to practice daily.  He knows our situation and will not ask us to do more than we're able.  The worlds standard does not matter, it is His standard we live by and for.

Lately, I have realised that in my family, because I am ill so often, and we just cover the basics at times, with LOTS of read alouds, over and over.  But my children need some change in routine. 

Because I feel we're behind, there is a temptation to NOT take a break, or change routine, but to just keep slogging.  However, just one day of change, or one different activity can give an injection of energy in everyone.  Because I do not have much energy and struggle to do fun things like hiking and beach walks, I feel inadequate at times.

But there are small things that we can do.  And our attitude matters a lot.  We need to pray about this, and ask the Lord to show us what we can do.  How can we meet our children's needs.  He is faithful.  His answer may come in the form of an idea, a chat with a friend, or an offer from someone else to do an exciting thing you are unable to, with your children. 
Reading outside is something my children love to do.

For example, yesterday I felt that we had got into the rut of just pedalling through the 3 R's.  So, the evening before I printed out a blank game board.  The kind with blocks, and just a start and end.  It was not related to anything we are learning.  They had to design a game. I never gave them any equipment or rules, just set them free.

Intent in creating

 I thought it would fall flat, (things had got that bad around here) but they embraced it, decorated their boards, found their own play pieces and made up rules, although I never told them to.  They actually came up with some really cute games, which we then played.  It took an hour, and I think it was worth the "academics" lost.

May God bless you where you are on your homeschool journey.

14 February 2014

Legal Support for homeschoolers in South Africa

Now more than ever, it is strongly advised that all homeschool families join the Pestalozzi Trust, to ensure their freedom to homeschool.

At the moment the Trust has a special offer, to enable more families to join, at a reduced rate.  If you join before 1 March 2014, you can save up to 22% per year, every year. Families joining before 1 March 2014 will join at the old fee. And, because the Trust keeps its members at the same fee at which they joined, that discount is a permanent, annual discount, as long as your membership remains uninterrupted. (Some of our old members still pay R600 per family per year.)

So, join now and get the old fee of R960 per family per year (irrespective of the number of children). And, if you have only started homeschooling, and your children were still at school (or under schoolgoing age) in December 2013, you get another R120 discount, making your fee R840 per family per year - as long as you remain a member!

And, tell your frirends - you'll do them a favour!

Homeschool Associations in South Africa

 There are various homeschool associations which you can join, in various provinces in South Africa.  I strongly advise that you do join one.  

The Association for Homeschooling/Vereniging vir Tuisonderwys
Contact person Bouwe van der Eems at admin@tuisskolers.org

Eastern Cape
Contact person : Lindy Greaves at  echsa1@gmail.com
Contact person : Niell Bester at  jjop@mweb.co.za
Kwazulu Natal
Contact person : Bev Ivins at  kznhsa.chairman@gmail.com
Western Cape
Contact person : Victor Sabbe at  victorsabbe@gmail.com