Around the Spring of 2017, my Wife and soul mate Ursula, who also happens to be my biggest supporter, approached me with the idea of schooling the kids at Home. I loved the idea. I have met enough Americans and Canadians over the years who have themselves been homeschooled and so the subject itself doesn’t surprise me, but I was still surprised that she had mentioned it and that she seemed to be very keen on pursuing it further.
With Ursulas positive and peaceful, get up and do attitude, I was encouraged to go along together to a home schooling conference in another part of Switzerland.
There, a Woman who herself had been a long term home schooler, accompanied by her grown up homeschooled children, led a curious class of around 30 Parents wanting to know more about the unknown.
We were told of all the ins & outs, the positives & negatives, the reality & the imagined reality of homeschooling, the legalities of it, things to consider, steps to take and of course the most common challenges, concerns and questions that would most likely come from Family, Friends and the general population.
Let’s just say it was a very informative, insightful and interesting day. It gave us the extra confidence and assurance that we needed to take the next step of applying for a license that would enable us to legally educate our two oldest Children at home.
Our application for a license was swift and successful and so we deregistered our children from the public school system. In mid August 2017 when the five week summer holiday here in Switzerland had come to an end, we began Homeschooling in accordance with the Swiss national school curriculum.
It took us a little time to find our feet but eventually, things started moving forwards. Just before our new season of homeschooling began however, we discovered that Ursula was pregnant with our fifth Child. It was wonderful news, however as the pregnancy progressed, so did the challenges of staying on top of things.
To make Family matters more complicated, I had also began a three year Roofing apprenticeship one month after the Homeschooling started and would stay away from my Family in another part of Switzerland for two weeks every three months.
Well, needless to say, something had to eventually give way, and so after half a year of persevering, we decided to re-register the kids back into the public school system once again. The Children adapted back into the way of things very well and very quickly and both Ursula and I ended up with a little bit more capacity to breath again, in between what was still Family Life, Pregnancy, Work, and School.
For the last six years we have been living out in the countryside up on a hill and isolated to a degree. This fact certainly contributed to concerns that a variety of Family, Friends and work colleagues etc had, and concerns that we ourselves had both heard and sensed, directly and indirectly before and during our Homeschooling attempts
Concerns such as “it will not be fair on the kids because they will be isolated each day, and not round other children as much as they ‘should’ be” . We heard how it would be better for the children to be exposed to other ways as well as our own Family ways as that would help them grow and develop in a healthy, happy and balanced way, giving them a better worldview and that they would miss out on this and that, as well as many other things that would negatively impact our children.
Well our attempt ended not because of those welcome, well meant and understandable concerns but instead they ended because of the reasons I mentioned above. I still beleive homeschooling was the right thing to do, but with the way everything worked out. It simply wasn’t meant to be.
Interestingly, once our children went back to Public school, people felt freer to share what they had previously thought about our decision to Homeschool. From the beginning, our attempt at Homeschooling and our motives to do it, weren’t well received and neither were they understood by the majority of people we knew
At times we felt viewed as either a little strange, different, religious, incapable (due to not being qualified teachers) and even ignorant due our desire both to Homeschool and the decision we made to do it. That’s simply the natural consequence when you think and decide for yourself in a way that goes against the unwritten, yet socially accepted & approved, so called ‘norms’
The Ironic thing is that right now, two and a half years later, the socially accepted and approved norms are as follows: Everyone is currently homeschooling their own children, the Children are all isolated from one another, most of the parents aren’t qualified teachers, children are only being exposed to their own Family ways etc and because the majority are doing it now, it now happens to be OK.
The point of the matter is this, that the crowd are always made up of cowards who’s survival depends on and desperately clings to a Herd mentality. unwilling to stand up for what they as individuals truly want, whilst laughing at those that do.
They will change their standards and values if everyone else does just to maintain their so called ‘normality’. A crowd and society like that are not worth following, and when they do accept or approve of you, it should be a clear sign that as an individuals, you have failed in being genuine.
The worlds a funny old place called Home and Life’s one big School where learning never comes to an end.
The end. 🔚😃
Note: Just to give an update on my kids, they are full of Life, in good health and still running around on this hill we call Home. Talking of home, they are for the time being, back to being Homeschooled, like every other child, but wait… Is that normal? 🤔😜