We are a family of five – 2 adults and 3 children – Mark, Judith, Kezia (13), Azkarah (9) and Tirzah(7), and up until April 2017 we lived in Sheffield, England, where we home-educated Kezia and Azkarah. We have since moved to Ohio, USA, and are slowly adjusting to our new life here.
Why This Blog
What started out as a blog to chronicle our homeschooling life journey sharing, primarily, with family and close friends, is evolving into something more than I could have possibly envisaged back in 2012 when I started this blog. In the 5 years since I started so much has happened that has made me realise that the title of my blog, ‘Education is a Lifestyle‘ is all-encompassing and aptly fits all aspects of our life as well as the life changes we have been experiencing over the years, and continue to experience day by day. So, as much as I will endeavour to continue to share about our home-schooling journey, this is no longer going to be the focal point of this website.
What Led Us To Home-Education
Being both non-British, neither my husband nor I were aware of the process involved in registering a child for school in the UK, so completely missed the school enrollment deadline. Seeing as our oldest, Kezia, had self-taught herself to read at a very young age, and we were already stimulating her love for learning, we decided to continue as before, and were delighted to find out that home-education in the UK is legal.
What Is Our Home-educating Approach
Prior to our move from London to Sheffield in May 2011, I mainly used books that followed the National Curriculum, as I couldn’t find anything else that made learning a joy. Basically, we made do with what we found and what was on offer at the time.
After several years of trying different methods and learning approaches, we have finally settled into a routine that suits our household, building up our home-learning resources over time. I would say we use a blend of educational resources that doesn’t follow any one particular curriculum.
Our Resource Corner, although not comprehensive, shows the variety of the list of books that we own and use on a regular basis, and different websites that are a favourite in our home.
What Life Changes Have Occurred
1) Our youngest has a rare chromosome disorder
Since having our youngest, Tirzah, we have had to adapt to life in a way we never imagined. Raising a child with special needs is no small feat, and is perhaps the most challenging thing our family has faced and continues to deal with on a day to day basis. I am in the process of creating a blog to share about our journey in a more specific and detailed way so watch this space for future announcements.
2) Mark ‘diagnosed’ with a long-term illness
We went through a terribly challenging patch a few years ago, when Tirzah had sleep issues. It was an extremely intense and difficult time for all of us and led to long periods of sleep deprivation for both Mark and me. Continued sleep deprivation triggered dormant symptoms, which fully reared their heads and my beloved husband went from being a full-time Swim Teacher, husband and father to being a bed-ridden patient, spending more time in bed than out of it. Going to the doctors to get to the root of his illness proved futile (I will not get into that here; I may blog more about this in detail some day) and it took over 2 years to even get a ‘diagnosis’ of sorts, and even then the doctors he was seeing in Sheffield at the time couldn’t seem to agree on what exactly was wrong with Mark and what was the cause for all his symptoms.
3) Moving to the US
I blogged about this and you can read about our move here.
4) My oldest, Kezia, is no longer home-educated
That is a major life change for Kezia and something I’m still getting used to, as together with her younger sister, Azkarah, she had never been to school prior to our move to the US. Kezia is a structured learner and to take her mind of, at the time, our recent move to the US, she asked to go to school so she could be occupied positively. She tried school towards the end of the last school year, 2016-2017, and absolutely loved it, and asked to continue in the new school year. Kezia is, and has always been, a structured learner and thrives well with a more regimented learning approach. She is where she needs to be!
Education Is A Lifestyle
In trying to find a quote that fit in with the title of my blog, I found one by John Dewey, an American philosopher and educator, that I feel really drives home to me what education isn’t and what it really is – “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” This is really how our family views education. Learning, educating and being educated is not a system of learning. Schooling, going to school to learn has become a system which inevitably, unfortunately, kills the love for learning for most children. The system of schooling today is, predominantly, all about meeting targets, teaching to tests, ticking boxes, etc, and does not allow for child-led creative and imaginative learning, unfortunately.
Having brought up our kids to love learning, and as we continue to foster a love for learning in our home, we are hopeful that our children, whether home-educated or at school, would never stop learning. There is always something new to learn each and every day.
Journey On With Us
Do join us in our journey in life, as we embrace all of life’s changes and aspire to broaden our horizons by nurturing and fostering a love for learning at all times.
I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
With warm wishes,