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  1. #1

    Default Hello from Melbourne, Australia!

    Hello from a very long, long away!

    I'm really glad to have found such an amazing community here!

    I have two sons aged 9 and 6. My first born has fitted in just fine at his local public primary school, I don't know that he is particularly thriving, but certainly he enjoys going, enjoys socialising with all his friends, and is progressing steadily academically.

    My second son - not so. He really struggled to fit in to his first year of school after an absolutely stellar career at childcare where he was the Gold Child who could do no wrong according to his teachers.

    But once he got to primary school, it became apparent super early on that he was struggling with literacy and numeracy. It's taken over a year, and at our own expense extra phonics lessons and he is finally starting to get on track. In the meantime though, there's been a number of behavioral issues which were totally out of character for him.

    Seeing how the cookie-cutter model of education really doesn't suit him - I've started exploring alternative options, including private schools, online schools and homeschooling.

    I have to be honest and say that as a working mum who really enjoys my career I don't know if I could move to full-time homeschool. I wish that I had more control over when my kids attended school, their subjects, and who taught them. In my ideal world, I would get to choose their teachers, rather than just be randomly assigned according to school administrators.

    Are there any other parents here that have managed to keep their careers (in some form or other) as well as homeschool?

    I am very new to this and just seeking as much information as possible. Thanks in advance.

    Cheers
    GMcD

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  3. #2

    Default

    Welcome! There are many parents here who have worked full time AND homeschooled their children. It takes a bit of juggling and a lot of planning/organization, but it can be done. I worked part-time while homeschooling but could have extended to full if needed. Will your employer be willing to allow you flexible hours?

    Do you also have a good support system--relatives, friends--who will help you in your decision? Maybe contact homeschool support groups in Melbourne see if there are any specific laws and procedures you should follow. A quick search resulted in this list of groups. It could be a place to start.

    On the forums here, be sure to ask specific questions. Families here are eager to share their experiences and advice. I'm sure some of it will resonate with you.

    On another note, you live in a beautiful city and area. DH and I haven't been in over a year, but we still have extremely fond memories of our visit. The Botanic Gardens are absolutely gorgeous!
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

    Default

    Welcome, also!

    Do you think your younger son’s problems are coming from a bad teacher this year, that a new classroom next year will alleviate? You would definitely have more control over your kid’s environment if you sent him to a private school, but you might also have to make other compromises. Online schools may seem like an easy solution, but kids need the human interaction.

    To expand on what INMOM said about extended family nearby - that is a way you can pick and choose your son’s teachers. Aunt Susan teaches him guitar, Grandpa Allen teaches art, Papa and Nana work with him through his reading and math work (they get to take him on field trips too! Cant have all the mean work!).
    The actual homeschooling itself doesnt take very long - 15 to 20 minutes per subject (and four subjects) is about the attention span at this age, so its not as though its a full-time commitment. Having energy at the end of the day for both you and your son for an hour or two of work is another matter. Everything doesnt need to be done every day - and its sometimes a challenge for parents to free themselves from the (replicating) school-at-home mindset.
    You can school on weekends, during “holiday” breaks, whenever is convenient for you, your goal being a school year’s worth of work each calendar year.

    Best of luck to you!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  5. #4

    Default

    Hi! I am in NZ (South Island), so hello from not so far away

    I work part time from home and am self-employed as an editor. So there are options for working and homeschooling. It is not easy though. I am someone who really likes my "me time" and need relative quiet to work. Some days it works. Some days it drives me crazy and I just want to send DD back to school. I do have my mum here, and she does stuff with the kids when she can.

    I have 2 daughters (almost 5 and almost 10). The older one went to school for 3 years. We had similar issues with school. She was not really helped with certain academic things, was really affected by teacher choice/classroom make up, and had behavior issues at home. We tried two different public schools and had the same issues at both. The issues were not alleviated by changing to a school that seemed to have more flexibility (it didn't, it was still restricted by the national curriculum). The tipping point for us really came when the behavior issues started turning into some serious mental health issues that were really affecting her. Also when we had a whole year of the worst teacher (total tyrannical, controlling, and psychologically manipulative old-fashioned strict teacher) followed by 6 months of the best teachers (job shared, really kind and helpful), and it was still all much the same (if a bit dampened down in intensity). Then I could see that it was not just the horrible teacher causing all the issues. She had these great teachers and yet things were still off.

    I tried online school to start with because I thought I would not have the time to work and homeschool. We only did one term (10 weeks). It was more expensive ($1000 per term) and more work for me than having her in school or homeschooling her myself. There have been some threads recently on online schooling, so you could search for those to see about the issues people have had with online schooling.

    Are there any charter/special character/alternative schools in your area that you could look at? For us, I found the main issue was having a child that learnt different/thought differently and trying to make them conform to the national standards/curriculum just did not work. So I always thought, if a private school taught the same curriculum, then it would be much the same issues, I would just be paying for them. However, I know there are charter/special character/alternative schools out there (not in our area unfortunately) that have more flexibility in adjusting what they teach to individual children or teach differently (Montessori and so forth).

    Do you have any flexibility in the Au school system for going part time school and part time homeschool, like having your child home for 1 or 2 days a week?

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Hello from Melbourne, Australia!