Mama's Musings

Why Home Based Learning?

Jun 19, 2020

“Children are being freed to learn as nature intended” – just one comment I will always remember from my 2002 research into why Australian parents were home educating their children.  I was curious as to why so many were taking the plunge into home based learning in Australia.  Recently, isolation-schooling during the pandemic has exposed the option to all families as a possibility.  Here, I explain why  a steadily-increasing number of families been home educating in Australia over the past few decades.

Some parents actively choose to home educate.  They make the decision sometime – whether when their children are infants (and even unborn), or when they feel dissatisfied with their children’s schooling for any reason.  Some parents feel that there was no other choice.  Perhaps they have exceptional or neurodiverse children, their children are sick or injured, they may be simply unable to cope with the stress...

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Childcare: Naturally?

Jun 15, 2020

 

Childcare is a matter that greatly affects parents and employers – the main cogs in our societal moneymaking machine.  Childcare benefits and tax deductions are offered as enticements but rarely are the needs of children considered by policymakers.  A focus on numbers, timeframes and dollars motivate the big decisions. Childcare is big business and is currently influencing almost all childhoods in Australia.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that 90 percent of children under five currently use some form of childcare.  Tens of thousands of Australian children are in formal childcare for more than 45 hours a week.

Natural parenting is an ideology, not a dogma.  It is about instinctively raising our young, and making informed decisions.  Does childcare compromise or compliment our conscious parenting ideals?  Are those who perceive theirs to be a natural parenting style more protective than most other parents? ...

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Frugal Homeschooling 101

Jun 05, 2020

Home educating on a budget may seem like a challenge at first, especially if you are attempting to gather as many resources as your average classroom. There is no need to rush out and buy a lot of equipment that you may not need. First, sit down and write a “wish list”, then highlight the items you feel are most necessary to begin.

There are many alternatives to expensive educational resources. Here are some ideas to help you save money in setting up your home learning space.

- Buy furniture which has multiple uses. Consider a large, second-hand dining table over individual desks, for example - or just use your dining table! Use open shelving rather than cupboards for storing supplies and books. This allows the children to see what is available for their use and is less expensive.  We've used bolt-together galvanised steel five-shelf units to hold games, puzzles, and construction kits.  The children can see everything on the shelves and they remain...

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Musings on Nature

Apr 08, 2020

Nature really is the ideal muse.  It has been an important part of our home education journey for over two decades.  My favourite things to do in nature are: walk, take photos, harvest wild foods, swim in lakes and rivers, beachcomb, collect tiny treasures for our nature shelf, gaze at the clouds (or the stars, and the moon), grow food, create ephemeral art and observe animals.  My other favourite thing is sharing these experiences with my children, and their friends.

I hope you have an opportunity during the current situation where it's difficult to get out and about, to still be in nature, in any small way, every day.

Nature Play Australia exists to support educators and families to increase the amount of unstructured play time children spend in nature.  They offer various tools, projects and resources nature play.  Click on Locations on their site to access information specific to your state.  And there are extra resources here to support families...

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