WHEN it comes to a child’s education, Leeton mother Michelle Carlin encourages parents to do what they think is best, even if it’s not “the conventional way”.
Mrs Carlin homeschools six of her seven children and her three-year-old will start in the coming years.
With improvements in technology and more social opportunities available, it’s a formula that works well.
Homeschooling her children came about when her eldest son came down with a serious illness and was unable to attend school.
“There was just no way he could go to school at that time … we had looked into homeschooling, so we thought it would be the best thing for him to ensure he wasn’t missing out,” Mrs Carlin said.
“Since then, that’s nine years ago now, we haven’t looked back.
“Thankfully Finn is a lot better now. The older they get, the more advantages they see.”
The Carlin family has had to move several times due to job opportunities, so homeschooling has taken out the anxiety of pulling the children out of one school and having them start at another.
Homeschooled children are required to follow the same curriculum has any other child, with Mrs Carlin leading her children’s lessons.
Their home is packed full of books and resources and the children said they “love homeschooling”.
The internet has also helped the children stay connected, but opened their minds to a wide variety of topics and interests.
With regular lessons, homeworks and assignments, the children are also allocated time to participate in all sorts of physical activities, as well as learning valuable life skills such as cooking.
The Carlin family even hosted their own swimming carnival with homeschooling families from the region.
Mrs Carlin said homeschooling wasn’t for everyone, but it worked well for her family.
“We always check with the kids to see if it’s still something they want to do and they say it is,” she said.
“There’s just so many opportunities with homeschooling now.
“It’s amazing for me as a mum to also be able to spend that one-on-one learning time with each of them.”
Mrs Carlin said homeschooling was continuing to grow across the country.
There are several families in the MIA who choose to educate their children from home and regular catch ups with each other are all part of the fun.
Anyone interested in homeschooling and would like to chat with Mrs Carlin about her experiences can email her at email@example.com.
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