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Do Homeschooled Kids Homeschool Their Kids?

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Do Homeschooled Kids Homeschool Their Kids?

By Beverley Paine

homeschoolThe yardstick for success as a homeschool
parent used to be if your kids grew up ‘okay’ or
made it into university: now people want to know if
my adult home educated children are going to home
educate their children… The pressure to perform
never ends! In the last year or two it is a question I
am being asked more often. At first it seemed
innocent enough but then I began to think, what is
driving this need to ask? Is it yet another expression
of the insecurity we home educators all
experience?
It is hard not to feel the pressure or to put pressure
on our kids, especially for those of us who continue
to be strident homeschool activists…

To Homeschool Is an Individual Family Decision

I’ve moved beyond wanting that reality for my
grandchildren into accepting that my children will
make the decision that suits the needs of their
children and their families – just as I hold that space
open for everyone I talk to about education. I feel
blessed that I had the opportunity to walk a
different educational path with my children and
celebrate what that gave us as a family. But it was
my journey much more than it was their journey –
they came along for the ride because ultimately the
choice to home educate was mine. As it will be
theirs…
A friend commented to me the other day, “To those
of us who’ve read your books and heard you speak,
your children are ‘characters’ from the story of your
experiences. We’re naturally curious about what
comes next for them where education is concerned.
Relating it, of course to our own children and
wondering how they will reflect on the choices
we’re making for them.”
I don’t see my children as ‘characters’ from the story
of my experience and I’m sure they don’t either.
As a reader I rarely want to know what happens
next to characters – if the story was good enough it

simply allowed my children to grow up to the be
the people they are, not who someone else
(including me) wants them to be or thinks they
should be.

Measuring Homeschool Results

As parents and home educators we responded to
our children’s needs as they arose. I think most of
us eventually end up doing that because it makes
sense and it works and it is what makes home
education more responsive with better results than
school based education. How we measure those
results is an individual thing: my perception of
success and benefit will be different from my
child’s perception, both during childhood and then
looking back on it as an adult.
For many years people would ask
my youngest if he thought homeschool

was better than school
and he could only honestly reply
that he didn’t know: he had not
experienced school and was not
prepared to make a judgment about
it. He was happy learning at home
in the way he was – that’s all he
could say. Would he homeschool
his children? He says, ‘that
depends’ – he is aware that there
will be many factors to take into
account when the time comes
around to make that decision and
that his personal experiences as a
home educator are important but
only one of those factors.
As a movement home education is beginning to see
second generation home educated children but
homeschool graduates are also becoming
school teachers and many are opting to send their
children school too. I don’t see this as saying
anything about the effectiveness or benefit of home
education, simply that these young families
recognise that they have access to a wide selection
of choices to suit their needs.
At the end of homeschool most of us define
success and benefit differently than how we did at
the beginning: we’re grateful for the friendships
we’ve created with our children, we’re grateful they
know their own minds and can problem solve their
way through life, that they are autonomous and

responsible, we’re happy that our choices helped them get there, but we’re also aware that what we did is
what we did and that they need to carve their own paths through life. And isn’t this the whole point of
parenting and educating our kids, to get them to this point? I love that my children make their own choices
and don’t feel the need to emulate my example.
I think it would be helpful to gather all kinds of statistics on home education, how it happens and its
outcomes, but mainly so that we can provide appropriately targeted support and build home education
community more effectively. As a general tool to assist planning or evaluate past happenings statistics are
useful but I am cautious and tend to be sceptical of them.

This piece by Beverley original appears in her quarterly writing collection called Homeschool~Unschool Australia which is produced and distributed Beverley and Robin Paine. For more about and by Beverley, please visit Homeschool Australia and Unschool Australia.
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