I have loved my homeschool journey thus far with my girls. I remember a period of my life where I vowed to never homeschool my children because it was not fun, but I have realized that it was my experience, and in that experience I had reached a point where there was nothing left for it to offer me without some outside instruction. Though I am my girl’s main educator, I have made sure that their opportunities outside of the home are plentiful as well. They do extracurricular activities like Gymnastics and go to homeschool classes and we are part of a co-op that we meet with often to hangout and play with.  

As I went through some old memories I found pictures of my school days. They brought some of these memories to me that I had since shut them out. I realize, It was fun when it was part of the adventure. My schooling was done at the Brisbane School of Distance Education in Australia. It was fairly common for children in Australia to be homeschooled because of the distance to schools if you are not in the city. The school sends you all the work you needed and you send it back to the teachers to be graded. Here are some of the places I did school when I was on the road.

These were times on the road in Europe. I recalled we were in a fishing camp in the second photo in France, so that is why I am sitting next to fish being smoked. Totally normal haha! But I learned to fish as part of my education. I also learned about floods when the rained so much that the rivers flooded and we had a few feet of standing water around the campers. There was a little canoe that we used to get around until the waters went down and we could drive the bike out of there. 

Most of my life at this time was outdoors in a tent, but there were periods that we were lucky enough to have walls. Either we visited with a friend and stayed in their home for awhile, or in this case there was a spare camper van on the property that we stayed at in Switzerland. There were many fond memories of this country. It was always so organized and I remember kids my age. There were also moments of bullying, but there were beautiful snowy fields as well. It was the first time that I pretended that I had a pet, as a stray cat would drop us mice that she caught. The cats in Switzerland were trained to bring their mice to their owner because they would get a treat. If the owner brought the mouse tails to the city hall, they would get a voucher or food for their cats. It is such a productive way for those cats to be a part of society and earn their keep. How ingenious they were. 

It was not often that I worked at a desk. I think this is still a beautiful part of homeschooling. We can work anywhere, though we do like to have a table or some flat surface these days. It’s easier to be able to spread everything out and not lose things as easily. I often worked off of a board that was welded onto the motorcycle gas tank and had a box that held maps and other navigational needs. It was small, barely the size of a letter-size of paper, but it was flat and solid and it worked to put a book on to work. Other times I worked on the ground. That was probably the most comfortable position and I still enjoy laying on the floor or bed to work or something. My back does not appreciate this as much anymore. 

When we lived on the beach in Morocco for a few months, my dad made a rock wall to keep away the thieves that tried very often to get into our camp. From those rocks, he always found a nice large flat rock and this was my make-shift table. It even had an angle, like an art table. Things could fall off, but it worked. We spent a long time under this argon tree. When I was done with work, I could run on the beach and catch little fish. Honestly, I do not like fish and I just watched them. I did meet another little girl who loved to catch them and who had Barbies and it was a few months of the best times in my childhood. 

My favorite part of being homeschooled was the adventures I was free to take. I ran in the beach, climbed mountains, explored ruins. This was all so exciting. The format of school from Australia was also very project-based. I recall writing an entire magazine for my language class one time. I had to interview, write articles, create images, crosswords puzzles, and more. It was so involved, but I was so proud of it. I always loved to learn. I was not subject to a schedule so by the time I was 9, I was two years ahead in school. That is when we left for Africa and I took two years off school. The mail would have been too inconsistent for our needs so my parents thought it best. I honestly missed that excitement and the feedback from teachers and these years were the hardest in my life. 

When we moved to America, I ended up with a room, a bed, a table, and space to do all my work. I should have thrived, but I was emotionally wrecked and everything was a drag. The work in high school and was harder and harder to do without support. I was also very lonely. Adventures did not come with the time in America and I needed something else. I spent much of my free time in AIM chatrooms looking for conversations. Eventually, I begged to go to school and thrived at my education again. Those last few years really tainted my whole outlook on homeschooling. I am not glad I gave it changes again and i remember all the reasons why I loved it. I remember the opportunities to have adventures and learn whatever we want, in our own space. 
Can homeschooling be tough? Sure. 
Can it be hard to socialize? Sure, but if you know how to get out there, my kids do more socializing than I did in school. 

Do you have to stick with it? No. If the girls ask to go to school one day, we’ll find a way.

Does it work for everyone? Definitely not, but if you are curious and are willing to do the work, it can be a beautiful and fun adventure that provided so much freedom. I always love to answer questions and can give you the good and the bad and the experience of having been in school and as a classroom teacher as well. 

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