What about homeschooling?
Around the time that Tessa turned one we started getting questions about whether we would enroll her in public school or private school. We had many light hearted discussions on the pros and cons for each but really put off that decision until a later date as, she was only one. Fast forward a couple years and once she turned three and Scotch turned two, we felt a lot more urgency to decide which route we would choose.
To give a little background on our own young educational careers, I went to public school for my entire K-12. Iain went to public school from K-10 and then went into a University setting for grades 11 and 12. He reflects on that time and decision often. Having so much freedom with his schedule to include both his schooling and his passion was the best decision he made. Yes, it was outside the traditional education box, but it allowed him to focus his time where he needed to and excel in both.
For Iain, the decision to take an alternative route for education seemed like a no brainer. At the time it was all based on a specific lifestyle he wanted to live. He wanted the ability to train for several hours a day in the gym and on the squash court, excel at his studies, and have time to spend with his family and friends. Iain put a high value on all of those aspects and did not want to compromise on any. He found that taking high school courses at the University of Winnipeg allowed him to have all of the classes bulked into one session so he could focus the 2nd half of the day on squash, and evenings with his family & friends.
His values have matured a lot since 16, but his way of life has stayed on course. Prioritizing multiple business ventures, a love of travel, and a close bond with his kids…(and me!), we started to explore the option to homeschool our kids.
It was not on our radar at all until we started to do some digging and as life always seems to send people your way when you need them most, we met a couple while on vacation who homeschooled their 8 year old twins. They were so kind and open to chat about their experience with the decision they made, and how it had worked out amazingly for both them as parents and for their kids. The twins were thriving and ahead of the curve. Also to note, these twins were the sweetest kids I’ve ever met. They played with Tessa and Scotch all day in the pool and included them in all of their games. What really hit home for us, was the approach they took.
The approach was that they would commit to homeschooling the twins one year at a time. If it worked then great, keep on keeping on. If not, they would reevaluate what their wants and needs were and make changes.
This sentiment resinated with us on a deep level. Our life has drastically changed every year together thus far, and it makes sense. Why do you have to commit for the long haul? Many people change careers, cities, and homes often. Which forces you to reevaluate all the time. So when looking at our own personal and professional goals the traditional school system doesn’t fit for us. After a lot of research on my part, I concluded that there are so many families who are deciding to homeschool their children and for many different reasons.
There seems to be a growing number of families who are deciding to choose this “alternative” route to better fit into both the family’s and the parent’s lifestyle. For us the businesses, travel and the desire to be directly involved in their learning has made this choice easy for us.
Yes, it will be a lot of work. Yes, it will come with its own set of challenges. Absolutely we will depend on the help of others to positively navigate this journey, but what I am most excited about is knowing that we have the ability to show our kids daily what is truly important in life. Yes, the reading, writing, math, science, and logic is all very important to know.
Though what we ultimately value in our own life is the relationships that we have built and continue to build. We want to show our kids that life is all about relationships and connection with people. Family dynamics, relationships with peers, coworkers, community, and oneself. If we can help our kids positively navigate the relationships that they make with themselves and others, then that will be the ultimate success for us as parents.