Welcome to our new series Meet an Australian Homeschooler. Over the next few months on a Saturday we will be introducing an Australian home educating family. Today we will be interviewing Chareen an Australian home educator living in Victoria.

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USI was born in South Africa where I met and married my best Friend Paul. We were blessed with our first two children there {Mr T and Miss J} as well as managed a game farm for a citrus estate.

We emigrated to New Zealand in 1997 and were blessed with Sir N as well as began our homeschooling journey in Christchurch. In 2006 we migrated to Melbourne Australia.

I am passionate about supporting and encouraging homeschoolers,homeschooling, finding information, books and encouraging fellowship. My latest addiction passion is Pinterest.

How long have you been a member of AussieHOMEschool and AussieHomeschool Classifieds?

I joined in May 2009. I have not been as active on this platform as I would like. I have found that since both of my children are on L plates I do not have enough hours in my day to meet more on the forums. These days I tend to lurk more. This year I was invited to be an admin/moderator on the AussieHomeschool Facebook Page which I have enjoyed immensely.

My latest endevour in the Aussie Homeschool platform is Pinterest. In the next month or so I hope to have pinned a few ideas to help and support the community on this platform.

Tell us a little about yourself and/or your family. Does your family have an interest, hobby or passion?

Paul and kitten 001Paulis passionate about all things natural and is currently working for Zoo’s Victoria as a Zoo Keeper. He is an avid bird watcher and an enthusiastic fisherman who is still trying to talk me into joining him on his many adventures with a fishing rod.

How long have you been homeschooling?

I have been on this journey for 15 years now.

Were you homeschooled? Tell us about your school experience?

I was not homeschooled. I went to a number of schools growing up as my Dad was in the Defense Force. I went to two English primary schools, one Afrikaans primary school, one Afrikaans high school, one English high school and one dual medium high school (in this school I did some of my subjects in the English language and some in my second language Afrikaans).

Were you always going to homes school, even before you got married?

No. I did not even know homeschooling existed until we moved to New Zealand.

Would you like to share about how you started homeschooling?

My journey started after we had emigrated to New Zealand and had made a few new friends in our church. We were getting ready to rent our first home and I started asking my friends about schools in the areas they lived in. Nearly all of them could not answer me as they all home schooled their children. I was a little amazed that it was even possible. I started researching the idea and the rest as they say is history.

Tell us a little about your children.

Sir T

This is my first born Mr T who is 20. He was born in Hoedspruit South Africa.

He is 6’4″ tall and likes to let me know I am short! (…I am 6′)

He is great at computer IT and can make a PC do things that makes my head spin. He finished school with me a year ago and is currently exploring the greater world to find the right path for himself.

Mysecondrose2

 

This is my second rose Miss J. Miss J is South African born and is 18 years old. Miss J has not been to school.

Miss J did 11 years of homeschooling with me and last year attended Carrick Institute where she graduated with a Cert III in Children’s Services.

Last year she also started her first job and became an adept Barista and attained her Cert III in Retail.

 

 

5

 

This is Sir N whose current passion is fishing with Dad. Sir N is the natural kiwi in the family. He was born in Christchurch New Zealand and is seven years old.

Sir N started official homeschool last year with me and features in my blog Every Bed of Roses quite often.

He likes green and gold and his favourite book this year has been The Box Car Children.

He likes learning about drawing, making snow globes, and building / making things with Dad.

 

Where do you do most of your homeschooling?

80% of our learning takes place within our open plan living area. Our learning spaces are not limited to home as we enjoy taking trips and using what’s freely available in our local community.

Tell us about your typical day. Do you follow a routine?

In my heart I really enjoy using a routine as I find I accomplish far more but in practice this does not always work out as I am in the season of having teen’s who do not have their own transport and are currently trying to get enough driving experience to obtain their licences. So no two days ever look the same in our home. Paul works an odd roster which means that we do not have a normal Monday to Friday week in our home either.

What’s the first thing you do every morning to get ready for the day?

Try to convince myself the morning has not arrived especially when I went to bed late! I use Sonlight as my main spine so all my planning is already done for me so in practice I do very little prep work.

What would you ask for as a homeschooling parent if you could have anything you wanted?

May I cheat and ask for two ? I would ask for a curriculum to teach non readers a second language (french). Something like RosettaStone for non readers. Secondly I would love for someone to come and do my ironing each week.

What is the hardest time of day for you, as a homeschool parent?

4.30pm when I ought to be preparing dinner but I’m in the car fetching Paul from work as we are a single vehicle family.

What is the best and/or easiest time of day for you?

When I get up in the morning before my family providing I have gone to bed early enough.

When was your defining moment of deciding to homeschool your children?

We never really had a watershed moment. It was a gradual paradigm shift for us and became a way of life.

Do you ever feel like you haven’t accomplished a thing at the end of your homeschooling day?

Some weeks I can feel that way daily especially if we have spent a lot of time in the car. I think the biggest issue is I try to put too many things on my day to day list and need to learn to say no more often.

Describe your educational approach

I started out as a Sonlight purist but now I’m a mix of Charlotte Mason, Sonlight and the Well Trained Mind. My journey has been influenced by a number of people and books. You can read more about it on my blog.

What is your favourite subject to teach?

History, not the dates but the stories of history.

What’s your least favourite subject to teach?

Maths, when my student has decided it’s too hard and they don’t want to try! Then the only thing for it is to put away the books and eat some ice cream!

Do you plan to homeschool through high school, are you homeschooling a high schooler?

Yes I am planning to homeschool through the high school years. I homeschooled T & J through those years and am looking forward to those years with N. The experience has not been a bed of roses (hence the name of my blog) and has certainly not panned out the way I initially envisioned it but I still feel this is the right choice for our family. If I had my time over with Mr T and Miss J I would certainly do a few things differently.

What has been the biggest challenge along your homeschool journey?

Learning to be true to myself and not follow the latest trend or craze in the homeshool community.

Do you use a curriculum and if so which one?

I use a multitude of things but at the moment my main spine is Sonlight.

Are you qualified to teach your children?

I have no official teaching diploma to teach but I have 14 years of experience and plenty of friends from whom I can glean what I need.

What is the one “chore” you, personally, would rather avoid?

Laundry. I hate laundry. Mount Washmore and Ironmore seem to always be encroaching in my home. Sigh

What do you do to relax?

These days it is reading and blogging. Before I started blogging I used to do scrapbooking, card making and cross stitch. My second hobby is sharing information in The Homeschool Mothers Journal which comes out weekly on Fridays.

What is the hardest thing about homeschooling for you?

In Australia it has been forming a network of homeschoolers. I have found with the advent of the Internet that more and more woman are forming online relationships rather than real life ones.

What do you love most about homeschooling?

Time with my children and being there for their Ah-ha moments.

What is the strangest or funniest thing someone has said to you about homeschooling?

Do you do school in your p-j’s ?

What is a favourite Bible story and why?

Since going to the Beautiful Woman Conference my favourite characters are Sarah and Ruth and Naomi. I feel inspired and encouraged by these strong woman who walked and lived their faith and shared with us the realness of their struggles.

What is your favourite verse in the Bible?

Proverbs.

What is your favourite homeschooling book?

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola.

What are you reading at the moment?

I am busy poking around in Teaching the Trivium and reading Certain Lives by Margaret Reeson. I have just completed the Hugh de Singleton Chronicles by Mel Star.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

One that goes according to schedule!

If you could give one piece of advice to a new homeschooler, what would it be?

Do not let the latest craze or what your friends are doing distract you from your path. Stick to what is working.

Who would you say has been your biggest influence and inspiration?

The first five years of my homeschooling journey has definitely shaped me in many ways. I would say it was the Homeschool group I was a part of in Christchurch.

Do you have a homeschool mentor?

I used to but not anymore. These days I tend to dip into my Charlotte Mason Companion and surf the Internet for encouragement on blogs.

Who inspires you?

I have attended three seminars hosted by Diana Waring and have been inspired and encouraged by her sense of humour and practical heart. She has encouraged and equipped me in many ways. I always recommend her books What we wish we had known and Beyond Survival to new Homeschoolers as they are full of wisdom and practical tools.

Karen Andreola is my second inspiration. I love the tone of her book A Charlotte Mason Companion and really wish that she lived in my area to be a mentor. Whenever I need encouragement I dip into her book and always come away inspired and encouraged.

Thank you for the opportunity to share and think about these things. I have really enjoyed answering your questions.

Chareen

Blogging at Every Bed of Roses happily collecting pins on Pinterest and sharing information on Aussie Homeschool Facebook.

You can connect with me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

Meet an australian homeschooler