Dans le cadre d’un projet commun initié par Julie Duquette (du blogue Escargot et coquille) avec la collaboration de Julie R-Bordeleau, il a été demandé aux parents éducateurs de témoigner de leurs expériences de scolarisation à domicile. Le thème proposé traite de ce que la scolarisation à domicile représente pour eux (leur famille, leurs enfants), de ce que cela leur apporte et de comment ils la vivent au quotidien. Vous pouvez trouver l’article expliquant davantage le projet ici.

Cette série d’articles nous permettra de connaître différentes expériences de gens qui vivent le “homeschooling” en Ontario. Je vous invite aussi à lire l’article Témoignage d’une famille canadienne française qui a vécu la scolarisation à domicile en Alberta ainsi qu’en Ontario. La maman éducatrice y explique très bien comment les deux provinces fonctionnent.

Sans plus tarder, voici donc un premier témoignage d’une famille vivant l’école à la maison chez nos voisins. À noter que nous avons préféré conserver le texte suivant dans sa langue d’origine afin de préserver l’essence du témoignage. Sans plus tarder, voici donc un autre témoignage d’une famille vivant l’école à domicile.à

Par Kate-Lyn Knight

Homeschooling. A word that has images associated with it immediately, at least in my case.  I always wanted to homeschool, with a HBA in Psychology and completing my Junior/Intermediate teaching certification I figured I would be good at it. Images of children laughing and learning at their own pace – at a big crowded table full of books and pencils. I pictured teaching my kids in a way that was stress free and catered to their specific needs, with the support of fellow homeschoolers, family and friends. Well just like any imagined scenario, reality turned out to be much more harsh.

I found out I was pregnant with twins at 23. My husband and I were thrilled. We had been trying since our wedding, three years earlier, to add to our family and were told in no uncertain terms – that would not happen for me. Then, low and behold, as if by magic (or a miracle) I found out I was pregnant and not with ONE baby but with TWO! Two beautiful boys, and we were ecstatic! On June 15, 2012 we welcomed our sons Cole and Jason into the world and from that moment our world changed forever.

Our life was filled with more love than ever before but on the other hand, suddenly our life became blood counts, weight gain/loss charts, autoimmune disorders and the problems didn’t stop there. By the time they were three they had been diagnosed with GDD (Global Developmental Delay) as well as Neutropenia and we were devastated. Of course my immediate concern was the neutropenia and their health, but the other part of me thought… now what? How can I homeschool my boys now, I know nothing about this disorder, so how can I possibly teach them? I sought out resource counselors, occupational therapists, speech therapists, developmental pediatricians – EVERYTHING I could look into to help them develop and succeed. Suddenly “schooling” turned for me from learning about the alphabet to hearing my boys call me ‘Mommy’ or just hearing them say ‘I love you’. So I learned to adapt. I started catering my boys ‘schooling’ to their abilities and suddenly the tantrums became less and less and they started to enjoy a more play based learning experience.

Then it happened… they turned four. The same resource counselors and therapists that were ‘helping’ my sons were now telling me “school is best for them”, “they will learn more away from you”, “they will respond better in a classroom of their peers” but in all of these statements no one addressed my concerns: “my kids have no sense of danger – how do they safely ride the bus?” “My boys have minimal words, how can they defend themselves at school? Or worse, tell me what happened at school, if they were picked on etc.,” It was honestly too much for me to bear. My husband and I sat down and had a frank conversation and based on his schooling experiences (he is also not able to read or write well) he wanted me to still pursue homeschooling if I thought I could. My husband said that I could be an advocate for our boys and who would do more than me to ensure their success – and he was right!

“I homeschool my children no to prepare them for tests, but to prepare them for life” this quote by Tamara L. Chiver came up in a Facebook post of a fellow homeschooler and it resonated with me, and has become my mantra of sorts. I am taking on the responsibility of my sons’ education and preparing them for the life they have ahead of them, it is an enormous responsibility, but one I am so proud to be taking on.

My kids now are almost 5, we are officially almost through our first year of homeschooling and I am so proud of myself, and most importantly my kids. Through my husbands support we have increased their vocabulary to match that of a 3.5 year old, which is a marked improvement from the previous year. We have learned our alphabet, colours, opposites and how to write (well sort of). But the most important thing I have learned in our very short homeschooling journey is to believe in what you are doing.

We have not had the support I would have wanted. In fact many of my boys therapists are constantly criticizing and demeaning my choices, but I have learned that although their words hurt, I have a bigger, more important mission, and that is to make homeschooling a way of life for my kids. If you look hard enough you can find supports, play groups, social outlets and even tutors if needed. But this takes work – homeschooling with children that have special needs is hard! But it makes it SO MUCH MORE WORTHWHILE when you see that moment in your children’s eyes when a concept or word just “clicks”, you watch them come to their own understanding , in their own way, and in my opinion that is something (as a teaching student) that the public school system will never be able to offer.

My understanding of homeschooling is still changing, we don’t follow the same ‘types’ of homeschooling or any real home based curriculum (although I use them for reference), but my boys are learning at the speed and rate that matches their abilities and I am constantly able to change things to keep them challenged and keep them thinking, and really what more can you ask for then that? Homeschool was the best option for us, I believe it’s not for everyone and you should have the right to choose. But for me, I believe Sue Maakestad said it best when she said, “educating a child is a natural process. Homeschooling is nothing more than an extension of parenting.” This is our homeschooling journey, and I am proud to be a homeschooling family.

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