Home Ed Q & A with Kirstee from Queensland, Australia

Today we head all the way to Queensland, Australia to Interview Kirstee from 
This Whole Home 
Grab a cuppa and enjoy the read!

When and why did you decide to Home Educate? This is our fourth year of homeschooling. We pulled our son out part way through first grade to homeschool. There were a few reasons but possibly the most important was having extra time together as my husband was working away four weeks out of five at the time. 

What kind of approach do you take? Our homeschool style can be summed up in three words; creative, holistic, eclectic. We draw most of our inspiration from Waldorf and Charlotte Mason methods. 

Where do the children do most of their work? and do they distract each other? Yes, yes they do! Well, Wynter distracts her brother. She is almost 6 years younger so she isn't doing formal work yet. We school all over the house but we love working at the kitchen table or on the couch in the living room. We like to work outside a lot as well. 

What is your favourite thing about Home Education? Freedom and connection are my favourite things about homeschooling.

What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable? We have a rhythm but no timetable. No two days in our week look the same. I do like to cover maths and English in some way every day but we also include history, geography, the Arts, science and nature study every week. 

What do you find most difficult and why? I think the most difficult part is living up to my own expectations. I think I have a tendency to be unrealistic about what we can get done in a day sometimes. 

How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others? It's actually pretty rare for me to be asked that but I usually joke that my kids have so many cousins they could fill a classroom anyway. My kids have at least three days a week where they are playing and learning with other homeschool kids, plus time with school friends and all those cousins so there is definitely a lot of socialisation happening. They both work well with other kids. 

Have family supported your decision? All of our family have been very supportive and many of our extended family are involved in the children's education in some way. 

How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days? We hike every week and swim a lot in the summer. Otherwise I count playing outside with their friends as P.E. We aren't a sports family. 

Do you plan and how  far in advance? I always have a rough plan for out entire year before the start of each school year. I make more detailed plans as we go along. 

What's a typical Home Ed day like? We don't have two days the same in our week but generally we take a slow start to the morning. The kids get themselves fed and dressed, as well as take care of the animals. We get any errands out of the way first thing and then my 9yo does his independent work while I spend some one-on-one time with my almost 4yo. Then she plays while I work with her brother. Lessons are done by 1pm and then we have quiet time and play time. Sometimes we come back together for another lesson in the late afternoon. 

Do you spend a lot of money on resources? I try not to spend too much money. I especially don't buy a lot of curriculum. I prefer to put the money into good books and art supplies, but I try to be frugal. I don't think spending a lot of money necessarily improves the quality of their education. We utilise our library a lot. 

How do you make time for yourself? That afternoon quiet time is mandatory in our home. I need the downtime. I also tend to stay up late once everyone else is in bed. So long as I am finding time for yoga, reading and working on my blog I am happy. I'm an introvert so time for myself is important but small, regular chunks of time is just fine for me. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey? My advice if you are just starting out would be to go easy on yourself and your kids. I think we have a lot of expectations going in but these aren't always realistic. It's important to make time for fun and to spend some time finding your groove without worrying about ticking things off a list. Just slow down and find the joy in the little things. 

A big Thank You to Kirstee and her family! If you'd like to follow their Home Ed Journey then check out their Insta page and website here:


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