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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Learning At Home: Our First Term

Well the first term is over and from the results of my son’s first report card, we seem to have adapted well to the unfamiliar concept of home schooling.
I am the first to admit that when we started this program I was not sure how this journey would work out.  I was anxious about my role in my son’s education.  I had no formal teachers training, and was full of questions.  Had I bitten off more then I could chew?  How would I fit his school schedule into my regular busy day?  Would our relationship change with him home all the time?  If it did would it change for the better or worse?  Would we both be up to the vigorous schedule?  Most importantly would he accept me as his teacher? 
What was I getting myself into?
The beginning was definitely hard; we had to establish a pattern and a school work schedule.  I had as much learning to do as my son.  There were online courses, live feeds and movies on the internet for him to watch, textbooks, workbooks, art projects, reading, spelling, math, social studies and science.  The list seemed to go on and on!
My son was resistant at first and there was a power struggle between us.  I was not surprised.  Children often have the same feelings about change as we do.  He probed every direction for a weakness in my resolve, (his tummy hurt, bathroom breaks every five minutes, daydreaming and toys at his desk) but I knew that with every challenge we came to, we would persevere.  We had to.  We were committed for at least a year.  As long as I was consistent, and didn’t give in, I hoped that this would be the recipe for success and things would get easier. 
As time passed it did get easier.  Through trial and error and through observations I found out what kind of a student he was, and what methods were best to keep his interest and focus.  I also found out what subjects he liked, and which he liked to avoid.  The internet was a great source of ideas on how to get him to work on the things he didn’t like as much.  He gets bored easily I had to keep him on his toes and challenge him daily.
Both of us have grown throughout this first term, both as people and in our relationship.  There have been frustrated moments, flared tempers, stomping feet, and temper tantrums, but there have also been surprises, moments of discovery, renewed confidence and amazing successes. 
I won’t tell you that it is not a ton of work, because that would not be the truth, it is work.  In the long run though, if you were to ask him, or to ask me, we wouldn’t have it any other way. 


  1. My niece home schools my great niece (her daughter) and has been for the last 3 years. My niece has learned so much about her daughter and has been able to help her daughter overcome obstacles that may have been ignored in a public school by a teacher. My great niece gets good grades, loves and respects her mom.
    Tracie, you are going to find as time moves on and on that you were right when you said, "we wouldn't have it any other way."
    I hope the best for both of you as you continue with this hard, but rewarding work.

  2. Thanks Deb, I think you are totally right on that! :)