Parenting Teens and Young Adults

A friend shared this post on facebook, and I like it – it is inspiring me to start blogging here again after a long hiatus.

https://todaysmama.com/parenting/dear-lonely-mom-of-older-kids

One thing that disturbs me about this post though is the idea of only starting to recognise that your kids are humans, becoming people, when they’re middle schoolers who have opinions and let you know about them!

No. Your kids were already people when they were babies. I purposely did not share photos of my kids online, for various reasons including the fact that they could not consent, and the fact that there are horrible people online who target vulnerable youngsters, and download perfectly innocent family photos. Annoyingly, friends of ours posted pictures of our kids without our permission, something I would neverv do. The risks are far greater and graver than most people seem to realise.

Leaving that to one side though, I agree with this author’s point that, as kids get older, parenting gets lonelier. We lost our irl community by moving away, but my online community seems to have disappeared.

My kids, now all young adults at 23, 18, 17 and 15, have all now moved on from home education – to school, college and the world. So I stopped blogging here, because I felt at the time, when my youngest went to school, that i no longer had anything much of value to say.

(I do have other blogs on other topics though: Unimatrix Nexus – my busy brain won’t allow me to be still.)

I still tweet about home education at @Ohana_HE and parenting at @lillbjorne

And I post on Facebook pages of the same name here and here. So I havent been silent, but I am perhaps less visible.

It has been on my mind to do that, as a new years resolution for 2019, but I hadn’t really thought before now to include this area of my life.

But I am still a mother, I still ‘do’ mothering. I still teach them, though now in a much more limited and informal capacity. It is still valid, and necessary, and important.

Who do you find inspiring for parenting older children – whether pre-teens, teens or young adults?

What is missing that you’d like to see more of?

What are your questions, worries, concerns?

What are your joys and sorrows in this season?

I would love to hear from you!

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Ohana Home Education Yahoo Group

When I started home educating, the internet was fairly new, and so at the time (1999) the main source of networking between home educators was ‘e-groups’ which eventually got taken over by Yahoo groups.

I know that almost everybody now has migrated over to Facebook, but although I am obviously there (and Ohana Home Education has a presence there), I’m not a big fan and don’t particularly like entrusting photos or files to them, and so while lots of yahoo groups now stand empty or quiet, I have decided to revive one of my groups as a handy place to store files and links that may be of use to home educators.

ohana

The group is, surprisingly enough, is called Ohana Home Education and you can find it here: https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/OhanaHE/info

There are already lots of files and links there. Mainly they are related to lapbooking, unit studies, home economics and some religious topics (mainly relating to Messianic Judaism, celebrating the festivals, cooking etc.), but I hope in future to add resources and worksheets on all other topics, and anybody is free to contribute.

It is not particularly meant to be a discussion/ support group, although if it does get used that way it would also be OK. But there are of course lots of other places online (especially, inevitably, on Facebook) for that sort of thing. One of these days I will get round to making a list of the most helpful groups.

So please do go on over and take a look, and if you would like to join to contribute/ make use of what is there, please do make sure to confirm when you apply that you are a home educator. Feel free to suggest as well the topics that you would like to see there.

I know that, when I was first home educating, I very much appreciated the resources that other home educators had made available for free, so it is all good to make sure that there are free resources still available for a new generation of home educators.

History part 2, I guess!

I think where we left off last time was the basic discovery that home education was an option, and the decision to give it a try (maybe up until Big turned 7, when he would have gone to school in Sweden).

I seem to remember, in the summer of 1999, having made the decision to home educate, then wondering how on earth we would do it. I had the Charlotte Mason principles outlined in the book “For the Children’s Sake“, but surely I would need resources?

Oddly enough, although I had no thought of specifically Christian home education at that time, I remember randomly looking in Wesley Owen in Watford, a Christian bookshop which is sadly no more. I asked at the counter whether they carried any resources for homeschooling (I did not realise at that time that homeschooling is an American word which is not appropriate to British home educators – more on that another time).

They didn’t have any resources, but with one of those random co-incidences, another customer at the counter heard my question and piped up that he knew somebody (his sister?) who was doing this, and he had the details of a Christian organisation who supported home educators in the UK, The Home Service, which he was able to supply there and then.

Given that among the small home educating population in the UK, the Christian portion of that number is very small (in comparison to the US where a large proportion of homeschoolers are religious), the chances of this meeting seem so unlikely, it is one of those co-incidences that make me suspect there is no such thing as co-incidence (if you know what I mean)!

This contact propelled me into a world of Christian home education that has shaped my thinking about life, the universe and everything, the resources we have used (mainly American) and gave rise to some very sweet and long-term friendships, not to mention a sizeable detour out of Christianity into Judaism and back into Christianity via Messianic Judaism. It’s a long story, spanning more than ten years, with many twists and turns, and I’m not sure how this personal journey has shaped our home education or my children’s worldview – perhaps I shall be able to analyse that as I write in more detail about that journey.