karen willson – How To Simplify Homeschooling
Karen Willson's Session Is Available On Monday, July 13 from 6AM EST
A High School Drop Out... Since I started school, I wanted to be a teacher...but my journey wasn't straight forward. In Yr 11, my careers advisor told me I'd wait years for a teaching position - that I should choose something else. I followed this discouraging advice with a month off school with bronchitis and then failed English. If I couldn't be a teacher, I had no reason to finish school. I got a job in a hardware shop and quit school.
Over the next 3 years, I worked in several roles - one of which was teaching Scripture in schools - and this got me thinking, Here I was, without even finishing high school - and I was teaching classes in schools! I was a teacher! I decided the Career Advisor was wrong - I wouldn't have to wait years! I could do this! ( I tell you this because it's important later in my story).
By September in my final year of Uni, I had 2 offers for a teaching position for the following year. I was ecstatic - I was a teacher! Within 2 years, I realised that many kids need individually tailored programs to learn. I spent hours after work and most of my holidays writing separate reading and spelling programs for nearly half of my class. I remember one little boy, Gary, at the beginning of year 4 couldn't read - at all. By the end of Term 1, he could sound out most 3 letter words. The class gave him a standing ovation!! Why I started homeschooling...
Twenty-four years ago, when my first daughter arrived, I left teaching to be a full-time mum. By the time she was 3, I had decided to homeschool, at least until all my kids were old enough to go to school - then, I thought, we'd go together. But, within a few years. I was hooked. We were surrounded by a beautiful homeschool community. I wasn't going back to teaching. I didn't want to teach 30 kids I didn't love as much as my own kids to pay other teachers to teach my kids, when they didn't know or love my kids like I did. At first, we did school at home, but this didn't last long. I quickly became an eclectic Home Schooler - searching the world for the very best resources and programs for each of my children. I started to write homeschooling programs. Consequently, due to the very different natures of my four children, I now have a whole house full of resources and a head full of homeschooling ideas! I have become passionate about tailored education, integrated with real life, based on excellent books, growing each child's passion and skills.
My own Learning Journey I've learned so much in the past 20 years! I've learned that children learn best when they're engaged, that each child's learning journey is their own, that one size does not fit all. I've learned that excellent teaching makes a difference. It made a difference to my English results, it made a difference for Gary. I've learned through our own family breakdown, trauma and hardship, that traumatised kids need time to survive and recover, that getting out of bed models resilience to my kids, that it's possible to homeschool as a single mum and run business at the same time.
I've learned that neurodiversity is not a disability. When we provide learning opportunities in engaging and appropriate ways, kids can grow up to achieve their full potential. I've learned that kids can recover from dark and difficult places and go on to achieve their dreams. I've learned that I'm still passionate about teaching and that I've learned how to Simply Homeschool - and so, I now love helping other parents on their homeschool journey. Simply Homeschool I now have 3 adult graduates - one is studying to be a psychologist, one is a Registered Nurse and one is running his own Wedding Videography business.
I'm still homeschooling my 12yr old, and she challenges my ability to create engaging learning opportunities every day! I still write - integrated learning, based on good books and real-life, neurodiverse friendly - a homeschool smorgasbord for other parents to use. I talk with parents everyday - parents who are starting their own homeschool journey, parents with neurodiverse kids, traumatised kids, often the kids that don't do school well. I love being able to encourage them - there is hope! You can do this! I'd love to help you! Simply Homeschool is my place to share this Learning Journey with you!
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