” What will matter most to you in the end is the feeling that the people you love consider home and education to be pleasant, peaceful and life-giving. No family or home feels like that all the time in any philosophy. Many philosophies help you get there. Most often, the philosophy is only as good as the emotional health of the parents anyway “. Julie Bogart
Today’s Homeschool Chat brings you Brooke Benoit who thoroughly loves unschooling her seven children. She also runs Amsmoon, a third space, near her home where she helps other young people explore their interests and new things. She’s written a book “How to Survive Homeschooling – A Self-Care Guide for Moms Who Lovingly Do Way Too Much” to help ease other moms’ stresses about homeschooling. The book can be bought from Amazon – https://amzn.to/2OrLUZa ( affiliated link ).Brooke is also the editor of “Fitra Journal” – four collections of wisdom from Muslim homeschoolers around the world. I cannot recommend this enough- they are so insightful and full of wisdom and advice. Once or twice a year Brooke very happily runs retreats for Muslim women in Morocco and London. Here are the details, if you would like to attend them.
Amsmoon – Collective Makers
Aourir is a working-class, fishermen’s community just outside the economically strong and tourist-friendly city of Agadir. The majority of residents live below the poverty line, so how are they supposed to access the kinds of services proven to boost lives?
◍ Makers Collective, Morocco Amsmoon
◍ Women’s Retreats TBRS
◍ Home Education My Book
1 )Tell us a bit about your family and your child/ children
I’m a single mom to seven children, living on the coast in southern Morocco, which is topography-wise very similar to where I grew up in California.
2) What was your main reason for choosing to home educate your children ?
I was very disappointed in my schooling and chose an unschooling route when I was in my first year of high school. When I had my children, it just made sense to me that I would choose similarly for them. I want to give them a better education with more freedom than what a school could provide.
3) What does a “typical” home school day look like for your family ?
With so many ages and stages it’s hard to describe it all. My older kids are following their own education paths, with my eldest being in his second semester of university. My younger kids have a lot of freedom to explore their interests. I work from home and also run a local community center which my children are involved in daily.
4) What type of a home educator are you ( structured , semi structured , unschooling , classical , Charlotte Mason , Steiner , Montessori etc )
5) What do you love the most about home schooling ?
Mmmaybe having a very family-focused lifestyle. I don’t know how that would have been different if my children were in school, but I definitely love having access to each other all day even though sometimes that can be overwhelming.
6) What is your favourite subject to teach and what is your least one ?
I don’t really teach my kids, I more so facilitate their interests. I think one of my favorite subversive teaching tactics is strewing things that eventually get picked up.”Strewing” is a practice of providing your family with enriching, interesting materials by simply strewing it about, such as books, art supplies, various kits and tools. Some materials can sit around for a year or two before anyone takes notice of them, so when they do it is very satisfying to know you struck a chord.
7) What do you find challenging when it comes to home schooling your children ?
There will never be enough time to do everything I would like to do with them. Still I find it very challenging to organize time for each of them. You would think that with seven I could just do an hour a day with one everyday, but that just hasn’t worked out yet.
8) How do you deal with unsupportive family, relatives and friends ?
I don’t. I suffered some for some years, then I learned to use some canned responses to disengage from people. Now I can say, “Look, I wrote a book on homeschooling. We can talk after you read it.” That works really well.
9) Where do you see your home schooling journey in 5 years time ?
Insha Allah I will have seven big kids who can independently do most things for themselves. That will be really exciting to see what things they choose to do and how I fit into their pictures!
10) What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start home educating their children ?
Do not take it so seriously. OMG homeschooling mamas stress too hard about how good of a job they are doing. Statistics prove that you can very easily do a much better job than a school, so remember to enjoy this precious time with your child.