04/06/2014 10:49 am

 

Distance education. It's something of an elephant in the room, (albeit tetsie fly sized in the beginning), when you realise that you have fallen a little too hard for a man who lives the other side of whoop whoop.

And like the threat of a hangover at the start of a great night out you charge on with a full head of gidyea coal steam without really giving it the full precognition it deserves!  Eventually (once the little ringers have arrived to boost the numbers at the party), one has to acknowledge that yes, we will be teaching the kids from home. Note you are still saying 'we' ;-)

Suddenly the moment of truth hits and you're staring down the barrel of a considerable number of years devoted to educating your own children and you look at the schoolroom that has been decommissioned for nearly 20 years and you think 'holy crap!!!!'

That's the position that I found myself in about 18 months ago before our daughter started kindy and that's when our journey into Distance Ed really started.

I became something of a schoolroom stalker, trying to get a peek at as many of my wonderful Distance Ed Mrs Mummy's school rooms as I could, picking their brains and trolling the internet to see what others had found worked and what didn't. 

We then had the opportunity to have a couple from Victoria come to babysit our home (through Outback Links) so we could spend Christmas with absent family. Bless her southern socks, Anne had spent considerable time in remote classrooms teaching and together her and husband Geoff had renovating experience.  We sat amongst the mine field of dolls houses, kids kitchens, the chest of draws full of fabric, mending piles, old books, new books, and two little hanging cupboards full of collectible teaspoons (why did those go out of fashion? They take up a lot less space than flipping stubby coolers and are usefully cool!!!!) and other accumulated S.T.U.F.F and we nutted out something of a plan of attack.

Moran School Room (before)

 

School Room Before

 

That was Christmas 2011.

January 2012 saw the arrival of our second Outback Links angel, Geoff #2, and that's when things started to get a wiggle on!

A family friend, who also happened to be a carpenter, organised to come out for the day with his family for a little dose of the bush and a long overdue catch up.  By the end of great afternoon of laughs and the odd beer, an architectural mud map had been scratched out and a shopping list written. All the whole Geoff's quiet determination to get the schoolroom school ready had the flaking old paint flying off the walls.

Ten days later it was mission accomplished!

Our new school room!

 

Moran School Room (after 1)

 

Moran School Room (after 2)

 

Moran School Room (after 3)

 

Furniture and craft purchases were spread out over the next twelve months to help spread the cost with eKindy giving us a good head start for collecting things for the LOCKABLE steel resource cupboard.

I have to say that not a single piece of advice I have had from other home schoolers has led me up any sort of garden path.  (Closer to a gravel ridge really, lined with coffee, chocolate and the odd pocket of alcohol...) Every bit of it has been worth its weight in gold and I can't promote their knowledge enough.  They have really saved me so much heartache to the point where I feel like we may have cheated a little!

And the gift of good advice, hands on experience and friendship that we gained through our Outback Links experience has been a true blessing.

So here we stand (wobble, wobble), ready to start a whole new chapter in our family's life.

I can't believe our little girl is old enough to start school, let alone starting school with me as her teacher.  I have no idea how we are going to go.  I am terrified that my best won't be enough and that our kids will be the ones that suffer from my inadequacies. I know these are the fears of so many home tutor/mums and I also know a whole bunch of wonderful, well balanced, and highly intelligent kids who have survived Mrs Mummy and come out with healthy report cards. So, I guess it's time to close my eyes and submit to the sandman knowing that tomorrow is a whole new day.

What do you reckon people? The elephant has landed and it's time to get this party started!!!

Shontae Moran

Educates her daughter (year 1) and son (eKindy) in their home schoolroom via Distance Education