THAT HOMESCHOOL LIFE CHATS WITH...KELLY GEORGE


Today I warmly welcome Kelly George from Fearless Homeschool to our 'That Homeschool Life Chats With...' series. Kelly is the founder of the Australian Homeschool Summit, course and content creator, long time homeschooling mum to 5, wife to one and world-wide traveller.

Read more about Kelly HERE.


Lusi:

How many kids do you have? Which area are you living in? How long have you been homeschooling?


Kelly:

I have Gabrielle, 17, Holli and Asha, 16, Rex, 15, and Forrest, 12. All have always been homeschooled. The girls are technically finished homeschooling - Gabrielle has started a Bachelor of Nursing and Holli and Asha are studying a Certificate IV in Ageing Support, but I spend many hours a week helping them with their courses so nothing has really changed in my life.

We currently live in Launceston but tend to move around and will hopefully be travelling again soon.


Lusi:

Can you tell us why you began homeschooling?


Kelly:

It was my husband’s idea! We had children at the opposite ends of the educational spectrum. Rex was only a baby, but he has a syndrome and it was apparent very early on that school wouldn’t be a good place for him. Meanwhile, Gabrielle was 3 and already knew everything she was meant to know by the end of her first year of school. I could see her getting bored and disengaging, just like I did. We didn’t know a lot about homeschooling but we decided it was worth a try.


Lusi:

How is the reality of homeschooling different to the idea that you originally had of homeschooling before you started?

Kelly:

We thought we would be doing school at home! I honestly thought our days would run from 9-3.30 and involve scheduled classes and worksheets. We never actually did that, thankfully I found out beforehand that there are many other options, and they’re all much more interesting and exciting.

We don’t fit into a box, but are heavily influenced by project-based homeschooling, unschooling, and other forms of interest-led learning. We’ve used ideas and approaches from all sorts of homeschooling and educational styles, like Montessori and classical education. We basically do whatever suits us and whatever works, without worrying whether others think it’s the ‘right’ thing to do.


Lusi:

Have you had support or opposition from family, friends, your community? How has this affected you?


Kelly:

Not to the extent that many people have. We don’t live near family so we're somewhat sheltered from opposition, although they were all very unsure of homeschooling and have brought up various ‘but how…’ questions over the years.

Luckily we’re fairly independent, and having a rock-solid ‘why’ of homeschooling has enabled us to justify our decisions to ourselves and therefore brush off the opposition we have received. Most people’s comments are all about them, not us, and knowing that helps us not take it so seriously.


Lusi:

How do you look after yourself as a homeschooling parent? What self care measures do you put in place?


Kelly:

When the children were young they had early bedtimes. It gave myself and my husband uninterrupted time to spend with each other, catch up on housework, and prepare for the next day.

I’ve always tried to fit in time for exercise, which has included early morning or late evening walks, running while the kids bike, or doing yoga in the lounge room. Plus I read a lot, which I can fit into little bits of time. It’s all about working with the time I have, and choosing to use ten spare minutes to read or stretch or have a quick cuppa outside, rather than do non-essential housework or mindlessly scroll social media.


Lusi:

What do you love most about homeschooling? What do you find hard?


Kelly:

I love the relationships - knowing my children well, having fun with them. The time-freedom is also fantastic. We’ve spent many years travelling, which just wouldn’t have been possible with school.

On the flip side, I find it hard to be around people, even my family, all the time. I’m very introverted and need a lot of time to myself. I’ve had to establish boundaries, such as the early bedtimes mentioned earlier, or just being able to tell the kids that I’m going to my room to have a break and they need to leave me alone for twenty minutes.


Lusi:

What can you not live without as a homeschooling parent?


Kelly:

Library cards! They’re our best resource. Op shops would be a close second.


Lusi:

Best advice for new homeschoolers?


Kelly:

Focus on the short term. Don’t worry about things like advanced maths and career opportunities if you have a six year old. It all sorts itself out in the long term - the little things you do each day really do add up to an astonishing amount over the years.


Thank you so much for chatting with me Kelly! I'm constantly inspired by what you do, the way you share and help other homeschoolers in Australia. - Lusi x


To connect with Kelly, go and check out her amazing website: HERE or her FB page: HERE . You can also enrol in her ZERO TO HOMESCHOOL COURSE HERE or her DESCHOOLING ESSENTIALS COURSE HERE (afflinks provided for both of these). x

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Lusi writes on Wiradjuri Country and acknowledges the traditional land owners, their community members, elders and leaders past, present and emerging