Monday, April 8, 2019

OUR HOMESCHOOL JOURNEY

Feb 2009 - I was researching about HOMESCHOOL for an article I wanted to publish in the Herald newspaper. So I contacted a family who I got to know about from my dear friends Jaime & Lígia. The family lived at Sucorro and were homeschooling ALL their children. I was excited to make contact finally with the mother Anna Coelho but she informed me that an article like this topic had already been published some years ago and her reply made me rethink my topic. In the meantime, she invited us to do the Marriage Encounter weekend. We did go and met this couple Valentine & Anna, and our journey began from that point.

After meeting Valyana, as we now fondly call them, I did about 6 months of research on homeschooling. They had (and still have) a large collection of books on Catholic topics as well as homeschool books which I devoured. By the end of my research, I was totally convinced that I needed to homeschool my children.

But when I presented this on a plate to my dear hubby, I met with resistance. I didn't know how to help him see what I saw. I consulted Anna and she invited us for our first homeschool meeting at Verna, Lewis & Zenita's place. We met Milagres and his family, Maria Almeida and her children (Alves was away on work then), Mario & Muriel (M&M) and their children. It was a good step in the right direction because Glenn felt at home with the group and by 1 Oct 2010, we had sealed our fate.

Aaron and Nathan were still in school & stayed put till we brought them out in April 2011. We decided to inaugurate our new school, naming it Goa CAN Homeschool. So on 1 October, 2010, GCH was born.

In May 2011, I delivered my fifth baby prematurely and spent a month with him at hospitals. We finally brought him home on 28 June. So I had to 'unschool' Aaron, Nathan & Charis till I was able to give them proper attention. They enjoyed the freedom from endless homework, incomplete books, negative remarks and 'getting up early'  They were on an extended holiday and THEY LOVED IT.

Its almost 8 years now. Aaron will be appearing for NIOS 12th Exams on 12 April to 4 May. Then he plans on taking Fine Arts. Nathan is in Brazil, studying at Contemplacao Marial, a school run by the Heralds of the Gospel. He will complete his studies, then prepare to become a brother and, God Willing, even a priest. Charis is also ready to join the same association in the feminine section. She has been invited to Brazil for a short stay but I have requested that she be granted permission to go there to study and also complete her vocational studies to become a sister.

When Glenn's Boss came to know about our venture, he offered Glenn the option of working from home, a blessing I can never thank God enough for. He now had to go to the office once a week (in recent years that has increased to 2 days a week). So the children had holidays on Sundays and the day Dada went to 'office'😊

We have a new addition to our homeschool, little Daniel. He is 7 years. He says he too wants to go to Brazil, and we keep that in our prayers.

Our homeschooling community has grown in these past years with over 20 plus Catholic families opting for this way of raising their children.

We pray that our sacrifices meet with success. Our Lady of Good Counsel, be our guide.