By Donna Allen
It’s been a bit more than a year now, since we engaged in a little social and educational experiment. A year since lockdowns and apartheid caused rifts in society and led to some serious free thinking about solutions.
I have been a teacher for 28 years, a mother of a large family for 30 years and a child of God since I was conceived in my Catholic mother’s womb. I love God, I love serving God, I love people and I love all children; with a special place in my heart for children who are struggling or have disabilities.
Government mandates showed me firsthand what it was to suffer for your beliefs, to be cast aside, treated like a leper and to be walked past, as if you weren’t there. We lost our jobs, we were not treated with kindness or dignity, we were abandoned and vilified; even by family and lifelong friends. My husband is a bloke’s bloke, but on the night he heard that I was going to lose my job, he shed tears for me because he knows me well. Separating me from teaching was like taking away all my joy.
Our experience was mirrored by that of far too many others, but as much as it hurt, in losing all we did, we were set free.
We were teachers.
A New World
So, what was the little social/educational experiment of our own that we undertook? And what did we discover?
We decided to bite the bullet and try homeschooling; something that I had never thought I would do, or would want to do; something I wasn’t sure I could afford to do but something which quickly became something I can’t afford ‘not to do’!
Some of my preconceptions and concerns, before I started are probably like a lot of yours. These are some of things I thought:
1. Home-schoolers are poorly or oddly socialised. They don’t have many friends. They never get to see or meet anyone ‘normal’ or not very often. In fact, they usually aren’t quite ‘normal’.
2. Home-schoolers are wild and have poor self-discipline
3. Home-schoolers don’t follow a rigorous curriculum and won’t have the same learning and job opportunities. They are probably behind in their learning.
4. Home-schoolers aren’t taught by professionals so they can’t possibly learn as much or as well as others. They must be disadvantaged…
5. Parents who work part-time or from home, haven’t got time to home-school. They have to stay home and do it all and they must be really poor.
6. If I home-schooled, it would feel like the horrible COVID ‘learn at home’ days or maybe like the school holidays where parents can’t wait to ‘send them back’ to school. This would be very stressful; at least as stressful as dealing with homework!
7. My child would be unhappy; or far less happy than being at school with friends.
Looking back, all of those myths and pre-conceptions are hilarious! I chuckle only because I know the truth now and all the well-kept secrets of home-schooling.
So, armed with a knowledge of what I didn’t want to occur, I set out to do it ‘my way’ with a checklist of ‘musts’ and ‘wants’. Something like school, but way better. Something that retains all that is good and throws out all that is bad, stupid or harmful. In the process, I discovered something that was nothing short of amazing!
What’s wrong with schools?
The school system is broken and hurting. It doesn’t need fixing, it needs demolishing.
We set up Eagles Wings because we saw and experienced first hand many of the problems in schools and that develop out of ‘attending school’. If you want to know what’s really going on, ask someone from the inside. It pains me to think that you can enrol your child in the most Catholic school around and they can still be greatly affected by the creeping and compromising world agendas. Schools are hamstrung by governments and political correctness so they don’t correct errors – or do so cautiously and without impact. In many cases they promote, and become mouthpieces for, them.
The COVID pandemic was the Litmus test in many ways. Schools came to be seen in a new light; the oppressor, the politicizer, the enforcer, the cold-hearted, cruel tyrant. Furthermore, we realised our value as nothing more than a commodity. We had been working our hearts out for the children for decades in schools, but there was always this sense we were pushing uphill because something was working against us; a sense that bureaucracy and many unknown forces constantly undermined and frustrated teachers’ efforts, for no foreseeable reason.
After living through COVID, and reading the United Nations and World Economic Forum Agendas, the truth crystallised. Sharply.
The system is broken and they don’t actually care. They aren’t out to fix bullying or anxiety, lack of good teaching, or lack of thinking skills. They exist to serve an agenda and purpose born out of the Industrial Revolution which now includes insidiously serving the Left’s agenda. The latest item up for discussion by the United Nations is how to have a tighter hold over education in every country in order to serve the godless agenda of the globalist elites. They will push through the school systems all manner of teaching and ideology which is essentially anti-Christian. They are open in their intention to do this from the age of two. Soon our government will offer non means-tested “free childcare” as the bait and who won’t fall for that? But there’s always a price. The real reason is to indoctrinate children from as early an age as possible. Australia is a signatory to all UN treaties and agreements and all schools take government handouts and are controlled by the system.
Knowing all that, we asked ourselves, how we could stand against the system and provide something better than the schools? How could we stay free of government agenda and influence? And how could we guarantee the future of Christian society, the safety of our children and pass on our Catholic beliefs?
We developed a professional home-schooling support service where we can come together to help each other in the work of educating our children but we had to resist the temptation to register as a school, and definitively decide we never would do that, no matter how big the numbers. They do it for the money, power and control. We cannot be under government influence; we had to set up a self-sufficient, “non-government funded” system. Homeschooling would also keep our children by our sides and relieve them of peer pressure and worldly influence as much as possible.
Our service leverages the support of like-minded families who share fundamental beliefs and values, by forming an educational community. We are a modern take on home-schooling and believe in the benefits of regular small group tuition (at a venue), structure, discipline and routine, family culture, love of God and neighbour, growth in academics, social-emotional skills and growth in virtue. Our aim is to rediscover joy in learning! To achieve this, we use the advantage of professional guidance/support from tutors and a close-knit community. Outsourcing aspects of learning, through supplementary tutoring, gives the family a lot more freedom. Home-schooling does require sacrifice – but we all decided it was high time we invested in our children, instead of chasing money and careers.
I had 28 years of teaching experience and of raising children (including six of our own) and grandchildren, behind my decision. There are no ‘stages’ in child raising that I have not lived through; I truly understand the challenges. I wanted to create a service that every parent could use, especially ones who have never considered home-schooling before, and so that they could have their eyes opened to believe that they could. I wanted a place that children could enjoy, parents would appreciate and where teachers (now acting as tutors) could fulfil their vocations.
We are openly and unashamedly Catholic and offer free Catechism lessons as part of our day. However, even if a family were not Catholic and lived in another state or city, I would encourage them to home-school for one simple reason. I believe it is the only way you will be able to pass on your family values and prevent the great ‘divide of thought’ between generations. You hand your children over to the slaughter at the hands of prevailing culture when they go to school. I would rather see a society of free thinking, culturally and spiritually diverse, dialoguing adults than a society dominated by homogenous, politicised, state educated new-breed Marxists. No matter who you are, or what religion, home-school them before it’s too late!
What about Socialisation?
Home-schooling offers more, not less, socialisation opportunities than school. Socialisation takes place with both peers and adults, so their interactions have a broader worldview and allow them to develop better life skills. The quality of social interactions is better managed and guided, leading them to become more mature. Life is less hectic on weekends and mornings less frantic. Children come together regularly 2-3 times a week at Eagles Wings Education (Tutoring Services) for learning and every Friday we have Friday Family Outings, which mean parents get to socialise and connect, learn and have fun, too!
What about Costs?
Families can set their own budget and need only enrol in tutorials they want or need, according to their existing areas of expertise. Home-schooling can be free or cost as little or as much as you like. Daytime small group tutorials start at $40 and come down to $20 for a 1-hour session, with sibling discounts additional to this. Free Catechism classes are available as well. Social activities, such as Friday Family Outings are an additional bonus, organised for you, which help you to balance the budget and the family’s time. Holidays can be taken off-peak and without the crowds.
Since we are Catholic, we encourage large Catholic families (of 5 or more school aged children) to contact us personally, recognising your needs and finances might work differently. We are pro-large Catholic families and want to welcome and encourage your participation and influence!
In the end, God brings good from suffering if we allow this. Our little social educational experiment revealed to us firsthand all the benefits of home-schooling, including better learning and a more balanced and happier lifestyle for all – parents included. Thankfully all my preconceptions proved untrue and even research studies reveal the benefits of home-schooling, including academically. From a personal point of view, I can tell you that we are much happier, feel our children are safe and protected and have all voted ‘never to go back’!
If you are interested to learn more about our homeschooling support service, please visit our Facebook page or Instagram for ‘Eagles Wings Education’ or visit us at www.eagleswingseducation.com