Get To Know A Homeschooler | Emily Burtt
Meet Emily Burtt. Emily and Sam Burtt have three children aged 3-7, and are learning to live with ADHD, Severe Anxiety, Severe School Avoidance and they are Mid Diagnosis for High Functioning Autism. They are an oil loving, thermomixing, minimalistic, natural learning household who struggle with sibling rivalry.
Give us a snapshot of your homeschooling journey - Homeschooling with the Burtt's
Our Journey has been a rocky one, Jasper is nearly 7 – he started prep in mainstream last year and lasted half the year and we unschooled for the rest of the year due to our family situation. This year we started in mainstream again and lasted the first term. Jasper has always struggled with separation anxiety and it got to the point where he was having meltdowns morning, afternoon and all weekend long and it was too much for our family. Matisse is 5 – she attends kindy 5 days a fortnight and loves it, she homeschools with us for the rest of the week. Silas (3) loves the fact that he has his siblings at home to play with, he does homeschooling too, age appropriate with colours, numbers and loves to listen to stories. Sam my husband is lucky to be at home to enjoy this journey and he loves to make and produce music. I am the main educator in the house, so the planning, curriculum and daily activities falls on me.
Why did you decide to start homeschooling?
We had several reasons for homeschooling. The main reason though was Jasper’s behaviour difficulties. After seeking medical help this year he has been diagnosed with severe anxiety, ADHD, severe school avoidance and we are mid diagnosis for high functioning autism. Both myself and my husband didn't have a fabulous school experience and feel that the system is very broken and doesn't cater for the growing needs of each child. Square box, round hole syndrome.
What do you love the most about homeschooling so far?
The flexibility to be anywhere at any time. That we can go to parks and playgrounds when all the kids are at school and not deal with the big crowds, something that can be hard for Jasper. We can sleep in and not rush out the door each day and if the kids are not feeling it, we can delay and do work later.
What do your children say is the best thing about being homeschooled?
I asked the kids this question as they were sitting in huge tubs of water nude, throwing cups of water at each other. Jasper said he loves to colour in, Matisse said painting pictures is her favourite thing to do and Silas said he loves outside.
If you could share one piece of advice to families about to start homeschooling?
Breathe, it’s not easy but it’s so rewarding. Everyone has an opinion on how you "SHOULD" be educating "your" child, smile and say thanks for your advice and carry on.
What is the most important part of the week for your family?
Family meals. This is when we talk about our interests, plan our activities and ask the kids how their day was.
What has the messiest subject been so far?
If we are talking messy as in mess it would have to be science, they all love it and the messier the better. If we are talking messy as in disorganised it would be history I think. Not really my favourite subject.
How do you relax when you aren’t homeschooling?
Our kids are huge outdoor kids, anything outside they love – especially if it has water included. I relax by cooking, reading, and craft. Sam relaxes by making music, which the kids also love to "help" with.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Sibling rivalry, yep it drives us mad. Our way to overcome it, breathe, use essential oils, hug, try to give everyone some one on one time.
What is the best thing you’ve learned so far?
It takes a village, whether it be online or in person, reach out, call, ask questions, hug and be hugged. It’s ok to ask for help, we all need it sometimes.
What is your biggest dream for your children?
Our biggest dream is to raise children who ask questions, push the boundaries and think for themselves.
Anything else you’d like to add?
You will hear "How will your child socialise" about a million times! Try not to shin kick everyone who says it haha.
You can find out more about Emily and connect with her at her Facebook page: Homeschooling With The Burtt’s