Family and Faith Magazine August-September 2015 - Page 14

W hen Family and Faith Magazine visited the beautiful home of Michael and Lynier Watson, one of their three children, 5-year-old Michael Junior, was keen to tell us how much he loved learning and proceeded to list all 14 parishes of Jamaica with ease. The bright-eyed, affable, caring little man is homeschooled by his parents and from all indications he couldn't be happier about it. His sister Michaela, who achieved mastery in her Grade 3 Diagnostic mock exams, agrees. "I like when mommy teaches; I like the poems and bible verses," the outspoken 8-year-old beamed, who was also eager to point out that “the whole school is one class.” No doubt, their 7-month old brother, Matthew is enjoying the warmth and excitement of seeing learning at home. “ I was having a prompting (from God) to do homeschool ... 14 ” The Decision to Homeschool The Watsons started to consider homeschooling a few years ago when they had some concerns about how the system supported the educational development of their children. "What I found in the system was that they would speed ahead whether or not she (Michaela) grasped a concept and I found that I was still doing a lot of teaching at home for her to be able to understand the concepts," expressed Lynier, who is a graduate of the Edna Manley College having studied Drama and Education and has previously taught at the St. Jago High School and Liberty Academy. Nevertheless, the system wasn't the only reason the Watsons took their children home. "I was having a prompting (from God) to do homeschool before and then Michaela started to listen to an artiste called Jamie Grace and she was homeschooled and she got interested in homeschooling and started asking me about being homeschooled, so we were considering it and we started to pray about it," Lynier explained. As time went by, the family started unexpectedly coming across several homeschooling parents and “I realised that there was a large support group and a lot of people were doing homeschooling" here in Jamaica, Lynier said. The family decided to 'test the waters' by first pulling the children from their traditional school for a few days per week, then for a full term and the rest is history.