We are thrilled to introduce you to the newest addition to our Freely Homeschool Planner family, Felicity! We couldn't be more excited about having Felicity join our brand ambassador program. Her incredible dedication and contributions to the homeschool community have made her a true shining star in our eyes.
Felicity brings with her a wealth of experience and wisdom that she's generously shared with the homeschooling community. Not only is she a passionate advocate for homeschooling, but she's also been an OG Freely user right from the very beginning. Felicity played a crucial role as an amazing beta tester, helping us refine and perfect our planner to meet the needs of homeschoolers like you.
Now, it's our pleasure to sit down with Felicity and learn more about her homeschooling journey, her favorite features of Freely Homeschool Planner, and her invaluable insights into making homeschooling an enriching experience for both parents and children.
Share a little about yourself!
Hello, allow me to introduce myself! I'm Flick, the proud mother of two boys: Blaize, who is 11 years old, and Chase, who is 12. We've recently embarked on our fifth year of homeschooling Blaize, while Chase has been enjoying homeschooling for nearly a year. You can follow our journey on Instagram here
What is the backstory on how you came to homeschool?
Our homeschooling journey for our youngest son commenced during the fourth term of his first-grade year in school. It was a pivotal moment for us, as his health and learning difficulties were not receiving the necessary support from the traditional school system. He had been frequently unwell, missing three out of the last four weeks of term 3. It was then that I realized a change was needed, prompting me to start researching homeschooling.
After numerous hard conversations with my husband, we decided to take the leap and give homeschooling a try, believing we had nothing to lose. What we initially thought would be a six-month trial soon transformed into the best educational path for him. As for our 12-year-old, his journey is entirely unique. We are currently embarked on a 10-month road trip around Australia, making his educational experience quite different during this temporary adventure.
How would you describe your homeschooling approach, what works best for you guys? We are undoubtedly an eclectic homeschooling family. I make sure to involve the boys in every aspect of planning and reporting. They actively participate in selecting the curriculum we use. While traveling around Australia, we've adopted an unschooling approach with a touch of structure for our 12-year-old. Both of our boys are highly visual learners, and they thrive with hands-on learning experiences, which they prefer over traditional workbooks.
Before using Freely did you have a planning system for homeschooling?
Prior to using Freely my planning consisted of haphazard scribbled notes on a page. It lacked any method and was completely disorganized.
You’ve been a great support as a beta tester right from the beginning for Freely and we are so grateful to you! But I’m curious what led you to try digital planning in the first place? The idea of reducing paper clutter, handwriting, and achieving better organisation was incredibly appealing to me. Additionally, having all my planning materials in one place and being able to carry it with me made it possible to plan wherever and whenever I wanted. Yes, there have been nights when I've sat in bed with my phone, adding photos and observations from our day to my planning!
For those who live in areas where end-of-year reporting is required, how do you plan and prepare for that?
Before I started using Freely for my planning and reporting, I used to keep all our homeschool materials in a common area and marked potential samples for documentation. For the samples, I'd print the template provided by the governing body, which, in our case, is the Home Education Unit in QLD, and jot down my notes on the template. Afterward, I would transcribe them into a Word document, take photos, and then upload them into the report. With Freely, I now have the option to either download a report of samples and upload it directly to the home education portal or simply copy and paste the information from Freely straight into a Word document to email to the home education department, streamlining the process.
What curriculum do you love to use in your homeschool and how does that work with Freely homeschool planner? Most of our curriculum is seamlessly compatible with Freely. For the few instances where I need to make some preparations, such as compressing a PDF to add it to the planner, it's a minor step. In the majority of cases, Freely not only saves me time but also my sanity. I've learned that paper clutter equals stress for me, and Freely has been a valuable solution to reducing that stress.
Finally, we’d love to know how Freely has changed the way you homeschool and how you feel about homeschooling overall.
Freely has truly been a life changer, not only for planning but also for recording and reporting on our homeschooling journey. I can't imagine our homeschool without it now. Each time I use it, I discover new ways to streamline and simplify various aspects of our educational process, making it an invaluable part of our homeschool.
What type of Homeschooling Family do you think would most benefit from Freely?
I believe that any family engaged in homeschooling would greatly benefit from giving Freely a try. Moreover, it can also be valuable for busy families with children in mainstream schooling who require additional support, especially during the secondary school years when there are assessments and assignments that are often sent and submitted digitally.
One more question… would you ever go back to paper planning?! Long-term, I wouldn't go back to paper planning. Even during times when we've been on the road with no mobile phone reception, I haven't resorted to paper planning. Instead, I've kept notes on my phone, which I can easily transfer to Freely once phone reception becomes available again. The convenience and flexibility of digital planning have become an integral part of our homeschool.
Felicity's story is a testament to the incredible potential of homeschooling, and we're honored to have her as our brand ambassador. Her journey, insights, and unwavering support of Freely Homeschool Planner truly make her a cherished member of our community.
We invite you to follow Felicity and tap into her wealth of homeschooling knowledge. Be inspired by her experiences and connect with a passionate homeschooling advocate.
As we continue to grow, we're always on the lookout for more individuals who share our enthusiasm for homeschooling and Freely Homeschool Planner. If you're interested in becoming a brand ambassador and contributing to our thriving community, don't hesitate to reach out and join our mission. Together, we can make homeschooling a more rewarding and enjoyable journey for families everywhere. Apply here