Susan Wight and her home schooling experience

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Susan Wight. A woman who has been described before, as a house wife. The term is a mockery to the sheer amount of work Sue puts in to making the world a better place. She is living proof, that no matter who the bread winner in the family is – every woman can be as inspiring, and successful as they choose.

Before marriage, and the arrival of her three incredible sons, Sue worked in a publishing house, and for a short time, in a bank. Her journey started when her sons reached primary school, and school problems and bad behaviour, spilled into the family dynamic. Sue talks about this time, saying something ‘drastic’ had to be done.

If something’s not right you can put up with it, you can whinge, or you can try to change it. I’m a ‘try and change it’ kind of person.”

After making a lot of enquires, Sue and her husband made the joint decision to take a leap, and make a bet on home schooling. The first few months were tough. Horrible behaviour Sue had been used to dealing with after school, became a round the clock occurrence. With a little bit of patience, and a lot of love – Sue made it through. She admits to making a lot of mistakes in the beginning, after all – who doesn’t at the start of their journey? Soon enough though, her family began to re-appreciate life and the joy that can be found in learning. Her son’s all grew up to be intelligent, mindful, independent thinking people. They are a tribute to the hard work she, and her husband, put in.

The struggles Sue faced did not begin and end in teaching her children. She began to find, there was stigma associated with her and her way of life. Almost instantly, everyone she knew and didn’t really know at all, had an opinion on the way she was raising her children. They didn’t mind sharing it either. Initially Sue was quite defensive, but over time she learnt to accept the difference of opinion and developed a resilience to their words, that stopped them derailing her progress. Perhaps the strangest assumption that followed her around, upon taking her children out of school, was the Sue herself – must be unintelligent.

When answering the ‘What do you do?” question at my husband’s work events, I saw people’s eyes glaze over; they looked over the top of my head for someone more important to network with. Sometimes that was funny, sometimes not so funny.”

Sue’s work with home education, goes far beyond the efforts she made to teach her own children. Sue began volunteering at a phone line, where she responded to home education ‘newbies’ calls and helped them to understand the options they had. She soon became the coordinator of the home education magazine, a position she has held for ten years. In fact she still holds it today, even though all her children are grown up and at university or with full time jobs. That kind of commitment, and input to a cause is an attribute in Sue that should be admired, not down played as being a ‘house wife’. If all that wasn’t enough, she is a major player in the movement to challenge the government, who are now trying to change the laws around home education. Sue recently spent more than a couple of days at Parliament, lobbying politicians for their support of people’s right to decide how and under what circumstances their children are raised.

If being a house wife, reliant on their husbands pay cheque has as much of an impact on the world as Susan Wight, women everywhere should be embracing that term as a badge of honour. This writer for one, would be proud to wear any label that put her in the same category as a pioneer of home education and meaningful change, like Susan Wight.

If you would like to contact Susan on any home schooling please contact Susan at wighthouse@southernphone.com.au

Written By GITTA HODGETTS

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