Homeschooling karate champions

Meet karate champions Radu and Isabela

Brother and sister Radu and Isabela are karate champions, now in their third year studying with Wolsey Hall Oxford. Homeschooling and their karate commitments go hand in hand, allowing them to train intensively and represent Romania in European and World Karate Championships. Their mum Gabriela spoke to us about how homeschooling works for the whole family.

“It was really important for us, as a family, to have support and enough resources to choose from, and Wolsey Hall provides plenty of that,” explains their mum, Gabriela. “Both Radu and Isabela are eager to discover new topics and new information, and they are really excited to continue being schooled in this manner.”

Wolsey Hall Oxford supports students competing in a wide range of sports.

Bespoke learning

“Ever since they were really young, we took a very direct approach in their education, meaning we never relied only on what they learned in kindergarten or traditional school. We taught them so many things through play. We took advantage of different opportunities to expand the information they know, we provided them with extra resources should they want to dig deeper in any topic, so I can say that they were already used to being homeschooled.”

“We did have some challenges, and some are insecurities that we undoubtedly felt when we decided to take this important step, but since they are really responsible kids and we have a great relationship, we made things work, especially with having so much support from Wolsey Hall.”

Karate champion Isabela
Karate champion Radu

Flexible schedules

“We do not really have ‘a typical day’, although we try to follow a schedule, as it keeps us accountable and on track. The children work by themselves in some of the subjects and they only come to me when they need extra help. We work together for other subjects, like English, as I want to make sure they understand correctly since it is not their native language, so we managed to find a rhythm that suits us.

“They don’t wake up very early in the morning, as most evenings they have karate training, so we start our school work when we start, and finish when we finish, making sure we are on track with the assignments schedule.”

Finding the balance

“Homeschooling works just fine with their karate commitments, I would say that it actually helps them to become better without the pressure of missing out on lessons, missing out on school, working extra to get the tons of homework done, and so on. Both Radu and Isabela train intensively, a minimum of four trainings a week, that is most nights, besides their lighter training at home.

“Homeschooling provides us with the chance to organise our schedule so that they are not too tired or too busy with everything they do. We manage to create a balance between their sports, their school and their other activities (leisure, friends, extended family etc). There are plenty of national and international competitions that they compete in, some of them requiring us to leave on Friday morning or return on Monday evening, so there are no problems with having to explain why they missed school or their homework is not done. We rarely do schoolwork during weekends, because with Wolsey Hall we do not concentrate on quantity, but on quality. They have other courses outside Wolsey Hall as well. Wolsey Hall offers us the possibility to pursue our children’s interests and support them in achieving what they desire.”

Karate champions Radu and Isabela
Karate champion Isabela of Romania

Advice to prospective homeschooling parents

“My first and utmost advice I can offer is to be brave and consider the best for your children. It is natural to be a little scared as we, parents, want what is best for our children, yet you need to take into account that Wolsey Hall is an investment in your child’s education and future. You need to be able to support them to achieve their maximum potential. Wolsey Hall provides many resources that you are able to learn together with your child, to improve your knowledge and to achieve new skills, which is a plus for you as a family.”

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