As September approaches and everyone else, it seems, gets ready to go back to school, I have mixed emotions about this new journey of ours. I’m mostly very glad to have all my children at home with me every day…I enjoy their company and love watching them play together. There are also many stressful moments with fights and disputes and falls and everyone talking at once! But my capacity is always growing and I know these moments pass before too long….
Don’t you love that September new-pencil-case feeling?! It always feels like a fresh start, a new day, a new year to me.
As well as this excitement, I have a background sense of ‘alertness’, shall we say! Matt and I have talked and talked about home-ed. We’re totally sure it’s the best decision for now, but it’s hard to completely ignore the question about whether our children are missing out on something…..both in terms of what children learn in the classroom and of being part of the community of school.
So, in case you’re interested, here’s what we are bearing in mind at the beginning of this journey….
- Home-ed is a way of life which doesn’t need to fit into the Monday-Friday, 9-3, term-time pattern of school. We have 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year to play with – and can pace ourselves. Matt can use Saturdays to do building and gardening projects with the kids while I can have a film afternoon with them one afternoon a week. The freedom we have during the day can mean there’s not so much pressure on the ‘after-school’ time so the kids can join activity groups a plenty, without it making us too busy.
- We use everyday opportunities for learning and can to some extend be guided by what they’re interested in. The kids are loving the Clifton Suspension Bridge near our new house. They’ve walked across it, drawn pictures of it, learned about its structure and Matt is planning a little building project inspired by it! We can write letters to friends and family, use money in shops, read recipes and measure ingredients….and of course continue our enjoyment of books and stories. I have more ideas than we have time for at the moment!
- There is a big network of people home-educating and so loads of groups and activities to join in with. So far, I’ve found groups learning singing and drumming, forest-school skills, multi-sports, gymnastics, pottery, drama and lots of social meet-ups. These will help to fill our time, enjoy learning new things as well as provide friendship opportunities for us all. And there is a lot of support out there for me (including from the local council) when I want help, information or reassurance about our home curriculum!