Today the 5th January – we thought we would get up early and start the year enthusiastically … except that despite the children being up early every day for a fortnight they decided to over sleep. Roy had to go and do the ‘work’ thing and I had to make start with the children. It has been three weeks since we have done anything that resembled skool.
Couldn’t start the day without a giant mug of Cadbury’s fudge flavour hot chocolate from the lovely mug that Santa brought me.
We decided to use one of the Christmas gifts given to Roy and I from our neighbours who are also very good friends. They had got a chuckle out of this grass ‘monster’, they bought it thinking it was rather rude looking. The children oblivious to what us adults find funny duly watered the monster and we talked about what is needed to make things grow .. uhhum.
This month brings us to two years of home educating. We have evolved as a family and enjoyed the enhanced lifestyle that education at home has brought us all.
I personally have read many more books than I ever did, a few of them about other peoples theories on education, some of those books were quite alarming or disturbing in a good way of course. Things I had never thought of about the school system before, things to make you think about how you are bringing your children up. Not that we ever had any issues with Mag’s prior schooling. Mag’s school was unique, his school had 26 children and boasted as close to one on one attention a child could get whilst being in an education establishment. When his school closed down we looked at alternative schools. The other schools could not offer to us that same environment so we took fear and decided to try teaching the children at home. I wont say it was an easy decision to make, but once we did we embraced it whole heartedly – I think I always was a home educator just waiting for the chance to do so.
Anyways – I don’t want to ramble (or maybe I do) … this WAS leading somewhere at some stage …
We took the last week or two off from real life as an opportunity to discuss what direction we are going in this year with regard to the children’s education. Mag is still intent on doing his first GCSE this year though I am not sure he is quite ready. He has been working incredibly hard at a subject he loves (amongst others) – mathematics. The exam forms need to be filled in this month, and he has a school who will take him as an external candidate if we decide to go ahead.
With regard to learning, Mag follows a slightly structured style, following on from what he did in school just came naturally to him. We have found he is learning a broader range of things that he would have been in school, his appetite for knowledge is huge.
For the younger children we are not quite unschoolers, yet we are not strict schoolers. We do skool every day but when life gets in the way we don’t! The children do spend their mornings making things, doing ‘projects’, they love nature work, stories, drawing etc. Toni is an excellent reader, and Seb is brilliant with numbers. Sol has a great imagination and can role play many situations. We do what I call ‘structured’ work too but the emphasis is on making the time the children have fun and rewarding.
Materials we have purchased this last year have been minimal, I was lucky enough to get to go and scavenge when our local school closed down. We got loads of reading books, drawing paper, exercise books, jigsaws etc We have purchased workbooks from an education website and a few books from amazon too but on the whole we didn’t need much which makes life easier.