As my 13 and 8 year olds headed back to school, my daughter and I embarked on a new adventure of home education.
I think both of us felt a little naughty as she stayed in bed later than usual, dressed in casual clothes and was able to have real input into what she wanted to do that day.
We started with a walk to the village as I needed to get some shopping and to register with the GP.
“Are you looking forward to getting back to school?” asked the man who served us in the Co-op. “I’m not going back” she mumbled and I explained we were home schooling her. Blank look and no further questions asked.
When we were out I certainly felt like everybody was staring at us as if we were doing something wrong but then I am prone to see adverse judgment in people’s eyes. We had a picnic and chatted merrily.
On returning home, we did loads. She wrote a story showing great imagination and good spelling. I set up her some tests on arithmetic which she flew through in minutes. She is clearly going to need bigger challenges in maths.
We watched a video of a German story even though German is new to both of us. We looked at the words and then we watched the story in English.
We played a time capsule game looking at objects from World War 2 and listening to stories of evacuation.
In an attempt to prove to her father that I will not just focus on arts topics, we watched a video on augmented reality. Me showing an interest in anything to do with physics is rare but I was actually quite fascinated by this subject.
Learning is lovely but this day was magical. It took me right back to the days when I had my first son and relished motherhood so very much. Spending time talking, laughing, discussing and snuggling up – lots to recommend this way of life.
Oh and just to prove we can be a little offbeat too, we went into the front garden and made structures with bamboo sticks and planted sunflowers too.
The next day she was very tired. Home educators and my teacher brother tell me that I don’t need to do as many hours as they do at school as one-to-one teaching is so much more intensive.
What I love about home education
Quality time together without the tight deadlines of school
Learning together – a joyous experience
Closeness – physically and emotionally
What I worry about
It feels odd to do less than a full school day – I don’t want to let my daughter down by not doing enough teaching with her
Knowing the right balance between implementing the stuff they teach in schools and also being a little bit more creative
I am concerned that she does not love writing things down that much and I don’t want to give in to this. So I might have to implement discipline but I don’t want to turn her off learning.
That feeling of being a naughty girl as if we are both skiving off school and will get caught at any given moment.
Having said all that, I am seriously considering taking my 8 year old out of school too. My daughter is keen saying it will be good to have someone for company whilst I am doing other things. My son is also eager although I have to unpick the reasons why with him before we make a final decision.
So far so good methinks.
I would be grateful for comments, tips, advice and contacts as our journey moves into its second week.