Home education – how we are finding it

We started home educating in September.

I have always fancied the idea of home education but Him Indoors was never convinced so our children went to school.

My daughter’ mental health was affected by her negative experiences at her new school and we could not let that continue. She did not return after the Summer break and my younger son joined in our home education adventure a few days later.

How did we begin>

On the first day we had a picnic to celebrate our new freedom. I asked my daughter to write a story. She did some mathematics with ease. The next day she did nothing obviously educational and I felt guilty, I thought Him Indoors would tell me off but he was OK about it.

What was difficult at the start?

Him Indoors wanted us to focus on the National Curriculum whereas I wanted to experiment more. It was a bit tense for a while. Weirdly, I started wanting some more structure and Him Indoors started to like my creative ideas. We have somehow ended up feeling the same – we want the school topic covered well and we enjoy the freedom of playing with new ideas.

What was great right from the start?

I have never liked being chained to school run time and not having to remember to fill in school forms, pack games kit and so on. Staring the day in a leisurely fashion is fabulous. I feel as if I am getting to know my children far better. Little discoveries are made such as finding out that my son loves classical music. It is a wonderful feeling to learn whilst snuggled up with my children. I am learning all the time too and not just about home education. This feels good and my daughter says she prefers things when we are both learning something new.

What remains challenging?

We live in a small house and I do wonder if having a dedicated space for learning might help.

I struggle to feel confident that I am doing the “right” thing. There are a confusing array of home education philosophies. Which is right for our family or should we just feel our way on this new journey.

As someone who has always loved to write, I struggle with two reluctant writers. They have keyboard skills and perhaps these are more relevant in the modern world but I still fret.

My children are individual so whilst my daughter is always keen to learn, my son would happily play on computer games all day long. Most of what I suggest he finds “boring” although he does enjoy mathematics and Greek myths currently.

Him Indoors works outside the home and is tired when he gets in. We all want him to have input too.

Received wisdom says you can do just a couple of hours a day of education if at home I constantly worry that won’t be enough.

I wonder whether we should do what we feel like doing or go down a timetable route.

I need to work out how to get to a group where we can meet other home education families.

What helps?

I already knew of some home education bloggers and they helped me find home education groups online.

The local education authority accepted our decision easily. They offered a meeting with an Education Consultant. She was great saying we have made a great start and that I should relax.

There are lots of useful websites to help with learning.

Home educating is a 7 days a week deal so we get out more at weekends combining fun with learning.

Am I relaxing?

I think I am but it will take some time before I am totally at ease. This week we are having a Spanish Week as I have worked out that focusing on a different country each week, we can cover literacy, languages, history, art, geography, music and cookery. Yesterday we did some Spanish week work followed by some geometry and a Greek myth. Then when my daughter started making pom-poms I woke up to the fact that was fine and it does not have to be bookish type stuff all the time

I intend to blog once a week about home education. As regular readers know, blogging help me make sense of things.

Here’ to home education and let’s see where it takes us!

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