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!

I started a healthy eating programme one week ago.

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This time it has to be different as my health is suffering through carrying far too many stones.

I stepped on the scales today and noted my weight loss – 5 and three quarter pounds in just one week.

I am eating a lot of fish and vegetables. I have cut out meat and sweet treats. I am not drinking alcohol.

I managed an exercise routine this week and although I doubt I did it perfectly, I did get through it. It was the Josie Gibson one at Beginners Level.

My proudest moments this week eating wise were turning down a takeaway pizza and sitting with a black coffee whilst my family tucked into McDonalds.

What is helping me?

Knowing I have real health issues to contend with

My husband bringing me healthy treats like smoked salmon and avocados.

The wonderful support of online friends – every message makes a big difference so do keep them coming.

I can do this. I have to. Weight loss here I come and lots of it too.

Are you looking for a great bean bag?

Bazaar-Bag-LF14-5

I have always liked bean bags. I used to have three huge ones as a child in silver, gold and red.

However, the ones I have bought my children have often proved disappointing particularly when it comes to them splitting and the fillings spilling out and creating a mess.

Bazaar-Bag-PR-300dpi-1

Finally, thanks to the Bazaar Bag, my tweens and teenager have a funky purple bag that is big enough for them all to chill on. They have used it for imaginative play and used it as a base for a den. It is great when they are chilling playing video games or watching television. It is fun to bounce on! I have even found m daughter snuggled up sleeping on it.

I can already see how useful it would be as extra seating when you have guests over Christmas.

What I love about the bean bag is that it is sizeable and strong. It has an inner lining to keep the stuffing in place. Best of all, they are water resistant and easily wipe down if the little ones spill a drink on them.

Your children can choose from 12 vibrant colour options perhaps to match the colour scheme in their room. There is a choice of sizes too.

They are available to buy at www.BeanBagBazaar.co.uk with FREE UK mainland delivery.

Bazaar-Bag-PR-300dpi-2

Do you feel good about yourself?

There are so many ways for us to grab hold of life and make it more positive.

One simple way is to ensure you treat yourself every so often. Treats vary from woman to woman. One will want chocolate. Another will want a pair of high heels. There are also the readily available free treats like a good walk, laughter and love.

When did you last treat yourself?

What is the balance between you treating others and treating yourself?

What joy do you get when you treat another person?

What treats would you buy with ..

£100
£1000
£10000

What free or very affordable treats do you indulge in?

This post is part of my Striking Mums initiative and should you wish to link up a post about how you are making your life positive by treating yourself or in whatever way, please do so.

Any of my readers can enter the competition below.

seduction

I have a little treat for you (and perhaps someone special too!) courtesy of Camille lingerie.

Based on helping mums feel good about themselves, we could focus the competition on the seduction range at Camille (The prize is an item of the winner’s choice from the Seduction range.

The competition runs from Friday 21st November to Friday 5th December 2015. You can enter via the Rafflecopter below.

Camille have also kindly set up an exclusive discount code for ny readers as well which will entitle them to 15% off all full priced items on the Camille website. The discount code will be valid from Friday 21st November until 21st December 2015. The discount code is: ‘THINICE15’.

With love from the Striking Mum x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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My big reason to be cheerful is that I am sorting myself out.

I started taking my happy pills and am amazed how much better I feel. There is less noise in my head. When a negative thought hits, it seems to melt away and be replaced with a positive one. Little household disasters are not stressing me out as they normally would. Marital harmony is in the building too. Fortunately, I seem to have no side-effects apart from a bit of drowsiness. I should have done this years ago but the future starts here.

I have also put myself on a healthy eating regime which is where the porridge comes in along with other favourites such as fish and vegetables. I have lost weight already and really do want to nail this as I know if would work wonders for my flagging self-image.
I aim to lose 12 pounds by the time 2015 comes along. Wish me luck!

Other reasons for smiling …

1. I am finding that I am doing more and better housework as I have more energy. I usually find housework depressing and overwhelming so this is a big positive.

2. I am still learning about what works best for us home education wise. I am meeting an Education Consultant tomorrow so it will be good to have that support in place.

3. I have an appointment with the Practice Nurse on 15th December to discuss the blood test results. I would prefer to have a diagnosis now but it seems I must wait so will just start the healthy lifestyle now and see what happens.

4. My son turned 14 at the weekend. He got his X Box One so the constant nagging has disappeared.

5. I had news this week that there is a new baby and a very special one on the planet. He is so very beautiful, stunningly so.

I am not sure that this post gets over the big change that moves on the health front are making to me but I am feeling them and that is what really matters.

Ob and Bette Midler who I adore is touring the UK next year and I so want to be there. Sustained by Prozac and Porridge.