100 Ways to Home Educate? What’s that all about then? Don’t worry, I’m not about to give you my definition of 100 ways, it’s a wonderful collection of just how diverse and different the paths of each home educating family can be. Yesterday was the turn of Elin Sion giving us an insight into “Doing it Her Way” and today it’s all about us so here goes…
When I think about how we started on our home education journey, it’s like we didn’t find home education, it found us. B had started at a sought after local primary school and couldn’t wait to get started. He lasted a year and a half before we made the decision to deregister him and home educate instead. Home education was loosely on my radar as I’d considered it when looking at primary schools and never being convinced I’d found the right one. After bullying and potential SEN issues raised their heads the boys mental health took precedence and here we are. The funny thing is when we started I thought we’d maybe home educate for KS1 and then look at schools again. Now we talk of the possibility of going all the way to A level via home education, it truly opens your eyes once you embrace it.
We’ve tried a few methods before we’ve settled into our groove of what you’d call a semi structured approach. We de-schooled, timetabled, unschooled and then decided on a combination of the two. Despite my desperate attempts at pretending I’m a laid back go with the flow type, I’m lost without a plan and B has always needed structure and routine or he panics. So we have devised a weekly plan and here’s how it looks at the moment.
Monday is usually spent at home. We tend to knuckle down at the kitchen table and work through a variety of subjects. We follow the curriculum for maths using a range of resources from online sites like Conquer Maths and Khan academy through to work books from Schofield and Sims. We also use Twinkl which we’ve found to be invaluable for a range of material. We’re more interest based for other subjects and can cover buildings, Native American headdresses, hedgehog habitats, human skeletons, English counties and French days of the week in a morning. Some topics may lead onto something bigger, others a general query. We swim with friends on a Monday and B has Beavers too so we tick that “oh so often asked” socialisation target too. Win.
Similar to Monday’s in that it’s a day for getting some structured learning done. We’ll try and include some piano if we can. After a year of formal lessons B lost his interest and now just wants to play tunes from Frozen. I’m in a quandary with this as I’d love for him to pursue the instrument more, but pushing him leads nowhere. At the moment I’ve found if I play, I soon get a buddy playing alongside. We’ve a new allotment so some planning and work there will be taking place on Tuesday’s I think. B has ballet and modern dance classes for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I get housework and shopping…
Usually a day for getting out and about either at organised home education events or by ourselves. After a year I’ve found that there is SO much to do, I have to be careful not to say yes to everything. This week we are off to see Romeo and Juliet at the National Theatre which will be B’s first foray into Shakespeare so fingers crossed. We’ll no doubt have to have a ride on the London Eye while we’re nearby and have a discussion on engineering and structures. Trips to London provide us with a lot of life learning, from journey planning to observational moments. As they say, if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. Or something like that.
Thursday is our usual trip to London for B’s drama class at Sylvia Young Theatre School. It’s a bit of trek each week, but he is buzzing when he finishes his class and we usually fit in a museum beforehand. This month we discovered the Design Museum, and need to plan a return trip. I find the joy of not having to cram an entire museum into a day in the school holidays, makes the whole process more relaxed and enjoyable. This week we’ve a visit to Anglian Water to learn about the water process first. Wish me luck!
This is a day that can go one of two ways. B can be pretty tired from the day before so it’s usually spent locally. Ideally at a drop in kind of event rather than an organised one in case his brain is fried. If we’re at home they’ll no doubt be Minecraft and YouTube involved. B loves a documentary on anything from canal building to the new cross rail train line so he’ll happily watch anything along those lines.
So that’s a snapshot of a week in our home ed lives. Sometimes I have to pinch myself at how lucky we are to live like this. It’s everything I dreamed it would be and so much more. I’d say to anyone considering it to go for it, and to my fellow home educators who paved the way. I salute you.
You can continue the 100 Ways to Home Educate over at REO Life tomorrow for day 13.
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