Day 13-18 of Home Education
I now see why de-schooling is so important to transition from school education to home education. Throughout these last few days I’ve felt a slight shift in my thinking pattern and the stresses and anxiety I felt in the beginning of our home ed journey seem to have slipped away.
Previously, I was worried about the kids missing out on what all the other children (at school) were learning and felt guilty and anxious at times that they were going to miss out on crucial parts of their childhood development. I was still in a ‘school’ mindset, whilst open to the ideas of alternative learning styles.
When I started Day One to home educate, I was going on a gut feeling and from what I had read when researching but now we are living it, I see from experience all the amazing benefits it’s having on my children and I.
My kids are really starting to let there personalities through and I notice it in really subtle ways, like little things they say or do. I’m so proud of them and love that our bond is always getting stronger.
Here’s what we got up to between days 13 and 18 of our home education journey:
Saturday 16th Jan 2016
I’d been looking into buying a whiteboard for our kitchen wall for a while, but all the ones I found in the size I was looking for were so expensive. So I decided the cheaper option would be blackboard paint, which I bought from B&Q for £11.00. The result was great and the children love it! They’re forever drawing and writing on it, it’s helping Rio with his reading, writing and spelling and it’s just great overall entertainment for them. I use the top of the board to write things I need to do, so it keeps me organised.
Sunday 17th Jan 2016
We woke up to snow on this day, so the first thing the kids did was get dressed and play in the garden. They lasted around 5 minutes before they came in freezing and complaining of pain in their hands from picking up snow. Oh I remember those days!
Tehya had one of her school friends parties to go to in the afternoon, she was invited before she left school and I thought it would be nice for her to see some of her old school friends. It was a wildlife party so they got to pet bunny rabbits, feed a bearded dragon and even stroke a scorpion!
At tea time Shania had two of her school friends, who are twins, round for tea, they all played lovely and I had a chat with their mum and got a quick crochet lesson too
For all those people who told me my children wouldn’t socialise if they were home schooled, well they’ve actually got a better social life now than they ever did! They may not have a playtime at school, but now I make more of an effort for them to see their good friends and the have quality time with them. Quality over quantity. My social life has improved too!
After struggling to find some lemonade which didn’t contain sweeteners (which are really bad for us-like poison) I decided we would make our own. Although it contains quite a bit of sugar, I would still prefer it over giving the kids anything at all with sweeteners in, sometimes you see them named as Aspartame or Acesulfame but most of them are the same thing. If you are concerned about sweeteners at all I would recommend reading an article online, just google ‘Dr Mercola danger of sweeteners.’
Our lemonade recipe was really easy:
One and a half cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Two cups of sugar (melt gently in a pan first)
2 litres of water OR soda water if you want it fizzy
Keep it in the fridge.
Monday 18th January 2016
Me and one of the mums from school, who I always got on with, had arranged to meet up at the local playgym with the kids. She has a daughter who was in Shania’s year at school and a son who was in Rio’s class.
We stayed there for tea and the kids ran themselves tired, was lovely to have a catchup with my friend who was intrigued to hear more about home schooling.
Most of my friends are very open to the idea of homeschooling and I have found they’ve been positive towards it, which I am grateful for.
We left the playgym at around 7pm and decided we were going to make it a monthly meet up.
Tuesday 19th January
I woke up feeling like we could do with some fresh air and exercise. It wasn’t raining (for once!) so we wrapped up warm, put on our wellies and took the dog for a long walk. Felt lovely with the early morning air and I got some long-overdue exercise!
Wednesday 20th January 2016
Shania wanted to bake when she woke up, I was hesitant at first (mess? aaaarrgghh!) but had to stop myself saying no as it’s all a learning opportunity.
It’s one of the changes I’m making to myself, to say yes more. Everything the children want to do is a learning opportunity in some way or another and me as their mum and now, as their ‘educator’ must allow them the right and the freedom to learn, at every opportunity. So even if something is going to be messy or take up a lot of time or is a little inconvenient at that moment, I am learning to say yes, whenever possible. It promotes positivity too.
I think, as parents we naturally say no. We say no a lot more than when we say yes, it’s naturally harder to say yes, but I realise now the word ‘yes’ makes for happier, more positive children and this equals to a happy more positive parent
Just look at that happy face…
In the late morning I was thinking of something fun I could do to help Rio with his Ladybird Keywords. We usually do flashcards, but I thought of something a little different today. I poured some sugar into a baking tray and wrote the words with my finger. For each one he read correctly he got to dip his finger in and have a taste! It was really fun for us both and as you can imagine, he was eager to get his words right 😉
Thursday 21st Jan. 2016
Today we went to a home education meet up in Huddersfield. It was an informal art class led by a lovely, talented lady who also home educates her child.
The children made Chinese dragons and then we all had a go at still life drawing.
I enjoy the meetups as I get to meet and talk to other home ed parents and it’s nice as we can all support each other.
In the evening, Rio’s best school friend came for tea. It was lovely watching them run around the house playing ‘boy games’, Dinosaur hunters, cops and robbers etc. Things he can’t usually play with his sisters!
When his mum collected him, we both agreed that we would make it a regular meet up so they don’t lose touch.
Friday 22nd Jan. 2016
Something happened today which made me feel like the most happy and proud mum ever. I also felt the most confident with my home education decision I have ever felt. Here’s the status I posted on my facebook wall which will explain more:
Shania used to hate doing her literacy homework, it would be a true battle with her where she would get bored, frustrated and sometimes end in tears. It put a wedge in between our relationship to the point where I just stopped making her do homework. Well, right now I’m absolutely beaming. She was sat with me earlier watching me write my blog, when we started talking about nouns, verbs, adjectives and grammar. She was really interested and keen to lead the conversation. I couldn’t remember which was which (noun, verb and adjective) so she told me. She suggested we play a game where I type out sentences which have mistakes in and she corrects them. We did this for around 20 minutes and I was overjoyed to watch how enthusiastic she was. After, I typed words out which she categorized into nouns, verbs and adjectives. She absolutely loved doing this and it was all led by her. She even taught me what a ‘contraction’ was, I’d not even heard the word before! I’m feeling more confident with home education by the minute and it goes to show a child cannot be ‘taught’ what they aren’t willing to learn.
If there’s anyone reading this who wants to try home educate their children but are nervous/scared/worried about it (just like I was) I say just take the plunge! It is honestly the best (but hardest) decision I ever made. There will always be people who don’t agree with it, a lot of these people are small minded and not willing to look into it before they quickly judge you, I’ve experienced this myself and it was a difficult and emotional time for me. But now, almost 4 weeks in and seeing these amazing things which are happening for me and the children-how much our lives have changed for the better, I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks! Follow your gut feeling, that’s what I did.