Well, hello there!
I’ve finally managed 5 minutes of quiet time in my very crazy and very busy home edding life, so I should introduce myself!
I’m Lauren. I’m 26. I’m married to a wonderful children’s entertainer, Martin, 28 and we have 2 beautiful girls, Nola (5) and Maya (1). We also have a Weimaraner x German Shorthaired Pointer called Marley and a White cat called Luna…
We made the decision to home educate just after Nola began Year 1. She had done playgroup, nursery & reception, but when the change to a more strict and pressured environment happened, she just crumbled. I couldn’t put a book in front of her without a complete meltdown, she was gaining a very, very bad attitude and she was starting to cry before going to school… This would have been reason enough for our concern, but I’ll be completely honest with you here, our biggest reason for home educating was the pure and simple fact that we MISSED OUR DAUGHTER. My goodness, she was gone from 9am till 3.30pm, she came home in a foul mood, didn’t want to speak or play. It was not our child, and THAT was terrifying.
My husband is also self employed, and works whenever the school kids are on holiday, so he was never seeing Nola… There were many reasons behind the choice to go ahead and home educate, but the simple fact is, we missed our daughter.
It started out as a bit of a joke really… ‘We should home educate!! Haha!’ It stayed as a joke for a few weeks until someone I know posted a link to a blog post about a day in their world of home ed… This my friends was the turning point for me. This woman’s world involved cooking, baking, playing in the garden, planting veggies, playing in a mud kitchen and taking care of the family animals… It was absolutely beautiful. It ‘had me at hello’…
Of course, the hubby wasn’t convinced quite so easily! (They rarely are!)… I, however, started my research into the reality of home educating, or more specifically, the legality…
I started with the government website, which links to your local authority. They had a specific Home Education page and it was full of information that I, personally, needed… We have a somewhat structured approach, so I needed to know the ins and outs of the curriculum, and what was required at the various levels.
After I had found what I considered to be rather encouraging on the Local Authority website, I again approached the subject with my husband. He was far more open to the suggestion that time… He also likes to do this i’s and cross his t’s…
So, thus, our Home Education journey began in late September 2014….
We stocked up on curriculum work books, we joined various sites (I’ll post my favourites below!) and we joined every yahoo and facebook group related to home education that we could!! We started with a local library meet up, we met amazing families, and our confidence grew from there.
Home educating is not always the easiest option, it’s not always the cheapest option, but it is definitely AN option, and shouldn’t be pushed out as a possibility if you are willing to give the time and patience. It’s incredibly rewarding.
In the past 6 months I have seen my daughter go from strength to strength, from barely reading, to reading outstandingly well. From being a shy, introverted lady, to a bubbly and confident one! She enjoys learning, and she absolutely loves her home ed friends!
So there’s another hoop we always have to jump, right? Socialisation. Let me tell you right now, or let my diary tell you, this is absolutely NOT a problem… I think we have the over socialisation problem Hahahaha! My diary is jam packed with home ed activities, such as:
- Horse riding
- Book & Craft Club
- Circus skills
- Recorder group
- Baby music group
- Science Club
- Library Meets
- Forest school
- An allotment
- Drama workshops
Our lives are education. We live and breathe learning, but we don’t restrict that to books, pens and paper alone. Yes we have our structured time (normally 1-2hrs a day), but we also do a lot of learning from our environment! It’s important to me that my children are educated by the world around them instead of text books alone.
My children are both out in the Forest nearly every, single day. We walk the dog, we get fresh air… We are very lucky to live the life we do.
So, that is us… Somewhat structured, and loving it!
Please find some of my favourite home ed resources below:
- https://www.readingchest.co.uk ( Banded book Hire service)
- http://www.twinkl.co.uk ( THOUSANDS of printable resources!)
- http://readingeggs.co.uk ( a fantastic site that provides online games as a way to teach children to read and do maths )
- http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com ( FREE site for teaching children basic phonics)
- http://www.theworks.co.uk (online and in store are both great for cheap art and craft supplies, also books!)
(Here is a photo of my lovely husband, who was upset he wasn’t in the above pictures haha! He ran the home ed circus workshops!)