Archive for the 'Tobermory' Category

The magic age of 7

Having been fairly autonomous in our HE journey so far, it has at times been fairly nerve wracking, wondering whether we were really doing the right thing, when we saw all our sons school going peers producing their “handwriting” and reading words (slowly but surely) and our son just not showing any interest in “learning”.  However now we have hit that magic age of 7 - the age that Steiner thought that children were ready to learn, it has all paid off.  Within the last 6 months our son has suddenly picked everything up - seemingly without trying.

He is now reading all the time - including HUGE words that I cant believe that he knows, his writing is coming on a dream, he is choosing to draw pictures, and he is swimming amazingly (having turned round one day and stated he didnt need his float jacket anymore, jumped in the pool and was off like a fish)

 Hopefully this means that I will be a lot more relaxed as babe grows up!

 So to all those people that are having a nervous wobble (yep we all have them) then have faith, they do seem to suddenly pick it up and run with it.

Painting with flour!

Today was a bit of a light bulb moment - as I realised how far we have come on the Home Eding road.  Today number 2 son (8 months old) found a bag of flour, decided to tip it on the floor and sit in it.  Now if number 1 son (now nearly 7 years old) had done this when he was the same age, I would have thrown a wobbly, picked him up, cleaned him down, tidied away and got myself all worked up into a state (which would have upset my son as well)

Being 6 years down the line, I just wandered past him, sat down with him and drew swirly patterns on the kitchen floor in the flour, then got up and left him to play with it.  When number 1 son returned home from his Martial Arts class, he promptly joined in by getting some more flour out and some sea salt and making a great wall of china on the floor.

I think that the reality of HE for me is that we are all learning what life is about, how to live with each other and ourselves, and learning all about the world.  I dont know where DS1 learnt about the Great Wall of China, but he obviously has at some point - and DS2 is busy learning how to make pictures with his hands.

I can get the hoover out later and clean the mess up, so why worry, the boys are happy, I am not stressing and a good time was had by all.

Wisley Butterflies

We visited Wisley today to look at  all the beautiful butterflies - they are wonderful and it was fantastic to watch my son and husband reading all about butterflies and moths and where they come from, their life cycles etc - you dont get science classes like that at school.

We also compared the leaf structures of the plants in the tropical zones with the plants in the desert zones - and even I learned something new about cactuses (not that I knew that much about them before we went)  I think that Home Education is an education for the whole family, I am learning as much as DS is about new things.

Its been a good fortnight (eventually)

I had a major wobble about Home Eding a couple of weeks ago, after dear son and I decided to have the biggest falling out ever.  Resulting in me questioning everything that I have researched and believed in, but as is the way with HE (or so it appears to me) you have these major hiccups and then your children make a massive leap forward.

 A week after the major wobble we went to Legoland for DS birthday, as a treat my husband and I also took his best friend with us.  Now his best friend (BF) goes to the “good” local school and is a great boy, but it was interesting to see that in spite of his two years in full time education, and my sons complete lack of structured education, my son was more than able to keep up in the literacy and the maths stakes (and on many occasion over take BF).  I was also completely thrown when BF informed us that one of the boys had head butted him at school and given him a nose bleed - this was told to us as if it was an everyday occurance, and when a few further questions were gently asked he said “oh the boy does this all the time to loads of the children”

 So all my wobble was thrown out of the window and I realised that we are doing the right thing for our family at the moment.  I am gradually coming to realise that everyone has wobbles - whether you send your child to school, or HE - and in what ever structure (or lack of) that you HE.  I think that having the chance to meet / talk / email with other people that are Home Eding is so wonderful, as it just gives another perspective of what is happening in life.

It also seems that autonoumous education does work (yep I have wobbles about that as well). My DS having shown no interest in writing at all, has now written most of his thank you cards for his birthday presents.  He has had help from me, but compared with two months ago, his concentration, pen control and willingness to write them have amazed me.

Anyway thats enough from me for now, I am sure another wobble will be along soon, but hopefully they will get fewer and less strong as the years go by

Why did we choose to Home Ed?

This is the question that I get asked a lot.  Every person that Home Eds does so for very different reasons, I think it is probable that no two families would have exactly the same reasons for Home Eding, but I thought it might be useful to see some of the reasons that we have choosen to take the Home Ed path.

It probably all started with the choice of birth for my son!  Because I wanted a homebirth, and live in an area where I wouldnt have been “allowed” one (well not without a fight, and I dont like conflict so the last thing I wanted to do while pregnant was fight for my right to have a homebirth).  This resulted in us using a fantastic Independent midwife, one of the results of having an independent midwife is that you have your eyes opened to all the available options for birthing / parenting / living life, and you start to question the “normal” route of societies inhabitants.

After the birth of my son we choose to attachment parent, including co-sleeping and long term breastfeeding. We started to read about Home Ed and did some research into it, I started to go to a Home Ed group with my son from a very early age and met other people that were Home Eding.  The more that we read the more that we felt this was right for our son and our family.  I was already very aware that I disagreed with the constant testing in schools and the high pressure enviromnent that works for a few children, but fails for so many others.

My son went to a local nursery for a couple of years (part time) and really didnt like it, in hindsight I wish that we had taken him out a lot earlier.  We then started to HE for real, then our son announces that he wants to go to the local school with his best friend.  Because we have always listened to what he had to say we discussed it with him and agreed that we would try and get him a place.  We were succesful in getting the place at the school (probably coz we put our 2nd choice of school as Home Education - they couldnt not give him a place!)  My husband and I were not happy about him going, but felt that he needed to make the decision, and we could always take him out if it didnt work out. 

The school holds two pre school days when all the children  go along and meet the teachers and the other children. We went to the first one and it was a nightmare - imagine 60 children, with parents and siblings all milling round two small classrooms, Thankfully my son walked out stating “I am never going back there”  we persuaded him to go back for the 2nd day, just because we felt that he should give it a fair try, it was as bad (if not worse) than the first day.  We all agreed that he didnt ever have to go there - hurray - I wrote a letter to the school asking them to remove him from the register and that was it, we started our Home Eding journey for real.

We havent regretted our decision at all, occasionally we (well me mainly) have the odd wobble, but there are so many fantastic HE families around that help and can give advice that the wobbles happen less and less.

So if you are thinking about HE, my recommendation would be to do some research, talk to other HE families (there are loads of us around) and talk to your children.  You need to make the decision that is right for all the family, for us it was to HE and we have never looked back.

Good luck