100 Ways to Home Ed: A week without school

This post is part of the #100waysofhomeed blog hop where home educators are sharing the richly diverse ways in which our children learn. On Friday Jo talked about what autonomous education looks like for her family in her blog 3 Kids and a Glue Stick. Tomorrow it is Maria’s turn to share her home ed story over at Maria Luves, and you can catch up with all the other blog posts at Making It Up or scroll down to see links to the posts (if I can work out how to get that to work!)

In the past I have described our style of home education in a number of ways, child-led, autonomous, interest-led, but unschooling is probably the term I relate to most closely. This definition on wikipedia is quite useful if you are unfamiliar with the term.

“When pressed, I define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear… This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we learn when we leave school and enter the world of work.” Pat Farenga

I have written a few posts about how no two days are alike for us. Our style of home education is very much centred on following the interests of the girls and this can take us in all sorts of different directions. This is not to say that our days completely lack any structure or routine, it is just that this develops from the choices they actively make rather than things being planned for them. Although every day is different we do have certain things that we tend to do on the same day each week; activities that the girls have tried, enjoyed, and chosen to make a regular part of their week. I don’t usually write diary type posts (although I do try to share photos of what we have been up to on Facebook or Instagram) but I thought I’d write this one about what we have been up to over the past week. Read more

Learning at home: So what do you do all day?

We don’t do school. We don’t do anything that resembles school either. This isn’t quite what I had in mind when we started home educating. I love timetables, lists, goals, projects and workbooks, but it turns out that my children don’t share my passion. So we don’t try to replicate school at home, it just isn’t necessary when an individual has choices about what and how they learn. Read more

Why I keep justifying living without school

The thing about choosing a slightly different educational path for our children is that I constantly feel the need to justify this choice. Sometimes I am not sure whether I am justifying it to myself or to everyone else. But the thing is that neither is really necessary. I am completely comfortable with my choice to home educate the girls; I am clear in my own head about all the reasons that make it the best choice for us right now. The girls are happy, healthy and thriving. image We are also very lucky that at no point have we had any negative comments or interrogations. Unfortunately many home educators have to field negativity from family, friends, neighbours and strangers. Yet I can still be found here, and in real life conversations, justifying what we do. Why? Read more

A letter to the Chief Inspector of Schools from an angry Home Educator

Dear Sir Michael Wilshaw,

I am very sorry to hear that you have found evidence to suggest that hundreds of children in England are being taught in illegal schools. However, I am extremely concerned that you wish that “… the rules around home education need to be heightened because it’s quite clear to me that there’s a correlation between the growth of home education and the number of illegal schools that are now operating” (BBC Radio 4’s Eddie Mair show, 17.05.16). Read more

Letting go of the ‘shoulds’

Life is full of ‘shoulds’. From what you should be eating and drinking to the exercise you should be getting; the deals you should be getting on your utilities or insurances, to the charities you should be donating to… Should, should , should. When you become a parent a whole new deluge of shoulds descends. Not only should you be doing this, that and the other to ensure that your offspring will grow up to be the next Einstein, Van Gogh, Beckham or Mozart but they should also be fitting into complicated schedules and hitting milestone after milestone. Read more