Unlike some home educators we are extremely lucky to have supportive family and friends. We have not experienced much negativity about the education we have chosen for our children (apart from the odd slightly raised eyebrow) despite it being a less than conventional path. My mum in particular has been tremendously supportive and has championed our home ed choices to a few of her more sceptical friends. Last week she told me how a friend of a friend, a teacher, had commented that most home educated children she had come across during her teaching career had struggled to settle at school, lacking some key skills and knowledge expected of their peers. My initial reaction was to shrug the comment off in a ‘what does she know’ kind of way. Then I got defensive. Then I started to really think about her comment, and finally here I am writing a response, because sometimes that’s the only way I can get my thoughts in order. Read more
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
It is the start of September and the nip of Autumn is in the air. For many it is the time of new starts as they begin a new school term, possibly in a new class or even a new school. New timetables, new teachers, new uniforms. But for us it is very much business as usual.
I have to admit to the odd pang when I see photos of beautiful, beaming, shiny children in their new uniforms popping up on my Facebook newsfeed. I am not anti-school, after all I have spent more years of my life in them than out, and there are some excellent schools where children are allowed to learn and thrive despite the limits being put upon the teachers. I do however disagree with the excessive testing; the rigidity of curriculum; the pressure to conform; the over-crowded classes, and quite a few other negative aspects of the English schooling system. So why the pangs? Read more
The girls and I have had a few disagreements lately about paint use. I tend to have craft materials all with free access so that they can get creative as and when the mood strikes. However the last few times they have got the poster paint out there has been an awful lot of squeezing out of paint and mixing them, and very little actual painting. I don’t like to see waste so I was finding it really hard to step back and let them loose, despite knowing that it is just another way of using the materials rather than the wrong way. I did eventually put the brakes on a bit, temporarily removing the paint, but I decided that if squeezing and mixing was what they were into just now we’d do just that. Read more
Did you know that home education is actually the default choice for families in the UK? School has become so widely used that we have come to assume that it is the standard pathway through childhood. It is, in fact, a service that is available for families to opt into and access free of charge, in much the same way as pre-school or nursery provision is available to all 3 year olds and some 2 year olds. School is not compulsory, an education however is. Read more