I thought I’d do you a little home school update, we’re three weeks in* and I’ve shared some photos with you in a post here, and talked about our initial decision but I thought I’d do a post about what it’s really like from a parent’s point of view.
It’s not easy. It really isn’t. It’s actually pretty exhausting, mentally and physically. I thought the initial decision was the hardest bit, turns out, I was wrong! I had got quite used to my little routine of dropping both the children off and then coming home for another cuppa in peace, a tidy round after breakfast and the settling down to check emails and start writing. I’d work all day, breaking for lunch, and then go and pick them up and feel like I’d tied up all the loose ends of the day so I could relax and enjoy time with them. Things are quite different now, I have to do all my work in the evening for a start! It’s not all bad though, I get to spend my days hanging out in museums and parks in the sunshine which is a dream really!
Our typical week:
We wake up and get ready. One for school and one for whatever day we have planned. Things are far far more relaxed and everyone eats breakfast, brushes teeth and gets dressed with much less of a issue. The old anxiety she felt every morning is almost gone and she is a far happier.
After the school run, we come home and have a quick tidy round and make sure we have everything we need for the day. On Monday we drive for 25 minutes to Forest School. This is one of the highlights of the week as we get to spend time together with lovely people in the tranquil calm forest. I’ve watched her blossom as she tackles whittling, using tools, eating stinging nettles and making friends with enthusiasm and excitement. Watching her tear through the trees playing games is such a joy for me.
Tuesday we have a free morning so we will go to the library, buy supplies if we’re working on a project, walk to the park or just hang out together reading or doing workbooks. In the afternoon she goes to music class with one of my best friends and spends time singing with and chatting to the residents of a local care home while I help in school to keep the consistency for my little boy. Then after school they both have swimming lessons.
Wednesday is another free day and we will play it by ear a bit, maybe going to the outdoor pool, the library, the charity book shop, on a nature walk, taking our work books to a cafe etc etc. Wednesday after school is piano and in the evening she goes to the youth group of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade as she wants to be a nurse.
Thursday is a farm day! And she goes from 9-2 to a special home ed group at a gorgeous farm where they have a different topic each week and learn about being outdoors, animal care, nature and plants and trees. This is one of her happiest places! She also has a playdate with a school friend and Brownies in the evening.
Friday is a bit of a relax day. There is a sports group on for home ed children but she is often utterly exhausted and just needs a day to chill out and do reading and work books at home.
(*I started writing this post several weeks ago and it’s not quite the same now. We have both come to the decision that she would actually quite like to be in school and so she is trialling a new, much smaller school every Tuesday and Wednesday.)
It looks as though our home ed journey will come to an end in September all being well, and I genuinely can’t tell you how I feel about it. On the one hand, I have found it very difficult to be Mum, teacher and keep my business going. On the other, it has been a real joy and a privilege to spend so much time with my little girl and watch her blossom into a happy and relaxed child. Things haven’t been totally been plain sailing, she has felt bored, lonely and frustrated at times, but she has also giggled, learnt, questioned, got dirty and been free in the forest and made some wonderful friends along the way.
‘When you really pay attention, everything is your teacher’ – Unknown These two watched this little beetle for ages as he opened up his shell and poked his wings out and then closed them back in again as he tried to decide whether he should stay on my hand or fly away. Loads of our home education is taking place outside. The weather is too nice not to get outdoors. It’s Fri-Yay and I think we may go and try out a multi sports group today. Hoping for more sunny weather, although I have been feeling pretty cold this week. Is my inner thermostat broken or is anyone else chilly?! We have parties and friends on the cards this weekend. You? #pinklinker
Seeing her beaming in a school environment and making friends and feeling happy is a fantastic feeling and I think our few months of home ed have helped her to recover and rebuild her lost confidence, leaving her in a position where school can be viewed in a positive light and not a negative one.