Two weeks into Home Ed...let me tell you a bit about the why we did it and what we have been doing...
So two weeks ago we took the step to take our eight year old out of school to home educate her and our other two children (2 1/2 and 6 months).
But why did we do it? Well there are many sides to this answer..
For a long time (probably even pre-children) there has been a thought circling its way around my brain, it pops up all the time......... when I am doing the dishes...THIS CANT BE IT...when I was commuting to my jobs...THIS CAN BE IT......when I am reading another spelling test...THIS CANT BE IT.....when I am working out our income and expenditure..THIS CANT BE IT...when we are rushing and stressed to get out the house to go to school..THIS.....CANT.... BE.... IT......
I refuse to believe that what we (society I mean) have become, what we are told we have to be, is all that our lives amount to... I cant believe that birth, school, work, tax and death is all that we should be destined to get out of life...that ONE life we have and need to LIVE.
I look at us stressing out each and every morning to get to school on time, to try and finish work to collect our children on time or getting childcare for our children when we cannot be there for them due to work...I see us not spending any real quality time together and missing out on all the learning and development and interesting things they say and do because someone else is doing it with them...someone else is seeing them change and grow daily and we get the tired, worn out children at the end of the day.
I look at us going to work for other people, commuting for hours and putting our children in childcare and all the time stressing ourselves out to ensure that money is made and the targets are met and the people we work for are happy.......but we are not.
I see overworked and underpaid teachers in classes of 30 and over, not being able to support all of them individually but instead as a whole due to time constraints and paperwork needed to be done. I look at the children thrown together every day for at least 8 years and maybe more when they go onto high school, all the same age, every day interacting and "socialising" - how many of us as adults socialise with the same people every single day who are all the same age - how real to actual life is that? Are they really socialising (thats' another post lol)
I see a curriculum which is repetitive and boring and is quite far from any actual real life knowledge that the children really need. I see children having the same personal development goals as the other 29 children in their class....how is that possible? they are all individuals and all unique...
ALL of the above and more has been on my mind for years...its how I see it (I know others will think I am mad and I know they will see it differently - but thats' what makes life so flipping interesting!). Its what has spurred us on to quit our jobs and start our own business so we can have more freedom in the world which says we cant really have it!
I want our children to enjoy being children, learn at their own pace and not have to write in cursive hand writing if they do not want to, and not have to be tested and put into groups of how much they can or can't understand for someone else's benefit.
So before I go on anymore (because I could) these are our main reasons. We decided that after working very hard to get Lilbits to where it is now, that this had given us the opportunity to take the leap and start home schooling! This was never an easy decision and it was researched ALOT before doing it, plus it took over 2 years to finally get agreement from Mr Sam who said "actually lets do it" and a week later I de-registered.
So....Here we are 2 weeks in and we are still having panic attacks about it and still not used to not having NO time restraints but we are settling in to learning on the go and enjoying life in this new way!
We have done loads already and have started to meet lots of new people within the home education community both in person and online. Its an amazing thing to find a whole new world you never knew existed and went on around you! Support and advice is fantastic and the amount of groups we have attended and are signed up to attend next week is unbelievable.
There are many opinions on home ed and I am pretty sure my dad thinks it is illegal (it isn't by the way) and we as a family have decided to take some time out from standard education while we settle into life without the normal rules but that does not mean Lilbit has not been learning since we de-registered, to be fair I think she has done more in this two weeks then I ever thought possible without us planning any "learning" in.
So far she has taught herself to roller skate and to do various different types of cartwheels, she has cooked a Mexican meal, has learnt how to calculate profit and understand what profit actually is, she has chatted with a number of different aged people about their day and their jobs, ate a soft shell crab, been part of a circus show, made slime, took part in a sports day, visited a community garden and used a real hammer and nails, painted and hidden pebbles around Barry, went rock pooling and found crabs, had quality time with her younger siblings without being asked AND painted pottery...
This is all such a huge learning curve for us and one of the comments I have received a lot is "I wouldn't have the patience to do home ed" - so I just want you all to know I lack patience and this is something I am hoping to re learn as we go along our way....being patient is a great skill and I think we loose it as we get older as we are always in a rush. SO we are winging it as we do everything and so far its been OK and we have learnt a few things I wanted to share:
- We need to get much much better at picnics - in fact we need a picnic bag
- We need to organise slightly but not too much and remember that plans will change and that's OK!
- We need to relax and when the panic sets in we need to breath and remember our whys.
So we have a jam packed week coming up with things to try and places to go and work to do! But we are going to enjoy the freedom we have given ourselves and continue to wing it!