So I have to admit , it feels like the time educating the little ones has flown over and after just 8 weeks I'm already being asked to provide the Local Authority with my reports of how things are going.
First of all I just want to clarify that this is not a necessary requirement but being that I actually enjoy my role as teacher and take it pretty seriously , I think I owe it to myself , the children and those wish to follow our venture to share our experience so I have no argument to write one up and let them know that we're doing just grand on our own without any help from anyone other than ourselves and those resources I've already shared with you.
I feel we have covered quite a large area of learning in such a small time frame .
I was advised in the beginning to do a thing called de-schooling which basically means the child settles into their environment and takes a time out from education/schooling or just learning them in general although learning can be done in your sleep apparently , did you know that?
Seriously , I don't mean to sound out of hand here but if your OK with your child sitting in front of YouTube , TV, Computer game consoles 24/7 and feel thats OK then that's fine , you know your child best but personally I had no interest for de-schooling and wanted my children to get into the swing of a routine at home straight away so not to disrupt their train of thought.
I wanted them to work at their own pace , not feel pressured by others who may or may not be doing better than them and I wanted them not to worry about tests or exams that I felt unnecessary to their learning.
I felt rules were being thrown left right and center and that they were being made to feel they could no longer share their independence or self worth anymore.
I had a son who was close to leaving school and being told that he had no prospects in life as his level was not that of their expectations and so he felt no need to even try and as a result ended up in trouble most days leading to exclusions or detentions.
Another child was slowly showing signs of depression, stress and anxiety and another neither wanted to be there nor did they feel it was fun .
Not all the children suffered from a School education but we have found in just 8 weeks that our family have benefited from taking the time out to Home educate, giving them a chance at learning the way they want to and surprisingly it went better than I had thought it would.
I expected the children to lie in bed till late hours and be up watching TV till even later, I expected them to ignore the plans of following a routine and not doing worksheets, workbooks or even have any initiative into trying to learn .
We could not have been more wrong and in fact the children actually wanted to learn. I found they were waking themselves up , going into the living room taking their work from the draw and sitting themselves down to work on their own and they didn't need me to tell them they needed to do it, in fact they were asking for more work on occasions.
They have took the opportunity with both hands and soured through everything given to them .
We visit the library every single week and they love reading now , they bring around 2-3 books home and read them each week. We encourage them to join in on the community centers activities and nearly all of them have signed up to join the Brass band which they are so eager to start.
Their attitudes to wards each other have become more friendly, and kinder and they are getting on so much more than they were and I can see their independence and responsibilities are thriving each day .
Things are even better than I expected them to be .
Kaiden Aged 7yrs -
Over the past 8 weeks Kaiden has shown enthusiasm in his work and is developing a great interest in history especially when he chose to learn about 'The Great Fire Of London' after taking a book from the Library. He has proven to be a very thoughtful young boy after he joined in on 'Kindness week' and an anti bullying campaign activity which encouraged him to be kind and he shared how peoples feelings were very important. During his science lessons, Kaiden found he wanted to learn about Astronauts so with his brother he made his own Space Diary which was part of 'Principia's space mission with Tim Peake'. He has also learned about the life cycle of a plant and talked about how exercise helps the heart to stay healthy. He was particularly interested in our Lava Lamp experiment and how the LED lights worked. Kaiden enjoys reading a lot, watching how to videos, visiting the library and at the end of each day he chose's to go onto Study Ladder to which he is signed up to and does his Math and English lesson's, he is doing so well now that he has already gained a silver certificate. He loves hands on activities and he showed a lot of zeal when we took him to the Wingate Nature reserve where he found a big interest in the Donkeys. Kaiden is rather smart with numbers and I feel if this is encouraged then this could be used to his advantage as he grows later in life. He loves to run around and loves cooking in the kitchen and playing games. He is currently interested in learning about time and we are looking at ways to encourage more writing for Kaiden, he is very smart and just needs a little encouragement to get him started but once he is involved, he is a bit of a leader.
Leon Aged 8 yrs -
Leon is such a loud character now, he loves to take over and be in the center of any activity. He loves to work on projects where he can really sit down and learn about something but he is not so enthusiastic at maths. We are trying to encourage this through online resource games which he seems to be enjoying without realizing he is learning. Leon has taken part in 'National Heart Week' where he took a deep interest in learning about how the heart works and even went as far as making a special gift for a little boy around the corner who had a heart defect. He is a very shy boy around others but this showed me that he is feeling a little more confident. He has been part of the 'Principia Space Mission' with his brother and enjoyed learning about how Astronauts stayed healthy and learned about Tim Peake and the rockets. Leon enjoys working on Study Ladder and has reached a bronze certificate. He loves to write and be creative and is a great reader. Each week Leon reads two teenage level books now and it seems to be something he is really enjoying more. Leon was fascinated with our cornflower experiment and he loved to learn about solids and liquids, he also enjoyed visiting our local refuse center where he gathered many crafts for his building sculptures. Leon wants to learn and is always the one who asks for more work so we encourage this when asked. He loved our Day Trip to The Quarry where he learned about Limestone.
Libby Aged 10 yrs -
Libby is doing well but it has become apparent that she has not been taught well in school. We are having to take Libby backwards to KS1 work and build her up due to her finding even simple work difficult. I am having to give Libby one on one help to encourage her concentration every day and she constantly asks for reassurance with her work but her work is improving and she is working well now. Libby loves to visit the library and loves hands on work and enjoyed our Science projects on solids to liquids. Libby has a bronze certificate on Study Ladder and loves watching YouTube tutorials. I was very proud at Libby's enthusiastic approach to learning about 'St Brigid's Day' and she loved making a mosaic of 'The Cloak field'. Libby has also been involved in the 'Valentines day project', 'Story week' and has been trying to build up her English work through reading as she loves visiting the library each week. Libby needs to build her confidence to make her appreciate that she is able to achieve the results she needs.
Drew Aged 11 yrs -
Drew is very smart. She is especially gifted in her maths and she loves to help others learn her methods and we are working on fractions as she sees this is an area she needs work on.
Drew has had a very busy few weeks and through her options chose to learn about 'WW1', 'Goodnight Mr Tom' , 'Charles Dickens' and also took part in 'Valentine's day' and 'Story week'.
Drew showed great interest in Goodnight Mr Tom and spent nearly two weeks covering all areas of the Film, book and researched well, she even role played a drama routine with her siblings.
Drew loves to watch YouTube tutorials and even gone as far as making her own science tutorials of her making Lava Lamps. She has also found a couple of Pen Pals which encourages her creative writing skills.
I found Drew was developing anxiety on leaving her at school and am pleased to see this has since vanished and she is enjoying learning .
Sian Aged 12 yrs-
Sian has adapted very well into Home education and needs no encouragement to pick up her work and get on with it. She is always found reading and loves to read many at a time. Sian has been working on her fractions after realizing this is an area she needs to build on and even excelled and surprised me when I surprised her with a random test on other areas. Over the past few weeks, Sian has worked on some wonderful projects such as 'WW1', where she researched books and watched documentaries. Sian also joined in on 'Epilepsy week' where she learned what it was and how to deal with someone having an epileptic fit if ever needed, She loved working on the first aid especially. Sian has also researched 'Charles Dickens' and the 'Revolution' as well as 'The Scream by Edward Munch' where she worked really hard on making a self portrait of her own version of the Picture. I was very impressed with Sian's encouraging attitude on our day trip to the local Nature Reserve where she found a Newt on the side of the pond and spoke about the life cycle of it developing from an egg mass to an adult form. Sian loved our cross country and is working hard on her writing and comprehension work. Sian loves science, she loved the cornflower experiment and also enjoyed making a video of her putting a mobile phone into balloon by learning about pressure and air .
Philip Aged 15yrs-
Philip was struggling in school but since finding he has no one to be compared to in his learning he is thriving and building his confidence back up. We had struggles with his reading and writing but we feel he is at a level where he is able to understand the process of his work. He is quite clever with his maths when he puts his mind to it and although needs help in some areas, his basic maths skills will help him as he grows, he is just learning to expand his progress. Philip has been involved in some amazing research work. He loves to watch movies and documentaries, he loves watching YouTube tutorials and especially enjoys gaming and art. Philip works better when he is working hands on and so we encourage him to be creative, encouraging things like decorating (which was a family activity ) which could lead to a possible trade skill for when he leaves home as he seemed to really enjoy it. Philip worked really hard on both the 'WW1' and 'WW2' work he was assigned to and even made some fantastic points in his 'Gandhi' work as well as his 'Atheist' views. Philip takes a lot of persuasive attitude to get him to work but once we have him involved he puts everything into his work and it shows. He loves visiting the library and we often find him reading in his room no which we never thought he would be doing.
All together the children have been really enthusiastic in their Home Education.
The children also play their own part in reviewing toys which they are sent freely from some of the big brands and TV shows which they love to get involved in , they've done this for a few years already and love it.
We visit the library every single Saturday and as well as the learning above, they are encouraged to do chores and life skills activities on a daily basis.
We take regular trips out to Nature Reserves, parks, Museums and other areas of interest where we feel the children are benefiting and learning from and are having a wonderful time with our experience together.
We're having a wonderful time learning .