Another Year without School 2016

In previous year’s I have blogged a round up of our home education for the year. Last year’s round up is here Another Year without School 2015. Not so easy this year as I have very few blog posts to help jog my memory.

There has been a fair amount of upheaval this year and Twin Dad has been absent a lot but even so there have been some real milestones achieved this year.

We’ve lived in three UK destinations in one year. January through March were our last months in Southsea after 3 years of living there; April to mid October were spent in the Fenlands with Grandad D and now we’re back in the South again by the sea but this time in West Sussex.

We kicked off 2016 with our second trip to Center Parcs with Nanny & Grandad however battling nasty viruses it was more a place of recovery rather than active adventure.

We made the most of the warm season. Most of it is blogged here.The Summer of 2016

Our National Trust and English Heritage memberships proved excellent value for money this year with trips to Castle Rising, Denny Abbey and the Farmland Museum, Belton House, Woolsthorpe Manor (the home of Isaac Newton), Tattershall Castle, Houghton Mill, Peckover House and probably a few more I’ve failed to remember.

Cambridge trips gave us the Computer History Museum, Museum of Archaelogy & Anthropology, Punting (great fun) and The Fitzwilliam Museum.

Other trips included Green Britain Centre, Ely Cathedral. Snettisham Park where we fed the Deer and Kentwell Hall.

We managed three Camping Trips but I wouldn’t say always successfully or happily, at least not for the Teens anyway. Looking for the positives though – Warwick Castle was a great day out!

I’m sure there are other trips and adventures but moving on to the individuals in question.

S (turned 14 this year) has been home educated since she was 7

This year has had some big highs and lows for S. She performed on stage at The Kings Theatre and what a performance it was. She played the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz with an American accent and also the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s The Witches in a Russian accent. Both great performances but the Grand High Witch was a very memorable one. Her lines were soooo long and powerful and I think we were all sitting on the edge of our seats willing her to make it through and she did.

Sadly she had to say goodbye to her theatre school in March but happily hello again in October. In between times she really missed it and her friends and there were times where this really affected her negatively.

Art wise, she pretty much finished all the comic related work and workshops relating to her Silver Arts Award but then lost the desire to complete it when it came to jumping through too many hoops – it took the fun right out of it so we dispensed with it. Everything positive had already been gained and achieved, time to move on. Suffice to say, her artwork which mainly takes the shape of characters in Manga/Anime style are getting even better. She continues to enjoy working in pencil and letraset markers but will create and enhance digitally.

Anime is the overall theme but it does extend to and connect with other Japanese related topics. For example musically, she still sings a lot but will learn lyrics to Japanese songs. Also musically she has taken to playing the Pan Pipes.

We have been considering college for S to start next September. Still not fully commited but the option is there.

L (turned 14) hasn’t been to school since he was 7. Probably should never have gone!

L has truly transformed this year. It is a pleasure to witness and at times a big relief as we recognise the self confidence that has started to shine through on occasions. Physically he is transformed too standing nearly 5ft 8 as tall as me! Towards the end of the year, he appears to be more confident and Video Gaming remains his biggest interest. Bought an Xbox One but this only confirmed how much of a PC gamer he is. Although he has enjoyed playing Fifa and more so when he has had someone to play with.

He went on to build his own video gaming pc with help from his Grandad D. World of Warcraft became all consuming with him applying for Guilds and being accepted. There was a lot of work involved with applying for Guilds and the requirement to have some kind of gaming history CV to speak of. It reminded me of applying for jobs in the real world! It became apparent that the demographic for guilding and raiding was very much an adult arena which brought it’s own difficulties. In the end with a house move and an appallingly inadequate broadband connection he decided to give up, deal with the disappointment and move on. In doing so he returned to Roblox and has found other new games too. Democracy 3 and Skyrim.

Democracy 3 actually connects with his interest in politics.

He has joined a home-ed football kick about group which surprisingly enough he has really enjoyed. We shall resume this in the New Year. He has also tried Golf accompanied by Twin Dad but says it’s not really for him.

Structured learning for Maths has entered the arena again with him working his way through Conquer Maths on a daily basis. Whether this will lead to him wanting to enter for a GCSE remains to be seen.

A and W (9) identical twin girls have never ever been to school not even a pre-school.

This year they have transitioned from one major interest to another. Monster High Dolls to Star Stable and all things horse related. They’ve gone from role playing with dolls and drawing zillions of characters in various fashion trends to role playing online in a horse world. The dolls have barely been out of their box in literally months and months. Aside of the sedentary nature of an online interest there is much positive to speak of. Star Stables has without any shadow of a doubt ensured the massive leap forward in their literacy skills. Fluent reading and typing with lots of spelling being learned along the way.

As we follow interests, we’ve visited Horse Sanctuaries and even started horse riding.

Tornadoes, Hurricanes and extreme weathers still remain of interest. Lots of documentaries, YouTube clips, books all satisfy curiosity.

Orangutan also still high on the interest list with *Rang e* and *Ruby* involved in day to day life.

Anyway, that’s going to have to be a wrap for 2016.


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