September is here again and children all over the country are returning to school but yet again, we’re not. However, our eldest daughter is starting college!
Where does the time go?
One moment the children are all seven and under and the home educating path ahead seems full of potential. Dreams of freedom and adventure and possibilities for our life without the school choice. Freedom from a school timetable and it’s subjects, free to learn what we want when we want and how we want. Freedom to gallivant and visit places of interest in less busy periods. These are just some of the things we have enjoyed from the home educating choice.
Where are we now?
Fast forward 8 years or so (this is our 9th year of home educating since removing our eldest pair from school) and all our children are over 10. Home Education looks a lot different for us now and for a long while Home Education has been just another label to explain to others why our children are not in school. For us it’s just our normal and we easily forget that others still may find this strange.
Apart from physically moving house a lot we are currently based in Hampshire.
What are we learning?
S (15) is about to study a level 2 Diploma in Art & Design with Maths & English alongside having totally bypassed GCSE’s at this stage. Maths & English will be studied alongside the Art course and GCSE can be obtained. It’s a new exciting chapter for her and despite being the youngest on the course and the only candidate to have come via a home educated pathway she is ready. As parents we have already grown accustomed to the taxi driving service that we now provide and the fact that she is rarely home except to sleep!
L (15) is not interested in college this year. We have IGCSE Maths exam in January 2018 planned. Just a few months to study what would normally be spread over 2 years but it’s only one exam so perfectly doable. English Language IGCSE and History IGCSE appears to be the plan for the Summer of 2018 but it’s all subject to change. This decision will take some further input from us and I think more so than if exams were being taken via the school route. We will be knuckling down very soon but this route does mean more can be achieved in less time.
A and W (10) have never been to school, not even preschool. They have enjoyed much freedom to play and pursue their own interests and it shows in their nature. This approach continues. Following a pattern of intense interests for as long as they want then moving on when they are ready is how they roll. Right now it’s Horses. This has largely come about from a video game they play called Star Stable. Star Stable replaced the Monster High play that went on for several years. It’s very sociable and interactive and has absolutely been instrumental in learning to read and
write type. This has lead on to *real life* horse riding and they are currently taking lessons. At cantering stage they will soon be joining the pony club which will open up further doors and more in depth learning.
They still enjoy climbing trees, sea swimming and bike riding but when at home it’s very much a video gaming, you-tubing world. Extreme Weather interest remains and we watch movies & documentaries about tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis – you get the idea.
Just of late they have started to devour the Goth Girl & Ottoline stories by Chris Riddell and their interest in reading story books over books on weather is growing! My job is to find more reading material for them. Change is on the horizon with another house and they are feeling excited so they tell me. Change opens new doors and new places to visit.
Thoughts on Home Education
I’s not always easy and dedicating one parent to be around all of the time thus forfeiting a career has it’s own issues. There are challenges and it’s not always a perfect choice but then school often isn’t either. For our family choosing not to use school was a choice that needed to be made and we do love our Freedom. We continue to ride the roller coaster that is life and Home Education just happens to be part of it. We don’t tend to separate learning from life. Life is learning and that is that as far as we are concerned.