Monday, 19 February 2018

Because schools just don't work anymore

There is concern amongst many home eductators in the UK, myself included, about a new bill, The Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill. This has been triggered by concerns that a growing number of families have chosen elective home education in the UK. A 97% increase in numbers since 2012.  The bill, if made into law, would see local authorities given a duty to “monitor the educational, physical and emotional” development of home educated children. It has been created by Lord Soley and is currently being put to the House of Lords, and also says annual assessments should be undertaken.

Instead of worrying about the parents capabilities in providing suitable education for their own children,and trying to pass a bill to standardise home education. Perhaps they should spend their time asking themselves why there is an increase in families choosing to educate their children otherwise than at school.


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Lessons for my Rebel Girl

My darling girl turned 8 this week. 8!?! I have no idea where that time has gone, everyone was so right, time really does fly.

She seems to have changed overnight. No longer is she a fragile little girl, but a fierce tween, with strong opinions on her life. She is developing a crazy awesome sense of style, dyeing her hair all the shades of the rainbow, experimenting with make-up, and listening to indie rock music. But at the same time, playing with her dolls, obsessing over Harry Potter, being fascinated with Egyptians, only wearing the colour purple, and playing make believe small worlds with her sister. She dreams of travelling the world, hunting fossils and discovering archaeological gems. I imagine her like some kind of rebel Lara Croft.


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Monster Movie

Today has been a lazy day at home where we've been making use of our Christmas presents.

Little Bean loves putting on shows with her Playmobil people and dolls, which she often records on my phone. We bought her this kit for Christmas so she could be inspired to create some of her own animations.


Monday, 1 January 2018

Read with Us: January 2018

What we've mostly been reading this month . . .

This Phenomenal Life; written by Misha Maynerick Blaise
This book was recommended by Sara, Happiness is Here, one of my favourite, inspiring unschooling bloggers (side note, check out her blog if you haven't already, it's fab!). Through beautiful illustrations and straightforward language this book explains all of the fascinating ways that we are connected with the natural world. This is one of those books that will be left out on the coffee table for us to keep going back to. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

Making Dolls Clothes

One of the awesome gifts that home education gives us is time. Time to connect, time to play and time to pursue our passions. Some days we do nothing but play and the girls aren't really focused on any one thing. Then there are days like today, when they are so focused on something that we spend hours on it.

This morning the girls were asking when we could buy some new clothes for their dolls. I explained that they are quite expensive and with Christmas coming up I couldn't really justify buying any. They then suggested that we make some. So out came the sewing machine, and 4 focused hours later they each had a skirt and dress for their dolls. 


Monday, 20 November 2017

Our December Book Advent

It's that time of year again! Time to start the never ending list of preparations.

I'm a sucker for traditions, and one of my favourites that I started when Big Bean was 2 is the book advent calendar.

In case you're wondering what this is, basically I wrap up 24 Christmas themed books and place them in a basket under the tree. Every night before bed the girls unwrap one of the books and we snuggle up with hot milk and cookies to read the story. Once the story is opened it gets put back in the basket to enjoy any time during the rest of the month

I know you're probably thinking that it is super expensive, but it really doesn't have to be. Some of the books are from charity shops, The Book People do bags of children's books for £1 a book, and I'm always hunting for bargains in places like The Works.

After Christmas the books are boxed up and stored in the attic until next December. I buy a handful of new books each year and add these into the collection. It makes it so much more exciting for the girls as the books seem new because they've been stashed away for 11 months.

I have splurged on a few new ones this year because the girls have outgrown some (but mainly because I am a bookaholic!). Seriously send help I have a massive book addiction!

Above is the stack of this years pre-wrapped books, which I've listed for you to peruse, see if any tickle your fancy. I will pre warn you now some of these books are too gorgeous to resist!


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Losing Grandad; Children's Grief Awareness Week

This week, 16th November - 22nd November 2017, is Children's Grief Awareness week here in the UK.

I procrastinated for a while about writing this post as the emotions are still incredibly raw. But I pushed that to the side and decided to share our story in the hopes that it may help bring some peace and understanding to other families in similar circumstances. So here goes.

5 years ago we lost my Daddy, the girls grandad, to a terminal illness. He died on my 25th birthday, which I rarely share as it's a pain I bury deep.

Even though the girls were very young, his loss has affected them greatly, particularly Big Bean, who suffers from anxiety and night terrors. I don't think this was the only trigger,school being one, but it was the by far the biggest.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Beating the Self Doubt

Sometimes I get a panicky feeling. I ask myself many questions. Have we made the right choice to home educate our children? Am I doing enough? Are they missing out on things? Are they socializing enough?

Deep down I know that my husband and I are so happy with our decision. The children are happier than they have ever been before, they have meaningful relationships, they love life, they laugh and play all day, they are free.

But knowing this doesn't stop these niggling guilt feelings that creep in every so often. A feeling that somehow I will fail my children, that somehow I will let them down.

Then this weekend I came to the realisation that most parents feel like this regardless of where/how their children are educated. Most parents worry about failing their children, most parents are just trying to do their best.

I think the fear that home school parents have comes from the fact that we are constantly going against the grain, throwing societies expectations of children out the window. And instead of being scared that we are outcasts, misfits, 'hippy drippy weirdos' (just some lovely names for homeschoolers I've come across on the world wide web), I should embrace it!

"Be a Flamingo in a flock of Pigeons"


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Read With Us: November 2017

What we've mostly been reading this month . . .

Claude; By Alex T. Smith
We are madly in love with the Claude series. We stumbled across it in the bookshop and are flying through them (onto the third book in as many weeks). I am trying to pace them, reading just a few pages a night, but they are so much fun that we have easily got carried away and read nearly the whole book in a night. Without giving too much away this series is about a mischievous, eccentric dog named Claude and his best friend Mr Bobblysock. The stories are fast paced and very wacky. We have laughed out loud more than any other books we have read. This series is a must read, even if you don't have kids!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Unschooling Maths

I thought I would do a post to talk about maths and what this looks like for us, just on the off chance that some people are interested.

We've been homeschooling for the last 18 months now and I feel like we have found our rhythm, have totally deschooled and I am definitely way more relaxed about our choices.

We are totally unschooled now. I follow the girls in whatever direction their learning happens to take.

Although I still believe that in order for this amazing learning journey to unfold, while it isn't my job to 'teach' the girls, it is my job to surround them with quality resources and engaging experiences.

This is what I strive to do each day, be present and facilitate any learning that happens to take place.

One of the areas where I have invested in quality materials is maths. I wanted the girls to be able to explore the subject hands on which is why I set up a maths shelf in the home ed shed, full of any equipment they may need to explore maths concepts.