Home Ed Q&A with Rachael

Grab your cuppa and have a read of the next Chai Chat with Rachael from oddsandtodds on Instagram.

Many thanks Rachael for getting involved and taking the time to answer my questions, I loved reading them!

Hi, my name is Rachael! Please follow me on Instagram: oddsandtodds and on my blog: https://oddsandtodds.wordpress.com

When and why did you decide to Home Educate?
We decided to Home Educate when our oldest was 2 years old. My husband had just graduated in primary teaching and just decided primary schools were not what he wanted for his kids. We chatted about it at great length, but the positives outweighed the negatives by a mile.
What kind of approach do you take?
Our oldest is still early years foundation stage! But she's quite keen to do structured activities, so we just do a huge mix of things. Our main aim is to stop when she's bored or had enough, let her choose her work area and to learn as we live. So that's reading shop signs, counting money etc.

Where do the children do most of their work? and do they distract each other?
We make a point of asking where she would like to sit when we're doing a sit down activity or work. This way she can find her own comfortable position, whether that's on the floor, sofa, at the table. Whatever she likes. Our toddler is forever distracting the eldest, but she has such patience with her. We don't really see it as a problem.

What is your favourite thing about Home Education?
Freedom!! We are not tied to a school timetable, we are free to take trips, go where ever we want, whenever we want. Freedom to learn whatever we want, with no limiting curriculum.

What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable?
We don't teach subjects just yet, but in the future we are hoping to follow a topic each fortnight, trying to incorporate all of our learning into the topic. We will allow ourselves the freedom to continue the topic for longer if we want to, or changing the topic early.
What do you find most difficult and why?
Not having much money. Home education isn't expensive, however, having the children at home means less time to work. Having said that, trips and holidays work out so much cheaper, we don't need to pay for uniforms or expensive school meals.

How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others?
Funnily enough, I answered this question today. We're all about changing people's perceptions on socialisation.

Is school a natural environment to socialise?
Children are made to be quiet and sit with people they don't get to choose at school, it's a forced situation where children don't get a choice. Children spend their days with the same 30 children for the next 7 years of their lives. Home educated kids have a choice.
We socialise everyday, when we go out to eat, to the shops, going to the park, spending time with other home educated kids... all of the time! And they are all natural social interactions.
Have family supported your decision?
We haven't had any negative comments from family members. On the whole they seem to be very supportive of our choice.
How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days?
Whether it's just going for a walk to the park for 20 minutes or driving further afield and doing something more fun (trampolining, rock climbing, football etc). Everyday we get some form of physical exercise.

Do you plan and how  far in advance?
It just depends what we're doing. Most trips are planned in advance, but most of the time we decide on the following days’ activities whilst we're chatting at bed time the night before.
What's a typical Home Ed day like?
There are no typical days for us! But a day in the life of, would go like this...
Up about 7am (when the kids wake). We get dressed after breakfast (we always get fully dressed so we're ready to go out if we're going stir crazy!) In the morning we get some housework out of the way. After that we play a role play game (current favourite is shops). We then make a picnic and head off to the park to play with some home ed kids. The kids run around and play while the parents chat! We eat lunch together. After lunch we go home and read some stories while the toddler naps, play some word games or do some writing. Either the eldest watches some TV or plays on  the tablet, while we cook dinner. After dinner we play some more games, number games, a family board game or some physical games like Simon says or musical bumps!
When we go to bed we read a story and chat about what we've learnt that day and what we should do tomorrow.
Do you spend a lot of money on resources?
No, we go to charity shops, download free resources, get things passed on to us or just make up our own resources. We get our learning books from the library and ask family and friends for experiences rather than presents. So things like annual passes to local museums.
How do you make time for yourself?
I take the opportunity whenever the children aren't here to sit down and have a rest. They often go to grandma's so I use that time on me instead of on cleaning! Every evening after the children have gone to bed, we relax together, watch tv and chat.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey?
Don't worry!! There is ALWAYS an option to change your mind (but you probably won't). Whether it seems like it or not, your child is learning all day everyday. Every single experience is a learning opportunity, and learning through life will give your child way more real life skills than going to school ever could.


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