Home Ed Q&A with Annely
Today I am interviewing Annely to find out more about their Home Education adventure which you can follow over on Instagram here.
When and why did you decide to Home Educate?
We started our Home Ed journey in May 2017, my son was 7 years old then and in Year 3. For a long time he had been mentioning tummy pains which would disappear during school holidays and weekends, coming back again on Sunday evenings. But he would never refuse to go to school, being a firm rule follower, he never thought not going to school would even be an option. He was a so called ‘silent sufferer’. When it became clear that those tummy pains weren’t anything medical and were caused by anxiety and stress I started looking into home education, reading various articles and blog posts. It didn’t take me long to realise this would be the right choice for him.
I also have an older daughter who back then was finishing her last year in primary school. She was most supportive towards our decision to home educate her brother; she still happily goes to school, now entering Year 8 and has no intention being home educated herself:)
What kind of approach do you take?
I think our approach could be described as unschooling. When it comes to the ‘schooling’ part of our days, my son regularly uses a couple of maths apps, the rest of his learning would be inspired from museum trips or educational workshops he attends. We learn as we go or whatever inspires us.
What is your favourite thing about Home Education?
Flexibility! If we feel like taking a trip to a Science Museum, we go the next day! If we have seen some interesting documentary about fossils, we’ll pop to the seaside to look for our own. Meeting up with other home ed friends for adventures together is just so easy. Also if we feel like having a super lazy day watching only Harry Potter films, we just do that!
What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable?
As an home educator I don’t take the teacher’s role, we are always learning stuff together! And the timetables we have are just for weekly ‘extra curriculum’ activities such as chess club, parkour, drum lessons, science club, trampolining and swimming.
What do you find most difficult and why?
Probably taking time off together at home! We are always out and about, too many clubs, workshops, meet-ups to attend. I really need to plan quiet home time more.
How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others?
I haven’t been asked that too much but when someone does I usually just laugh. Like I mentioned earlier we go to regular clubs and lessons weekly, plus we have massive home ed community where we live, so we always meet up with friends, either for educational workshops or just social gatherings. My son has made many new friends during this year and half he’s been home educated, I love seeing him happy again.
Have family supported your decision?
100%. My parents knew exactly this is what their grandson needed and they are extremely happy that home education is such an easy option here in the UK.
How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days?
We have local regular trampolining and parkour home ed classes, plus swimming lesson every week, so that’s two and a half hours of PE every week. A few times a month we go to a trampolining park with other home ed friends.
What's a typical Home Ed day like?
We don’t have a typical day at all! During the school hours, when my daughter isn’t at home, we have our regular classes on some days, social meet-ups on others. At least once a week I let my son cook us a lunch, and once a week we try to bake something together. From 3pm until dinner time he gets his xBox time, this is when I can spend some time with his sister.
Do you spend a lot of money on resources?
I have purchased quite a few annual memberships from various educational sites which we use occasionally. Luckily these come with great home educator discounts. The biggest expenses for us are daytrips, mostly to London, so I try to keep these to one or two per month maximum. As for printed workbooks and such I don’t see the point, there are many free online sites where worksheets and lesson plans can be printed out. This will likely change during secondary school years if/when preparing for exams, possible tutor fees.
How do you make time for yourself?
I do get my weekends alone which I use to recharge, read books, watch tv. Even going to work on Saturdays is something I often look forward to.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey?
When you have done your research and you are pretty sure this is something you and your child(ren) need, just go for it!! Very likely you’ll soon say: “I wish I’d done it sooner!”
A big Thank You to Annely for taking part in my Q&A and for some great advice!