Home Ed Q & A with a Homeschool Mum of 3
When and why did you decide to Home Educate?
I decided to home educate my eldest when she was five years old as she was having assessments for autism, and had started self harming. She was really struggling in school and was being bullied for being different. I noticed that in the school holidays she was much happier and calmer, then when she was in school. Her siblings have never been to school.
What kind of approach do you take?
We do projects around things that interest the girls. Like my eldest loves Dr Who, so a few years ago she made a Dr Who lap book. We do a lot of our learning through the form of projects and lap books that the girls put together. My youngest has an obsession with horses at the moment, so she is doing a lap book about them. My other daughter is doing a lap book on Madeline. When they're finished with those, I will ask them what project they want to do next and then will get the things we need for the next ones.
Where do the children do most of their work? and do they distract each other?
We do a lot of our written work in the playroom, where the girls have their own desks and all of our learning stuff is in there. When the girls are working on projects together we all sit around the big table and if it's individual work they sit at their desks. In the Summer we take work stuff out and about with us. They are very good and tend not to distract each other unless it's something they are working on they want to share with each other.
What is your favourite thing about Home Education?
My favourite thing about home education is that the girls learn at their own pace. There is no rushing them to learn things. We can take as long as we like with projects and I have found that really important having children with special needs.
What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable?
I teach the girls maths, English, Science, history, religion, art. We have a very flexible timetable so that if the weather is really nice we go out and do stuff instead. The girls also use study ladder, and khan academy. The girls have various home ed groups they go to, and other activities locally.
What do you find most difficult and why?
I find it difficult when there is a lot of bad press about home educators, as there has been over the last year. Where several home educators have been involved in programs about home education. Recently we have had feral families, dispatches etc....and before all that we had the family appearing on This Morning and then following the programs we had articles from them in the papers. I wish the home educators that are doing these programs would think about the effect it has on the home ed community every time they do these programs but they don't. Other home educators will advise them not to do it, but they ignore it, and then when they look bad they blame anyone they can. The reason I find this difficult is because I feel all the negative documentaries, tv appearances and newspaper articles will at some point lead to tighter control of home education.
How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others?
My children are very sociable and work well with others when we go to groups and attend activities. When people ask me about socialisation I tell them my kids have a very good social life and are out and about a lot.
How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days?
We are very fortunate to have a park near us that has gym equipment outdoors that we use. As well as basket ball courts and tennis courts. I don't drive either so we walk everywhere. We have a trampoline at home as well.
Do you plan and how far in advance?
I have a folder where I have dates and activities planned, like all the national holidays and international ones as well. I have plans right up to December. 2019!
What's a typical Home Ed day like?
A typical home ed day would be the girls coming down for breakfast, after breakfast we have chores they need to do for our rabbit, Harry Comit Potter. He's a big part of our family ever since we re-homed him two years ago, after his owner couldn't care for him anymore. After chores are done the girls will have thirty minutes of reading. Then we begin work, usually in their workbooks , once those are done we have work on study ladder and Khan academy. After work is completed we will have some lunch and then head out to the park, and the girls will play on the equipment, basketball or tennis courts if the weather is nice. If it's a group or activity day we work around those.
Do you spend a lot of money on resources?
No I don't. We have a room full of bookcases and resources and most of these come from eBay / charity shops.
How do you make time for yourself?
Time to yourself. What's that? No seriously, I have set bedtimes for the younger children, as I am a carer to one of my daughters who has special needs and a lot of other problems. I tend to take time for myself when children are in bed asleep. It's not uncommon for me to be sat up with my two younger daughters in the night, as one has health problems and the other if she is awake needs someone sat up with her as she cannot be left on her own.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey?
My advice would be to not rush out and buy everything you think you will need. As it will prove to be very expensive but to take your time. Do your research, find out about other home ed groups in your area, groups and activities you can get involved in. Speak to other home educators, there are plenty of us out there on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
A big Thank You to Homeschool Mum of 3 for taking part in my Home Ed Q & A.
If you would like to follow along with their Home Ed Adventure then please check out their Facebook page here and Instagram here.