Home Ed Q&A with Leanne

When and why did you decide to Home Educate?
I decided to home educate before the Christmas Break of 2018 (21st December 2018) – I decided to take this approach as I believe school wasn’t the best thing for my son. He has autism and even though he was in a base (unit) for children with additional needs they weren’t dealing with his behaviours properly. They were insistent that my son needed mainstream schooling and even began that process without my permission. Home education seemed like the best option after trying 3 different schools in 4 years.

What kind of approach do you take?
We take a mixture of formal “sit down” work from worksheets etc and also child-led learning when my son decides he wants to learn how to design games etc.

Where do the children do most of their work? and do they distract each other?
I only have 1 child although when he has done work with friends he is very easily distracted. We do our work on the dining table but my son loves writing on the floor!

What is your favourite thing about Home Education?
The freedom is my favourite part. I love the fact we can do this opposite and go out visiting places when they are quieter during school hours and do formal work in the evening when I find that he concentrates better.

What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable?
I do maths, English and science. I have a list of things I want to get done but it's flexible.

What do you find most difficult and why?
Unfortunately I am not a naturally patient person and have found some things frustrating when having to repeat myself etc but its a learning curve for me also.

How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others?
I say that forced socialisation in school didn’t work for my son. His autism means that he has low social energy levels. He has friends and family that he sees regularly and his anxiety is a lot less for him. Which was my main goal of home educating.

Have family supported your decision?
Yes, I am very lucky. Some were sceptical but seeing the difference in my son has converted them :) they always supported me, but were just worried because I am a single parent.

How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days?
We go swimming 2xs a week. Daily walks and he is just beginning gymnastics soon.

Do you plan and how  far in advance?
I write a “to-do” list on a Sunday and give myself a week to get it all done. Sometimes it all happens in one day and others it takes a week to do. Just depends.

What's a typical Home Ed day like?
We wake up and twice a week we go for breakfast with friends then we go somewhere like a museum or a day trip etc. On the days we don’t go out for breakfast we eat at home then go swimming, come back and do some formal work. Go a walk and then m son gets free time. Normally involves playing video games. Either on his own or with friends.

Do you spend a lot of money on resources?
No, I have been gifted lots of workbooks and I use amazon, charity shops and poundland for anything we need.

How do you make time for yourself?
When my son is playing video games or wants some time to himself I relax and watch tv or play on my phone. Also when he is in bed I take the time for self care and have a bath etc

What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey?

I would say lower your expectations. Take your time, go at a pace that suits yourselves. Don’t compare and also have a practice before you decide (if your child has been in school for a while) use an easter break or summer holiday etc and see how you feel.

A Big Thank you to Leanne for taking part in today's Home Ed Q&A. Follow along on their Home Ed adventure here on Instagram.

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