Friday, 25 September 2015

A typical/non typical day in the life of our home schooled family

I am often asked what we do all day? When you say that you 'home school/home educate' is is often assumed and expected that 'school' is somehow replicated in the home environment.
Q visions of children working away at the kitchen table with mum scribbling complex equations on a white board. 
This sounds very idealistic and perhaps what some folk out there dream of and aspire to but in our household, this is certainly many miles away from the truth of what actually goes on.
So how does a typical day flow?
Well firstly there is no such thing in our world as a 'typical' day. No two days are the same, even the best plans never come to fruition!

Let's take today for example:

7.20 am alarm goes off, snooze button is hit!

7.45 am peel back the bed covers and enthusiastically call to the sleeping beauties that are still drifting in the land of nod!

8 am The first child emerges in the kitchen ready for breakfast, ten minutes later a second child joins the party.

8.50 am the third child rushes to get out of bed and dressed as we are about to leave the house! There's always one!

9 am We're in the car about to embark on our hour long journey into Oxford for Miss P's Environmental Management lesson.

9.45 am We arrive at the lesson 15 minutes early!

10 am We drop Miss P off  and venture off into Cowley centre in search of Lidl. Lidl is nowhere to be found so find selves wandering aimlessly around the shops in search of birthday gifts for family members. Passing elderly folk comment/talk among themselves about the fact that it should be school today! Note that The Little Lady has come out in 'normal' attire (her onesie!) which we are so used to seeing but recall that others won't see it in the same way!

11 am Sit in shopping centre car park trying to pick up wifi signal on Kindle in an attempt to have both children engage in maths lessons. Wifi works on phone but will only allow us to watch the lessons and not carry out the exercises. Decide to have an early lunch and head back to pick up Miss P who doesn't finish for over and hour.

11.45 am Return at lesson site to await Miss P and sit in the car reading 'Sky Hawk' by Jill Lewis, whilst children make cards for grandfather's belated birthday. Story captivates children's attention well. It's not long before we embark upon a sad scene. I struggle to hold back the tears and end up a blubbering mess struggling to get the words out!

12.30 pm We venture into lesson venue early and pick up wifi in order to complete maths questions. I note how the Boy becomes a writhing fish when any mention of 'work' is assimilated. He works his way through an entire yoga workout within the ten minute maths question period!

1 pm Miss P finishes her class and we head off to visit grandparents.

1.30 pm Catch up with news from Grandparents, children stimulated with sugar ridden food and chemical filled drinks (there goes my good intentions...), fill bags with endless magazines and old drawer finds before heading off.

3 pm Arrive back to sanctuary relieved that the days rush is over.

Rest of the afternoon and evening is spent....Miss P working through physics homework next to me on sewing room floor, The Little Lady catching up with her friend on the phone and then creating the most delicious baked cheesecake for pud and Small Boy initially creating a 'beehive' which he hopes will attract resident bees (he's even filled lined egg boxes with cling film and filled them with sugared water) and then.......well as I put him to bed I realise that he's been working away creating a 'man trap!' I have a full demonstration of how it works and which string operates which part of the trap. Gee whizz! So glad not to have been captured buy that one!

So you see, no formal sitting down stuff at all. The beauty of our days are flexibility and freedom :-)

I wonder what joys and challenges tomorrow will bring?

                         <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 XXXXXXXXX <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Back in routine

It's funny, by the end of term like most, I sooo look forwards to the holidays; the break in the old routine. It's the change I suppose, a change is as good a break as any.

As always, the days and weeks literally whizzed does time do that? We had very good intentions and plans at the beginning of the season but so much had to change as the weather dictated. So here we are, somehow we've arrived in September with a whole new academic year ahead of us.
September always seems like a new beginning; a time to step back and reassess what we're doing.

The children are growing up fast both physically and mentally. They definitely have 'hollow leg syndrome' like their father and myself. Spindly bean poles that eat like they've never been fed!

Miss P is embarking on three IGCSE's this year (English, Physics and Environmental Management), she took Geography earlier this year and passed (:-) :-) :-)) so one 'token for the future' in the bag. She currently rather fancies a course in Fashion Design at Banbury College (in two years time). They have the most incredible and well equipped design suit. I wouldn't mind going there myself!
The Little Lady is ten now and if in school would be in her final primary year! She wants to be a midwife when she grows up and continues to have a very keen interest in babies and dolls. I'm stepping up the work load which she has reluctantly agreed to!
Small boy having just turned eight, is happy just plodding along. He spends much of his time pottering about outside bothering (sometimes caring for) wildlife. He grows more like his father daily in every way :-)
Yes, I know I said previously that we work mainly autonomously! It's the beginning of term......this sequence of events happens at this time every year. We start off very focused with strong intentions and then we realise that it's okay to relax a little and that children don't have to be taught to learn!

On the family life front, I am pleased to announce that after two weeks of solitary confinement on Ditchley Island, I am finally free once more. Poor little Blueberry car decided to snap it's cam belt one Tuesday evening after a short afternoon trip to visit friends. After being abandoned on the drive jacked up for most of the duration with a plastic green house erected to protect my dear Dad from the elements whilst he worked; looked more like a crime scene than a garage scene, little Blueberry is up and running once more and was more than ready after her long rest to escort us faithfully once more on life's little adventures! Yeah to daddy!! And yeah to the lovely lady who gave me some money at the beginning of the Summer for emergencies (or for treats). Shame that I had to spend it all on the emergency!

So onwards and upwards into Autumn! We had an 'end of Summer' gathering earlier this week; one of those lovely sunny evenings with a shared meal and bonfire.....mmmmmm. I'm reluctant to leave Summer quite yet as it does seem our sunny days were rather limited but it seems we have no choice. The early mornings and late evenings definitely have that feel of crispiness. It won't be long before the coats are out and the heating is turned on, then there are log fires to enjoy and cosy nights in playing with the children, not forgetting those lovely blustery walks on windy days swishing the fallen leaves as you go. Oh I do love fact, I actually love all of the seasons, even Winter!

Happy Saturday to you all!! XXXXXXX