(not) Back to school week

We have enjoyed the first week back to school…… by that I mean everyone else being back to school.

I have loved seeing my friends photos of their children in their smart school uniforms looking grown up and gorgeous. I have enjoyed reading about how much children have loved their new schools and classes. Seeing children enjoying their schools makes me happy. I am not anti school for others, I just recognise that it isn’t for us.

So, while everyone around me has been getting back into the routine of early nights, early mornings, finding shoes and getting out the door…. “Don’t forget your lunch! Wheres your other shoe?! What’s that on your shirt!? NITS?! ALREADY!? ” 

The children in this house have not been up and awake before 9:30am. They wake up and enjoy a breakfast that they fancy. Alana is very good at cooking us all egg on toast with a cup of tea, cereal, Yogurt, toast and slices of Guernsey Gache have also been on the breakfast menu this week. We have sit and chat at the table what we would like to do, any topics that they want to cover.

We spent Tuesday out fruit picking, we collected blackberries and elderberries, we also found some sloes and crab apples and managed to pick what are probably the last wild plums of the year. We were largely just enjoying the sunshine and the peace and quiet.

On Wednesday we met up with a group of home educating families in St Albans park. We had a big picnic, it was really nice to meet like minded people and was lovely to see the children of all ages mixing and playing. There was games of rounders and football organised by the kids en masse whilst others played in the play park or went off to enjoy the outdoor gym equipment. It was great to see Josh socialising and making a friend after all the knocks that his confidence had taken whilst he was at school. I had grown so used to seeing him playing off on his own secluded from other children that it was quite strange to see, in a good way!  Who ever said that home ed kids miss out on socialisation clearly didn’t have a clue! There are opportunities for social interaction EVERYDAY, they are just not segregated into groups dependent on age group.

Yesterday during our morning conversation Joshua and Alana suggested that they make something out of clay that we had bought over the summer. After some discussion about what they wanted to make they both decided that they wanted to make models of the Colosseum in Rome. They spent the rest of the morning looking through books and online at images of the Colosseum from different angles and planning how they would make their models. This involved them doing several sketches and measuring and working out the sizes they would need their pieces of clay to be. While they were doing this they were able to pick out some facts about which emperor had the Colosseum built, how many years it took to build and which emperor completed it, as well as some of the gruesome details about what went on inside!

After lunch they used clay to build their models, which are currently sat drying by the window. I am over the moon to share that for the first time in a very long time Josh told me he was proud of something that he had done. Josh has really suffered in the confidence and self esteem area over the past 18 months at school so to hear him actually be happy with something that he had achieved was brilliant!

I began talks to organise a home ed exercise and fitness session to be held locally as there didn’t seem to be much availability for this and the idea generated a lot of interest so hopefully that is something that I can get up and running in the forthcoming weeks.

Today we ventured into town as we had a day off from the hospital. The question “not back to school yet?” was asked, a lot! The reply came, “we are home schooled” and was met with shocked faces…… I get asked “how are you finding it?”  and “oh, do they listen to you?” ….well I find it pretty regular, being with my children is fairly normal, I enjoy it, that’s fine.  As for them listening to me, well they are kids, I am their mother, of course they don’t ALWAYS listen! But then, kids don’t always listen to teachers either! They do respect that I am facilitating their learning about things that interest them though.

This afternoon they did some writing. Alana wrote a letter as if she were in 1941. In her letter she complained about the food rationing and she found out and included what we would have had as a family of five back then. Joshua wrote about being in the Roman army, what weapons they use and who he commands being a legate.

We spent 20 minutes on our Spanish. That’s good fun.  Using a couple of free internet resources I am learning with them and can really see the progress we are making already!

Oh, and Joshua picked up a story book of his own free will and started reading it! Another huge achievement that would not have happened 2 months ago!

 

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