Last week saw my ultimate home ed achievement to date. In fact it’s an achievement that’s going to take some beating. You see, last Friday was my very own graduation. The secondary school drop out, whose father was threatened with legal action due to my truanting, who hated school and was predicted to achieve nothing…. successfully managed to graduate uni with a BSc HONS in health and social care.
Ok so I’m 30, married with 3 children so I may have taken the long route but standing up on that stage, hearing my dad, husband and inlaws cheering really bought it home that however long it took, I got there….. and I did it from home!
It has taken me 5 years of study through the open university. It took me choosing to do it, choosing when to work and creating my own methods for completing assignments, revising ans taking notes all in my own time. And it worked. The ultimate example of home education.
Seeing the looks on my children’s faces and how proud they looked with me in my gown and cap made all the hard work worth every minute and every tear. To think I achieved it all and only ever attended one tutorial so bad was the anxiety still overhanging from school all those years ago!
While my ceremony was underway the children took a trip with their uncle to the museum of London.
My daughter had her second science session, she is thoroughly enjoying it, while she was there looking at physics using hot wheels cars we were at the local park having a picnic with some other home ed families. My son tried skateboarding for the first time, and despite several bumps and bangs he carried on and made large improvements over a period of a couple of hours. These picnics are great not only for socialisation but also for swapping tips, ideas and advice as well as gaining and giving support amongst parents and children alike.
We used some free resources to look at the European union and have been looking at geography. I was impressed at how into it Josh got. He was engrossed in looking locations up on our wall map and marking them down on his small blank map.
We also spent some time looking at animals and food chains. By looking at what type of animals lived in an area and what they eat the children were able to work out what the climate and habitat would be like on different areas…. This involved them also using the world map to think about where in the world places are near the equator etc…
We have some maths resources which are maths in every day life so we spent an afternoon working through one of these books. The children both enjoyed us all sitting at the table trying to figure out the clues to solve a crime. This involved looking at height, times and witness statements, blood type etc do go from 10 suspects to 1. We lost track of time doing this!
The children have had cooking, we had a spag bol cooked by Josh one day and alana cooked a roast chicken dinner the next. It was good for Alana to learn how tiring cooking a roast dinner for everyone can be. She said that she now has more understanding for me when I am cooking for everyone. As part of this cooking they planned their meals, wrote their shopping lists and then had to go and find their ingredients and list how much everything cost. They were able to then divide the total by 4 and work out how much our family meals cost per serving.
They had another budgeting experience when they were given some money to buy their nan a birthday present. They were on a budget to get paper, card and gift and had the choice of buying something each or joining up for a bigger gift.
Their Spanish is also coming along well. We are using a free Internet site that has the words written in English and Spanish and also an audio. We have learnt our number to 20 as well as greetings and goodbyes. Josh especially loved seeing my aunty and uncle while they were visiting from Spain and being able to greet them and introduce himself.
We have had sports sessions, they attended their swimming lessons and a session for home ed kids where they played tag rugby with a coach. This is hoping to be a weekly thing.
I also had a meeting at a local adventure playground. I will be hiring it out once a fortnight for 4 hours to run sessions, it has space for free play, bushcraft, arts and crafts and table tennis etc… There is also tables and chairs, wifi etc for study periods and space for Zumba sessions. I have a number of people interested in running small group activities as we have such a large space for 4 hours so I am hoping that this can become a little bit of a one stop shop for a number of different experiences…. Whilst including a baby/ toddler play space as often during home ed meets those younger younger ones are a little forgotten.
I have heard from friends about issues within schools being ongoing, my meeting at the adventure playground threw up some interesting insights as well. Our complaints and push for an apology for Josh remain ongoing as I am determined not to let that head teacher get away with her barefaced lying. She is still adamant that bullying is not an issue in her school. Bullying is not only rife, it is being carried out by staff! When is it acceptable for a male deputy head to put his hands on a distressed 9 yr old girl? How can a head teacher support that? It’s positively terrifying! Then you gear of 12 yr olds being sexually active…. of bullies not being intimidated by adults and instead continuing their verbal abuse towards parents as well as other children….
I have no words for the horror and sadness I feel.
I am just extremely glad that my children are out of it.