What did you do during your summer holidays?

The summer is drawing to a close. There is the usual mixed bag of emotions. For some there is excitement and a feeling of looking forward to the next year of adventures. New schools, new classrooms, new teachers, new projects, new friends, new stationary, new uniform……Its all very exciting, for some. For some it is the awaited routine. Some parents have struggled with keeping the children amused, or have been caught up in the stress of having to schedule childcare while they have to work unavoidably. In other houses perhaps it is the dread of the morning rush, the cold wet school runs, the bullying, the headlice, the home work and the arguing putting a downer on the fact that the school holidays are drawing to a close.

Are you looking back over your summer and feeling thankful that it is over? Or are you already looking forward  and counting down to the October half term?

It has been great here. Having school friends to play with, my best friend works in a school so having her around to share my days with has been wonderful. The children have spent so much time outside come rain or shine and we have snuggled in front of numerous documentaries and movies. One of the greatest things has been being able to introduce my “local best friend” to my “home ed best friend” to share our adventures together. It has been special and I have felt incredibly privileged to have been able to merge both our worlds.

We have “not back to school” picnics and gatherings to attend over the next couple of weeks and several outings that we have decided that we want to enjoy before the weather turns too sour. J has decided he wants to look more into weather patterns and climates around the world so as the weather changes with the seasons we will be able to explore that together. We have a trip to Devon booked and a visit to Jurassic coast planned so as a family we will be covering a lot of geology over autumn and winter.

A will return to science and our journey into the world of IGCSE exam centres and “external candidates” will commence as she prepares to sit her first exams at the end of the academic year. We have discovered that a local college takes students aged 14-16 onto a hair dressing course which she is very interested in looking more into, so we have begun enquiries regarding how to apply for that. She will also be continuing with her learning about and experience of childcare gaining valuable work experience both at a toddler group on a voluntary basis but also this term as a mothers helper a couple of hours a fortnight.

For other children the return to education in September usually involves thinking about what they did over the holidays. There will be lots of day trips being written about, holidays being described, show and tells for the younger ones….. For us the children will continue their learning journals for August like they do every month. This involves photos that I take throughout the month and then get printed at the end of each month. The children have books which these photos get stuck into and they do their writing about what they were doing.

We do have goals, daily and weekly. There isn’t pressure to perform but we do strive to reach our goals. Each day we aim to learn something new and find something to laugh about and do something that we are proud of. Each week we hope to do something that scares us and try something new. This works well for us, especially as like everyone, we have our bad days too. It can really help at the end of a bad day to look over our goals and know that even though the day felt dreadful we have all still learned something from it, still got something to laugh about and still have something to be proud of, however bad the day may at first appear to have been. I have been reading Ross Mountneys book: A funny kind of education, (a book I would hugely recommend) and she put it brilliantly, that a bad home ed day is nothing compared to a bad day at school. We have found that to be so true.

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