With Christmas approaching money gets tight and weather gets cold and we would be happy to hibernate and watch movies but life must go on. It has been a stressful few weeks, and now we feel our movements are being scrutinised and that I have to justify and once again remember to evidence everything. It is tough and pretty demoralising, especially as I have no concerns that anything we are doing is “wrong” but this I how it makes you feel when someone makes a referral to social services and you get a visit from a social worker who appears to know nothing about home education. So anyway, evidence and justify it all I feel I must.
It does mean that we have upped our formal work, which is something that generally we had planned to do through the winter months anyway. Back to workbooks, documentaries and computer games, yes I said it, computer games. The world of computer games is an educators heaven, we have been playing games that focus on spelling, fractions and physics and J spends hours on mine craft, making builds and surviving. This afternoon I challenged him to build me a Roman Colosseum, so he went away to do his research and to look at pictures on his tablet before jumping on his xbox to get to work.
Sleeping beauty and Maleficent prove to be great ways to open up discussion about how one story has very different perspectives which adds a very light hearted tone to the work we did around how world news and current affairs are reported.
The children enjoyed learning about filming and editing and we have invested in a photography back drop to continue work in these areas after Christmas as part of their Arts Awards which they will be starting to work on after next week.
In the past few weeks we have had a go at SATs papers, I was very happy with the results especially considering the children had no preparation, warning or revision for these. We have visited the National Space Centre, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Roald Dahl Museum, London Eye, Bletchley Park and Milton Keynes Museum. The children have been attending climbing lessons regularly working on their NICAS level 1 (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme) and have tried their hands at aerial gymnastics.
We have lots planned, lots to look forward to. I have no concerns about the education that the children are receiving and it is sad that local authorities can make parents and families feel so vulnerable. It should be a standard that local authorities and professionals are aware of the legal rights and responsibilities of parents with regards to home education.
I await hearing back from them to discover what their thoughts are around the referral that they received following the initial visit, fortunately there is such an active home ed community both locally and nationally I am well supported.