February is cold and motivation is low, but through it all is sunshine, a promise of a spring to come.
We are working alongside the Home Ed community in a bid to encourage a more positive view of home education following a lot of negative press. I gave an interview which was featured in our local paper, I was very happy with the article which was extremely positive and showed photos which I selected and emailed for use showing the children out and about on their adventures. The journalist had suggested a photographer come to our home to take photos but I did not want to show the children at home as we felt that would be an inaccurate image, we do not school at home, we home educate. A said it best last October when she questioned why we call it home education when we are so rarely at home. Perhaps the term “Free range learning” is more apt?
There is so much to look forward to, so many experiences to plan, we are far from kept indoors, my children are far from invisible. We get to feel the excited buzz of planning holiday excursions, days out as the weather improves and another term of activities. We have confirmation that as the weather improves kayaking lessons will commence again, the children have moved up to the next level in their NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme) and we are well stocked in entrance passes for English Heritage, National Trust, Bletchley Park, The National Space Centre and Merlin attractions. We have trips to Kent, Scotland and Italy planned for the coming year where we will cover a lot of history, from Rome and Pompii, the wars between Scotland and England up to The Battle of Britain, and as more and more people enter the home ed community we make more and more new friends and have more opportunities.
The hours in Js Childrens University Passport are increasing, he has 110 hrs collected now and is eligible for awards, although we have decided to hold out graduation until he is finished at 14, with a view to achieve a gold degree.
We are enjoying our work on Arts Awards, the children have experimented with photography, drawing and creative writing.
J especially has had fun practising his photography and is now interested in completing a course to further these skills which is exciting as previously he has shied away from any more formal learning resources.
We have further plans to visit art galleries and sculpture gardens. We are all set to also complete the Bronze Shakespear Art Award when they are finished with Explore.
A has started her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award, alongside this they are also working on her anxiety which is a huge step forward for her. This allows her to work on skills in a different setting and increase her independence. It will also formally recognise work and activities that she has already been working on.
We are on the countdown to As first IGCSE exams which she is due to sit in May, so we are enjoying the February half term with friends and then the structure of planned revision times will commence. It will be strange to have to factor in structured time each day as we are so used to being largely autonomous and I think it may feel strange to her as many of her school aged friends are not at the exam revision stage just yet. I know that she feels anxious at times about such a big leap, but I am extremely proud at how hard she has worked and how far she has come for this, and I am confident that she will do her best.
We do have to pick up the financial cost for A to sit her exams, we have found a centre that she able to register at that doesnt seem to over charge as much as some places do so I will be completing the forms for her registration and booking her exams following the half term break.
So yes, February is cold, but the sun keeps peeking through and whilst motivation is low it is not all gone, we have so much to look forward to and to work towards.