I’m off on a little holiday. And looking forward to refreshing and rubbing the mould off my stale bits! It’s easy not to notice it growing. But when I get so bored that complacency and loss of love of the nice things sets in so bad that I realise I’ve even got used to life […]
Late Saturday night we arrived home following a fantastic family holiday in and around Cumbria. Yesterday was all about those post holiday essentials, unloading the car, laundry, getting food essentials in and of course visiting the grandparents who had missed the children for the week.
This morning I booted up the PC all ready to write down my thoughts and look through and upload some photos when I read this blog article by Ross Mountney.
I have followed her blog since before we started home educating, in fact it was some of her articles that gave me the knowledge and courage to get started, and I have several of her books on my shelf. (I would always highly recommend these if you are home educating, seriously considering it, or just a little bit curious, they are eye opening.) This morning however, it was like reading my own thoughts written by someone else.
It is so true that over time you get complacent, you take your natural surroundings for granted and stop noticing things. This is your sign to make a change, see something new, take in a different scenery. The importance of this for children is just as great if not more so as for adults. Children gain so much by being allowed to see different areas, take in different scenery and experience new things.
Watching the joy on my 3 year olds face as he ran along the shore of the lake, or as he jumped in to the waves on the beach, being able to give my children the opportunity to feed giraffes, see some stunning waterfalls and try their hands at waterskiing are those moments that would be so heavily restricted by a school time table, but no one can claim that they are not valuable learning opportunities. When we find ourselves in natural conversation about the force of the water and how and why it shapes our landscape, not because a curriculum is forcing us too but because we are walking alongside a fast flowing and winding river and it was just a natural topic of conversation, flowing as freely as the river itself can anyone suspect that these children are not getting educated? When that conversation beings us again to consider the effect that the reintroduction of wolves had on the eco system at Yellowstone, this stuff is not being taught from a book, its in context, in real life.
We arrived home and visited Nanny and my 3 year old told her all about feeding the giraffe, even remembering to tell her about their blue tongues, he was only 3 in May and has never attended a nursery and nor will he be attending school, but I am not worried that he is missing out on learning anything. He knows about tides coming in, he knows about things sinking and floating and he knows that flat pebbles are better for skimming (even if he hasn’t actually mastered that skill himself yet)
We visited the Beatrix Potter attraction, she was a fascinating lady and J was intrigued. He loved her quotes about how pleased she was that she had not been sent to school, he agreed with what she said about it rubbing off some of her originality. He also has a strong love of animals, nature and drawing. But this experience also highlighted the difference in how women and girls were treated from today.
The Black Country Living Museum also gave a valuable insight into historic lives and our country’s industrial past. We included a visit to the traditional sweet shop, chippy and pub as well as having a go with some of the old toys and street games and watching a Victorian school teacher at work with a class.
As well as the obvious and real benefits for the children educationally, the emotional benefits for us all as a family make holidays, even cheap holidays and trips visiting family, so incredibly valuable. To feel the sand under my feet and the waves breaking around my ankles refreshes me. The sound of the water flowing over the stones in the river and the splashing of the water falls wakes up my senses and makes me feel at peace. My mums ashes were scattered at Stock ghyll force waterfalls in Ambleside, it was her favourite place and I sense that when I am visiting, it heals my mind and puts me in a better mindset to tackle the challenges that parenting my own children can bring. Benefiting the family.