5 Years of Home Education: A Summer Focus on Nature.

We are in a state of climate emergency. It has been declared. Our spring and summer saw news of protests and strikes across the country. I took the children to some. I let them admire the banners and posters, I let them draw on the pavements in chalk. We talked about what the protests were for, what could we do to help.

We completed our 30 days wild challenge and became very aware of all the nature and wildlife all around us. We have continued to feed the birds, provide garden access for animals, we have pond with frogs and newts and have a toad who visits regularly as well.

We paid a visit to a forestry commission location that had replica training ww1 trenches. As we explored, ran and played it opened up Ns eyes to another side of history and he returned home and watched an animation about ww1 dog Sgt Stubbie with interest.

We planted lots of flowers, we built log piles, made bird feeders and put bee and bug hotels out. July saw us wanting to take it further so we opted to reduce our plastic. We bought steel straws, started visiting a refil shop for pasta and rice etc and buying fruit and veg without any plastic from the local market. We now haven’t bought bread for over 3 weeks as we discovered a joy in making our own. N enjoyed watching the yeast in action and seeing it rise and all the family are enjoying home made bread.

We watched the war on plastic as a family, and resolved to continue making changes where we could. So my Sun cream was bought in a metal tin and shampoo, conditioner and soap bars were purchased. Cloth wipes stocked up as the next step for when our supply of baby wipes runs out and our stash of cloth nappies are pulled out of bags.

Our end of term summer picnics were plastic free and at our last home ed adventure playground meet we all made our own beeswax wraps.

It is wonderful doing this with them, allowing them the opportunity to choose and to learn, and we go shopping like people use too. Actually talking to butchers and green grocers and N loves helping to choose which seasonal fruit and veg he wants and helps me to fill our produce bags with pasta and rice while talking to the shop staff. These places have no self service check outs, and it’s lovely.

I watched the BBC drama Years and Years and I found it sad, disturbing and eye opening. Yes it was only a drama, but it wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility which bought home the importance of conversation about the world with the children. We talked again about Extinction Rebellion, I drew on some comparisons between these protests and those of the suffragette movement of the past. Because it is important to remember the roles of history and how they shape the present, and the future. The children don’t have to do written work to understand this, it’s just a matter of conversation and awareness.

In other news, after 5 yrs my days of home educating the eldest is over. She is 17 now, will be 18 in October and along side her acquired sister (age 16 who lives with us now) has secured her self a job. Both teen girls applied together and both were successful. I couldn’t be more proud of them. Overcoming anxiety in so many ways after being the 12 yr old girl who was removed from school who honestly told me one day that had she been made to stay in school she probably wouldn’t be alive! Mental health comes first.

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