You can read about other methods of Home Educating as you follow the blog hop. Yesterday it was Kat writing about What to do About the Teens at boyschooling.blogspot.co.uk
Our reasons for choosing Home Education initially were two fold: In a previous life I was trained as a Primary School Teacher and specialised in Early Years Education and I loved it. I enjoyed watching all those children grow and change and learn and I wanted to be there as my own children grew too. The idea of sending them off for someone else to have that pleasure seemed ironic to me, that I had watched so many other children laugh and play but I would miss my own. There was also the other side of education that I didn't want to put my children through, the tests, the goal setting, the being forced to sit still, being told what to do, when to do it, how to do ot and how long to do it for. Secondly, as Christians, we wanted our children's spiritual journey to be nutured and supported in a way that school would not be able to. As we have travelled down this road we now have 100 more reasons to Home Educate and we will continue to do it for as long as it works for our children and our family.
Unschooling, as a way of Home Educating, was an obvious route for us. Amongst other things Unschooling prioritises our relationships with each other; it focuses on the learner and their learning and not on the teacher or the teaching; as parents, we facilitate our children's interests by doing more of the things they love and helping them discover and explore their passions further; we support our children's natural inquisitiveness and recognise that learning happens all the time. Practically, day to day this means that the children play and learn seamlessly.
Today looked like this:
Bean spent most of the morning watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on his tablet whilst curled up on the sofa. Pumpkin was playing Plants versus Zombies, Clash of Clans and Roblox on his tablet. Plum and Pippin requested the rabbits out so we cleared the living room and got some suitable toys and some food and the rabbits (Lilly and Petal) came inside to have a cuddle and play for an hour.
Bean and Plum then had a gymnastics class. Plum went in for the first time on her own thanks to her gym instructor who came and met her especially at the door, Pippin was definitely not going to let me go in this week. Plum's group did handstands and forward rolls for the first half of the session and then moved onto the trampoline and wall bars for the second half. It was Bean's first class today. His group were using the rings to start with and then moved onto the vault.
After gymnastics, we stayed at the leisure centre and ordered food from the cafe. We sat next to friends as we ate and discussed colour mixing and read various signs and menus together, Bean and Pumpkin agreed that they would like to come to this leisure centre the next time that we go swimming and we contemplated how they made raspberry slush puppies blue.
Pumpkin was enjoying the sunny weather and was keen to go to a park with no shade so that we could be in the sun. A lot of the car journey to and from gymnastics was spent with Pumpkin admiring the early signs of Spring. He was particularly taken with the sunshine, the daffodils and the crocus'. We stopped by a friend's house on the way home to pick up an item that Bean left there yesterday and then home, briefly, to collect our bikes and ride to the play park across the road from our house. It's the first time that I have taken all four on their bikes without additional adult help. It worked well once Plum and Pippin swapped bikes for the journey to the park, Pippin enjoyed riding the bigger bike as I pushed it and Plum could push the much smaller and lighter bike more comfortably. We spent about an hour at the play park which included riding our bikes on the hard standing basketball court before heading home.
Back home, Bean and I played Magic: The Gathering together (he won) whilst Plum helped me select cards and turn the dice to keep score and Pippin took care of all the cards that were in my graveyard. Dinner involved both Bean and Plum writing lists. Bean put together a list of foods that he likes to eat and Plum wrote a list of all the activities she would like to do and shops she would like to go to with daddy.
Every day looks different in our house, we have themes and interests that come and go, and classes and organised events that we plan and pay for. Sometimes we dip in and out of things over long periods of time, sometimes we immerse ourselves in an interest for days on end and sometimes questions and queries are fleeting and merely ponderings (for now, at least). You can find out more about what we get up to day to day by reading more of our blog posts.
The beauty of Home Education is that you there are as many ways to Home Educate as there are Home Educating families. Tomorrow on the blog hop you can read about the Whatever Works Approach by Sarah.