The summer holidays are nearly over for most families.
We went to the park today and I overheard parents saying the same thing a few times over…’I can’t wait until the kids are back at school!’.
Well not for us…September and the holidays being over spells different things for me.
Parks being quieter for a start #introvertproblems HAHA!!
I thought this would be an appropriate time to share why I choose to Home Educate.
Going back to when Ollie was 2 (he is now 10) I found myself looking for nurseries/ schools for him in our area.
There was a Waldorf school about 30 miles away from us. It was amazing but the reality was it was just too far and it cost a fortune. It just wasn’t an option for us.
At the time Dan was working full time and I was working 30 hours, as a Florist, but cramming them all into 3 days to spend more time with Ollie.
The simple truth was that evening, I just thought that there must be another way to do this.
I could not accept the fact that I would just send Ollie to school at age 4/5. Handing him over to someone else for 6 hours per day seemed crazy to me.
I didn’t know that home education was even a thing then. I find this pretty shocking, but still today when people discover I home educate they ask, is that legal?
I spent the next few days researching like crazy and found out there was quite a large number of families home educating in my area. There were so many things we had to take into account…my working hours for a start.
Ollie would still be looked after by my parents two days per week. To be honest I felt selfish that they would be minding him when he could have been at school. I was sure home ed was the way forward for us, but as Ollie approached age 3 I felt pressured to put him in nursery. So that’s what I did, all the time not feeling quite right about my decision, I desperately wanted to home Ed. All the time I was thinking of the future and trying to figure out a way I could make home ed work.
Just before Ollie turned 4 we were offered a new care-taking job. This was an amazing opportunity for us. It offered me 16 hours work too. More importantly, very flexible 16 hours. Without much hesitation I quit my job as a florist (even though it is something I do love and miss a little now)
We had taken Ollie out of nursery within the week. I was ready to begin our Home Education journey. I had done a lot of research by this point and I had a good idea of the way I wanted to home ed.
I am not one for picking a style and sticking religiously to it, I’m more pick what works, leave the rest behind!
There are lots of elements of Waldorf education I adore, some not so much….I also love the whole unschooling concept too. So with a pick and mix attitude, our home ed philosophy was a lot of learning freedom with a steady rhythm and opportunities for play.
I really loved and supported the idea of learning through play.
At school Ollie wouldn’t get to fully indulge his interests and for me if you are basing learning around something you love then learning will come naturally. Also we can learn at Ollie’s pace. Speeding up or slowing down as needed
As all of the work we do is one on one, it is achieved much quicker than it would be in a classroom environment, we can be all done by lunchtime, leaving the rest of the day free for whatever we feel like ~ usually a walk in the woods or sitting down with some crafts.
There is a lovely home ed community in our area too, so there is quite a range of groups/ meet ups for Ollie to attend if he wants too.
There is also an amazing forest school one day a week, where there is opportunities to learn all kinds of outdoor skills, bushcraft, foraging etc, which I think is really important.
Most importantly I love the freedom that home education offers.
It is amazing that we can follow our natural rhythms. We can be up bright and early in summer and sleep a little longer in Winter.
I am so grateful, and truly appreciate that on beautiful sunny days we can head to the beach and on rainy days we can choose to stay inside all day, or head into the woods for a fire.
I like the freedom of going on holiday and long weekends when we choose too, the flexibility of home ed is great.
(I love the freedom of being able to go off in our motorhome when we like)
It was great when we had Arthur that Ollie could be involved much more as he wasn’t at school. He enjoyed this first few weeks with us and also I didn’t have to do any school runs!
Another amazing benefit is family time, which is important to us. When I visit my parents/ great grandad during the week, Ollie gets to see them too.
Also Ollie loves staying at his nana and grandads, quite often he will go and stay with them for a night or so during the week, or go fishing with his grandad. We would have a lot less time to do these these things if he was in school.
Obviously it’s not always amazing!It is hard work, and there is definitely some days I think ‘what the hell am I doing?!
I think I’ll save the cons of home ed for another post!
I don’t think that my way is the best way, and it most certainly isn’t for everyone. We are just doing what works for our family right now and I also think that each and every child is so different and I can imagine some kids would absolutely thrive in a school setting.
I am also aware that it is a huge privilege to be able to choose this for my child, a fact that does sadden me. I feel we live in a society that forces the standard way of living, the 9-5, kids in school all day, upon us, and this most certainly isn’t a way of living that a lot of families can thrive in. I hope in the future we see more support for home education from our councils and government. Although I won’t hold my breath for that.
Every child is different and I’m sure what works for Ollie, may be completely different to Arthur. We will take it as it comes and figure it out as we go along.
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
You can find out more info about Home Education here :
Thank you for reading!