This year we will officially have three children who are Not Back to School: Bean, 10, Pumpkin, 8, and Plum, 5. And then there is Pippin, 2, tagging along for the ride.
None of the children have ever been to school or preschool, we decided that home education was for us before Bean was even two. That makes this officially our sixth year of Home Ed (7th if you include Reception too) For this reason, I have no idea what school year my children would be in now, I could work it out if I wanted to but it seems unnecessary.
We chose to Home Educate for many reasons. We discussed the education system, which I taught in for 11 years, and reflected on things we did and didn't want for our children. We discussed child development and cognitive development and educational approaches. We discussed our own educational journeys and reflected on our experiences and paths. We discussed the spiritual implications and social implications of attending school. We discussed the character and personality of our eldest. And as we brought together all these things we came undoubtedly to the conclusion that Home Education was the way forward for us as a family.
We fell into Unschooling naturally as we continued to live and learn together as we moved from babyhood to toddlerhood to preschool age to school age. Fundamentally nothing changed for us in our day to day. The children are learning all the time and we, as the adults, support and facilitate and provide the things they need to be able to achieve the things they want to achieve.
Unschooling means that our days look different, each and everyone. One day we could be at the beach, playing in the water or collecting stones and shells, or playing in the arcade, or scooting along the promenade. The next day we could be at gymnastics class followed by a picnic and play in the park. Another day we could have friends over and do playdough and craft and board games or role play. And then we could spend a day going to the library and the local museum, into town to buy supplies. Another day we could spend reading and watching films and playing computer games or building domino runs and lego models or playing barbies. We have busy days and quiet days; frantic moments and calm moments; full on, all in, consuming, immersed passions, and then relaxed, laid back, contemplative hours. We don't really have a typical day, we do the things we love and we do them as and when we want to. We dance and play and watch and bake and explore and craft and sing and read and run and rest to our own unique schedule.