For us, it is our Not Back to School day.
In our opinion an equally important day - where we come together with friends, other Home Educating families, and celebrate our freedom, our choice, our chosen path, our ability to be and learn as we wish.
As part of this celebration, I will be posting a Not Back to School series this week, introducing you to a number of Home Educating families who have all agreed to share their stories with me and showcase the diversity of Home Education.
So before I start, I felt perhaps I should re-introduce us!
There is me, Mama B, my daughter who'll be turning 10 later this month, and my son who is 8. Both my children are autistic and utterly fabulous. This is by far not the only reason we are not in school - which anyone who has read any of my previous posts will know 😊
My children came out of main stream school at the end of Year 2 & Year 1 respectively. We started with a long, free summer 2 years ago and then hit our first September in a fairly structured way - mimicking the familiarity of school, particularly for my daughter, to aid the transition.
By Christmas the first year we were fairly well de-schooled, and settling into a pattern of learning at home & regular Home Ed activities such as gymnastics, horse riding and a monthly day at an adventure park. In the new year my daughter began a creative writing course and both kids started working independently on their Arts Award. Our schedule varies greatly - we have 'At Home' days, mostly the kids self learn - although I will lead at times, make suggestions or select topics, but it is pretty fluid both ways - we all have a say in what we do and what we learn.
We also go on lots and lots and lots of trips. We go to museums, art galleries, educational exhibitions, theatre, animal handling, historical palaces & education sessions. We've participated in workshops on pottery making & painting, Robot Wars, Archaeology, Egyptology, chocolate making, sugar craft cake decorating, recorder lessons, book groups, languages, a PGL holiday & so much more.
We read, a lot, all the time. We frequently visit many different libraries and the kids read independently every day, as well as me reading aloud to them every day. We read for pleasure but we also have Listening Time where I will read aloud, fiction or non, while they do quite play and then we discuss and/ or write up what we've learned.
We also run two groups. A small Learning Group at our home, with three other Home Educating families where the parents take it in turns to lead the group and we agree subjects between us. The kids work together and record their work in Scrap Books. We also run a monthly Geography Club with a country of the month, show & tell table, food tasting & activities.
And of course there are the countless picnics, parks meets and play dates we go on. All in addition to living, learning, loving, listening & life skills.
This is our Home Ed 💙💚💛