Homeschooling – your flexible friend

I don’t need to look at the calendar and know what date it is to realise that this is the week the children go back to school. Looking out of the window onto our normally quiet Close to see the number of cars using our road as a place to turn around in or park on tells me that term time has begun.

Our children don’t have shiny new or spick and span lunchboxes. They don’t have a smart new uniform and a new classroom to find their way around because they are home educated.

One big bonus of home educating (or homeschooling), is the flexibility it offers. We started back on Monday, a day or two earlier than the schoolkids headed back. As a family we loosely follow the mainstream school’s term times but take advantage of the term times to go on field trips and days out. The prices are sometimes cheaper, it is less busy and we can leave learning around the kitchen table and our books behind on a whim, depending on the weather. Of course, you can find a wealth of resources and information online, including kids songs to learn and get active to.

Yesterday we spent the morning working through the normal workbooks which make up their curriculum. After lunch our learning continued away from the house at a wildlife park. The kids got to hold tarantulas and snakes, they watched tiger cubs play with their handlers and giggled as lemurs leapt all over them while we walked through their enclosure. It was a full day of learning and fun combined and we arrived home with just enough time for dinner before all the children collapsed into bed in a happy heap.

They slept through for more then 12 hours. That is a sign of a successful day. Because we fitted so much in yesterday, we can afford to be more flexible with our lessons today. Learning is going to be more relaxed, discussing what we saw, what we learnt and vegging out on the sofa with Youtube clips of the animals we want to see more of. I love this homeschooling lark!

Tomorrow is Friday and we’ll be finishing up the workbooks we began on Wednesday but never quite completed before we headed off for our field trip. The afternoon will be free time for all of us. The children will do some art project or choose how to use their computer time.

In the meantime I have made plans to take a slice out of my day to watch “Mum’s Half Hour” – an online programme which is broadcast live at 1.30BST every Friday. Tomorrow’s topics are on pre and post baby fashion (really, if you see me and my wardrobe you’ll soon realise I am not a fashionista by a long shot), but the thing I’ll be watching for is their piece on multiple births. I am not too sure whether by that they mean one woman giving birth multiple times or one woman having a multiple birth of twins, triplets etc. Still, being live you can ask your questions which they’ll try to answer during the programme. It sounds like it might be interesting to look in on (and no, I haven’t received anything for mentioning this – I just thought other mums of many or multiples might be interested in knowing about it).

For now though, I think I’m going to be taking today as easy as possible too. And that is one thing the kids do agree with me on for once!


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