Our first week of home ed and I’m already a bit fed up of being asked, “so, what are you learning/doing tomorrow, then?” I’m not ungrateful for others’ interest in our new adventure – far from it. I’m over the moon at how positive everyone has been so far. I guess I’m just feeling pressured to launch H into home learning, when really I think that he needs time to adjust to not being at school (a process I’ve learnt is called ‘deschooling’ by the home ed community). Hell, I need time to adjust to him not being at school!
I want to take some time to get to know him; not as my son, but as my student. I need to know what he knows – and what he doesn’t, so that I’m helping him to learn relevant stuff and we’re not going over old ground unnecessarily. He’s got a good idea of topics he wants to learn about, but it’s going to take me some time to work out exactly how to help him learn about them in a way he will respond to.
I’m feeling that there are a lot of misconceptions about home ed, not through intentional ignorance, but just because it’s not really talked about much. I feel as though people think I should be sitting H down for several hours a day, doing books and worksheets and all the writing. But that’s the thing – that’s school. That’s what we’ve removed him from. What people don’t understand is that we can do this however we want to. As long as we do do something, it’s up to us to decide how, when, where, why, which…
Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s what we have been up to so far…
I wanted to make something with Oreos for another blog post, so we got stuck into some baking.
H enjoyed weighing out the ingredients and learning the difference between mixing and folding, but I think his favourite part was licking the bowl, just like his sister!
This week we took advantage of it being term time, and having a voucher that needed using soon, we took another trip to our local Sea Life Centre. Usually when we go, H races round so that he can get to the big sharks in the underwater tunnel, as these are his favourites. However, this time, I challenged him to find some facts about sea life that he didn’t know (and there’s not lots that he doesn’t know!). He actually took his time to read the information posted around the centre, and I helped him find out more.
He also got stuck in when it came to exploring life in the rock pools, and listened attentively to the lady who was telling him all about starfish, anemones and crabs, while he had a little feel of them all!
H loves the Sea Life Centres, and it was lovely to be able to take our time and really look at and talk about the sea creatures we saw (and those we didn’t – where were you hiding, octopus?!).
On our way back to the train station, we stopped off at the Library of Birmingham. H has been once before, but, unbelievably, I’ve never been inside, although I have photographed it before.
It was a bit of a disaster; the children’s section is being renovated and was closed, so we thought we’d head up to the top to go out on the balcony, which was also closed. We then got stuck in a tiny lift with some strangers for a while before giving up and going home. We’ll try again another week!
H has decided he’d like to know all about World War Two, so he began his research this week with The Hubby, who took him to the Imperial War Museum in London. They had a great day out, apparently, and The Hubby was surprised with how much H already knew, particularly about the weapons used in WW2.
The next day we decided to sit down and work our way through the timeline of the Second World War so that H had a basic knowledge of what happened when to give him something to build on. He was surprised at how Hitler’s men spread throughout Europe with such little resistance, but he seemed proud that Britain stayed strong and, eventually, went on to defeat Hitler with their allies.
He wanted a break from history by the end of the week, so on Friday we went swimming. H can ‘move with purpose’ in the water, but is not yet a strong swimmer. Sadly, we’ve not been able to take him very often, so being able to do so in the day, when it’s quieter and we have plenty of time is fab. I was so pleased with his efforts; he went from doing a speedy doggy paddle to trying a breaststroke as well as a bit of a front crawl! We also did some treading water practice and he swam at least 10 metres several times. I’m so proud of how hard he tried, and we’ll definitely make swimming a regular activity.
This week’s stats:
Places visited: 3
Topics covered: Marine life, World War 2
Exercise: Swimming, walking
Number of times a stranger said “No school today?”: 1
This week we’re hoping to venture out to a couple of organised activities: indoor rock climbing and a forest school session, both of which we’ve never tried before!