Not Back to School

It’s September, and we’re celebrating another year of ‘Not Back to School’. We’ve gotten back into our homeschool rhythm this week, it actually felt good to get back to some kind of routine after a fun and hectic summer.

I was a little unsure about whether or not we’d still be home educating this year, at the start of August I was debating with myself whether it was the right time to send the kids to school or not. Lola had decided that she wanted to try school again, and hopefully, she’ll be restarting next week – we have an admissions meeting for her on Friday, she’s going to resit Year 10, after I pulled her out last year due to bullying and anxiety issues. She has decided that she doesn’t want to wait a year to go to college, so the school is letting her go back down to Year 10 so she can sit her GCSE’s.

My anxiety was really bad, and for a little while, I wondered if it wasn’t time to make a change. I got as far as putting in applications for the kiddos, but the closer September got, the more I started to feel uncomfortable about the idea. In the end, I listened to what my heart said and have opted to carry on homeschooling. It’s certainly not an easy option – while the thought of a school run makes me shudder, having the headspace all day was something that seemed vital a month ago when I was struggling.

However, now my anxiety is back under control, and I’m making other changes to family life that are making things that seemed hard, do-able, I don’t feel like I need that headspace. The kiddos and I chatted lots, and neither Kiki or Baya were keen on the whole school idea, so we are entering another year of home ecuation – our 11th in fact!

It feels like the right decision for us at this time, one thing I always said with home educating, was that it is flexible. One approach won’t work for each child, and also what works for us as a family changes over time. Reassessing from time to time is a good idea I think.

With that said, I’ve been thinking about our plans for this year. The kiddos are enjoying using the All in one homeschool curriculum for their basis. Beastie is following the ‘Getting Ready 1‘ programme at the minute, and he LOVES it! Combined with Reading Eggs, he is learning so much and enjoying it too. We read lots of books together, talk lots – he asks some really interesting questions about the world, how things work, why things are as they are, and I always try and answer them {with a little help from Google occasionally!} I’m not one to push things on my kiddos before they are ready – I don’t believe in forcing them to learn to read, but would rather nurture a love of stories by me reading to them, following their lead and letting them show me what they need.

Kiki and Baya are both following different Grade Level programmes – Baya third grade, and Kiki Fifth. They use Xtramath for maths practice, follow the reading and writing programmes within their grade levels, and both opted to also do the Zoology plan this year. It is a Christian based curriculum, so we pick and choose a little to make it suit us, but it gives us a good starting point.

The girls will also be participating in a home ed book group again this year. Last year’s books were set in different countries around the world, so we used each month’s book as a basis for a unit study on that country. This year’s books are all set at different points in history, so we’ll be studying each period as we read the book. It’s a fantastic way to tie lots of different subjects in – geography, history, arts and crafts, writing.. I love having a great base for unit studies!

With a good base to work from, I like to keep space for interests and subjects that pop up. I don’t plan every single minute of their education, as often the most learning happens in spontaneous moments. If someone asks a question, it can easily lead to us all spending a day or more finding out about it. We’ll fit in lots of day trips to museums, art galleries and other places of interest.

The kiddos also have pretty full schedules of extra-curricular activities. Baya’s hours of gymnastic training have increased again to 16, meaning she’s there three nights a week and all day on Saturdays when she also helps coach their rec class. Kiki has two nights of gymnastics, drama, art club and guides. Beastie has started going to gymanstics on a Saturday morning, and we also try and take him to a ‘Mini Movers’ dance class most weeks, and story time at the library too.

I’m actually really glad I am sat here writing this post, and not trying to hustle four kids out of the door in time for school every morning!

1 Comment

  1. Hello Beautiful Bear

    October 9, 2018 at 12:25

    Hi lovely, Lily is due to get her school letter sometime soon so I’m really starting to carve out our path for homeschooling as it’s been something we’ve been set on since she was around 10 weeks old. Reading your blog, infact, was one of the eureka moments in my mind back in 2015 and now she’s 3 years, 8 months it’s time to get started.
    Will be looking at the Getting Ready 1 plan today.
    Always love reading your updates

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