Monday, 18 August 2008

End of the school holidays

This summer seems to have gone by so quickly - the schools in our town are back this week. I've had quite a few people ask "so when is your home schooling going to start?" to which I've answered in my usual vague way "well, we've sort of already started...". I find it very hard to give any coherent explanation of what we are doing and why, which is obviously not very helpful to the people who are genuinely interested. I suppose I haven't really got my head round it properly yet, I know why we are doing this and I know I have good and valid reasons, but trying to verbalise it is impossible. Its so complex and there are so many reasons. I feel like I'm rambling now, which is not unusual!

I know that I shouldn't be overly worried about how 'other people' view what we're doing, its just that fear of looking like an idiot when someone wants a quick, concise answer and I haven't got one to give. Most people seem to assume that I will keep to school hours, cover the national curriculum, and sit A down with workbooks. If I mention autonomous learning they look at me like I'm a maniac. Part of me understands that, because it is very radical to most people, I just wish it didn't knock my confidence the way it does at the moment.

This issue came up today in particular because I go to a Tai Chi class on Monday mornings, so A comes too and just brings something along with her to do quietly at the back of the room. Once the schools go back I know I'm going to get lots of questions and feel I'd like to be a bit prepared for that.

This has led to a general feeling of 'lets get a bit more organised', so to start with A and I are going to have a meeting to discuss and develop a plan on how we would like to approach home education. I am also going to attempt to keep some kind of a written record on what A is learning.

A has been pretty busy lately, autonomously learning ;-))
Apart from designing and creating various items of clothing (pictures soon!), and teaching her Nonna all about wild mushrooms, she came home from her Grandparents with a 20 page 'Beauty' magazine she had created all herself. We are going to photocopy it and give some copies to her friends. I love the way she is starting to really get her teeth into her little mini projects now, with absolutely no prompting from me. Her strength is definately her creativeness, I never know what she'll come up with next!


Lucy said...

Other people's attitudes is actually what I've found the hardest past of home ed. There seems to be an assumption of some sort of all-subject-encompassing, excellence going on in schools which we couldn't hope to match. Having worked in all sorts of schools over the years I think the opposite is true.

But to put it in perspective weve had mainly a very favourable reception of the idea, especially when people actually stop and think about it. It gets easier as you go along and grow in your own confidence too.

Now I've rambled!

Hannah said...

"Life learning" is a term I've found a lot of people are happy enough to swallow LOL!
I think 99% of a successful explanation of your approach to home ed comes from your confidence. If we say it with a smile people tend not to be as confrontational.
Thanks for sharing the recipe :o)