What’s in a name…

One frequent conversation we have tends to go a bit like this…

‘No school today?’

‘I don’t go to school’

Quizzical look at me.

‘I teach him myself!’

Spectacular misrepresentation of our day to day lives but is an answer most people can understand.

The other day I was thinking a bit about the label ‘home education’.  Labels make me laugh (or sometimes cringe) they never adequately seem to cover our lives.

In this instance the thing that amused me was is I was thinking how little of our education actually happens at home.

Last Monday we covered PE and PSHE at the local soft play.  Economics and maths in the supermarket (shopping for Guides always involves lots of multiplication and price comparisons).

Tuesday we headed to London for a talk on Superhero Science at the Royal Institution and to explore their Michael Faraday museum.

20140402_39 20140402_40 20140402_43 So that was science!  Every trip to London also has some element of History – we walked up past Buckingham Palace and through Green Park and therefore discussions over the old park gates and the history of the royal parks, Culture – the flag over the Palace, we went past the Ritz which led to discussions on afternoon tea, Nature – pigeons are fascinating! and map reading.  Besides the practical aspect of using the map in town, a portion of the train journey was spent exploring the A-Z and locating random places.

20140402_38Train journeys covered, from memory, endangered animals, definitions of what makes a country a country, creativity (Minecraft), logic and strategy (chess), map reading, maths (time).

Thursday; local history in a local museum, science and nature looking at sea creatures, in tanks and through the microscope, elsewhere in the museum, history in the theatre watching a play about WW1 following with lots of discussion over lunch.  Following lunch more economics/maths and discussions about different handicrafts with a trip to hobbycraft.

This Monday we went to Titchfield Abbey and covered History, both the history of the Abbey with a detour into Tudors and religion with the dissolution and consolidating WW1 with reenacting battles.  There was PE, football and lots of running about.  We also visited the garden centre for a bit of science and nature, comparing different plants and discussing how they grow.

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Even our most sit down round the table days (Wednesdays) are not necessarily what people imagine when they hear ‘home education’ we are home but the rest of the people around the table aren’t as we are joined by others.

When the boys were younger we had a lovely t-shirt that I hope is still doing the rounds through the local group somewhere – it said ‘The world’s my playground, I’m home educated’.

I’d take it further than that, for us and so many home educators I know ‘the world is our classroom’.  There are some things school does better, some things I can’t replicate in terms of resources and experiences but there is so much that I can provide with a bit of planning and research. There will be a time when our education will become more home based as exams and teaching to tests rears it’s head, a case of needs must.  But until then we will continue to make as much use as we can of the world and people around us – education without boundaries 🙂

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