A few months ago Jack made serious indications of wanting to try school, rather than airey fairy one day type comments. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t react well and got a bit upset, not saying no of course, it has always been their decision just overly negative. 2 days later, PMT had gone and I’d done a U-turn. Once the rational part of my brain kicked back in I know full well it is curiosity based on the fact most of his friends go rather than unhappiness at home that is the motivator, and I am rather proud of him having stuck to his guns when I was clearly against the idea. Academically it won’t do him any favours but doubt it will be that bad either, we’ve given him a good start and home environment will always play a major role whether a child is in school or not. Also he’s a social being and I am so not, so the idea of letting him go off and do his socialising without me is not without appeal. And it might be nice to focus on Sam a bit more (he is very adamant that he doesn’t want to go), he has always kind of had to slot in around Jack. Of course in the time that it took me to reach these conclusions Jack cooled on the idea. Based on the fact we have some days out and weekends away booked we (to clarify by we I mean the entire family, Pete included!) have agreed to put the idea on the backburner to revisit Feb time, and if he wants make inquiries then with a view to him starting after Easter.
With my ‘enjoy the moment’ frame of mind I’m not letting what might happen in the future effect too much what we do now. I let him type most things at home and I think this is something where he does lag behind schooled kids. And anyway at some point in 3 or 4 years he will start on GCSE’s so will need to write more quickly and legibly. We’re trying to make it interesting though by transcribing poems that he likes, thanks to work I have the fonts available to produce handwriting sheets easily. Academically I suspect he is way ahead in many areas and where he does lag behind he is bright enough to catch up quickly.
I’ve rejiggled (or rejigged if you insist — I quite like the word rejiggled though even if it is a ‘comedy word’) our timetable a bit to take account of various things
- With not aiming to attend Home Ed Groups I don’t need to work around them, so it is all about suiting us. I’ve left space for our regular catch up with Lisa and her boys and afternoons are always flexible. If we’re in then we’ll work on crafty, science experiments type things but equally well these can be put to one side to catch up with friends or run errands.
- So we are ‘school’ Mon-Thurs, with Friday as a day off for trips and outings. Some visits to friends, others family days out.
- Boys want to swim regularly and they don’t want to go to a group session. So I’ve hired the local private pool in the village on a weekly basis. Bliss, warm and only us in it. Has the advantage of being near library too so two birds one stone.
- Sam starts Beavers in a couple of weeks. He’s a bit meh about it. Personally I think it will be good for him to do something without Jack but won’t be surprised if he doesn’t like it. He’s used to mixing with older kids and gets a bit nonplussed by kids his own age. I’ve convinced him to try it for a week or three but if he isn’t keen then fair enough.
- We found when Jack did piano practice mid morning it disrupted our flow, so moved it to first thing before we actually sit down
- Split work into two hour blocks , with a break. Included project work and other extras alongside Galore Park.
- I am not splitting Jack’s work in to days but asking him to manage a weeks worth of work. Sam is still at the stage of doing what I ask when, he is not ready to self manage yet. Obviously I expect less out of him than Jack and we’ll spend a fair amount of the time Jack is working reading and colouring etc.
So this week started gently on Monday. We used Activity Village’s New Year Doodle Fun to reflect on 2011
And the same resource to help with them consider goals and make plans for the upcoming year. I am not unaware of the inconsistency here, I want to live in the moment more but am encouraging the boys to develop planning skills. I’m good at planning, they’re good at living for the now (in the way that children are) if we all get a little better and the other, everyone will hopefully be happier. For the kids some of this simply means working out plans of saving up for things they want and everyday thinking ahead. If they are told the bus is due in 20 mins getting dressed and ready (ideally in weather appropriate clothes) in an organised manner! But also particularly in Jack’s case it is about him taking more control over his education.
Also been moving on with galore park. Science involved sorting food labels
New projects were started, WW2 and Village Settlements in Geography. We are using resources from Planbee. They are lesson plans for school but adapt well for home use and I find them a good way of checking we have covered the majority of NC topics. Particularly like the geography resources as I struggle to find good UK based Geography resources.
Sales have also meant boxes of books turning up with regularity and causing distraction and excitement. I treated us to a globe with my Amazon voucher which has given us all (Pete and I included some fun).