Home Education has always been important to me, even before I had children.
I always knew I’d like to home educate my children, mainly driven by my own terrible experiences of school that led me to be home educated for a year.
My parents took the decision to pull me out of mainstream education after my first term in secondary school was filled with daily bullying and threats not acknowledged by the school.
Having to deal with this on a daily basis I became increasingly ill with stomach problems and was desperate not to go back.
Thankfully my mum had been introduced to home education through a friend who was educating all 5 of her children at home. This enabled my parents to think outside the box and since my mum worked from home and had reasonably flexible hours it seemed like the obvious solution.
I left school just before the Christmas holidays.
I think if the community of home educators had been what it is now or at least had been more accessible then its possible I would’ve stayed out of school indefinitely.
As it was 20 odd years ago there was no internet and the only studying aids I had were a few maths and English books, although I did read A LOT!
Of course, where possible mum and I would go to museums and discuss the newspapers. Once a week I would visit the only other home ed family we knew, but it was quite a solitary existence.
I had a few friends when I left school, but I wasn’t the social butterfly I had hoped I’d be upon leaving Primary school.
I am a member of about 3 local groups and 4 or 5 national ones all providing ideas, advice and offers for me to pick and choose from and also organise meetups for the children.
There are resource websites, my favourite being Twinkl, used by home educators and teaching staff alike.
It’s filled with lots of projects that can be adapted for any age group and is perfect for getting inspired on a rainy day or when you or your child really doesn’t want to mooch around the parks.
As well as websites there are of course parks and museums, and one of my favourite resources, charity shops!
Puzzles and books are our main purchases but every now and then you’ll find a science kit or a musical instrument. Random things that you wouldn’t normally think to buy due to expense but can actually come in very handy.
Our most recent purchase was an old school Leap Pad, which is an interactive learning game that incorporates counting, letter recognition, body parts and memory games.
Bear absolutely loves it and it means that I am able to do housework or my own work while he is kept entertained. It even has a piano, although I am beginning to realise that this may not be the best thing!
Home Education is no longer that idea of a community of Billy no mates sitting at a table filling in workbooks, but instead a community of Lotty lots o’ friends who are really no different to those who go to school.
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