31 Aug 2010

More museums?

Honestly, you'd think these kids would be sick of them by now. But nope, not at all. There is just too much stuff to know.

30 Aug 2010

Thinking time

Do they teach that at school?

29 Aug 2010

We're not convinced

...that the most important thing about education is test scores, marks and grades. The most important thing for this young lady right now is how she can make a hat like that, given her resources, budget, and time?

28 Aug 2010

The travelling classroom

Nope, not an ipad. A good old fashioned book.

27 Aug 2010

26 Aug 2010

The social world?

Go on, admit it. It's far more interesting, practical, social and fun to be out here. Think of the alternative. Stuck in a classroom while Miss Drewitt, deputy head, delivers her lecture about tucking your shirt in at school.

25 Aug 2010

Sudden impulses can be accommodated...

Because we need to get out this house RIGHT NOW!

24 Aug 2010

23 Aug 2010

Effortless learning

No rewards, punishments, tests, or someone telling you it's too hard. Effortless learning takes place everyday near you. Watch out for it, because it's simple.

(Okay, I lied about the rewards. After this we went for ice cream, and sat and talked about what we'd each learned about volcanoes.)

22 Aug 2010

A sad story can have happy endings

We know a boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine. On his first day at school, he took his Thomas satchel. He was mocked without mercy. He never carried it there again, or ever mentioned his passion at school. At home, he played with his Thomas trains quietly, a private, secret pleasure, until he decided, at age eleven or twelve, that he was done, and Thomas went into a box in the shed.

My kids have never known that. So they play with their old, home-made rag dolls how they wish, even today. Maybe one of them will really become that dress designer.

(And see where a passion can lead!)

19 Aug 2010

Making time for family life

Frankly, at some moments in dealing with my children, I feel impatient, intolerant, dismissive, and unloving. I bet my kids sometimes feel the same about me. Let's scowl and slam doors.

However, we have flexibility in our chosen way of life. Because if we felt any of that negative, destructive stuff between 7am and 8am when everyone must leave the house for school, I know that we'd all feel bad all day. As it is, we can have the argument at 9am, sort it by 10.30, then carry on thinking what books we'd like to take out the library.

18 Aug 2010

Some afternoon, one week day

See a newspaper article about the education of children taken out of school, and you might find the usual comments - that education out of school should be illegal, kids can't socialise, parents are denying children a 'proper' education, the parents think themselves superior. I sometimes wonder if the people who write those comments are motivated by jealousy. Understandable.

17 Aug 2010

Yes, she could have done that at school

But I would never have had the pleasure of seeing it in the making.

16 Aug 2010

We took the road less travelled

Because isn't it always the way, how the child wants to lead you home by the unplanned, vicarious, spontaneous path?

15 Aug 2010

Time spent together every day

...means we have time to wait, and listen, to what a child wants to say.

14 Aug 2010

Remembering what it was like

To be a child left undisturbed to play on a sandy beach.

13 Aug 2010

'Now I want to go swimming'

Really? Oh dear. Let me think about this. Hmm. Bum. I can't think of a reason why not.

12 Aug 2010

We all have a natural curiosity

And I especially admire the way that children demand their curiosity is satisfied first, and certainly above any adult imperative to get as quickly as possible to a restaurant. So we pause, on a rocky path, in the dark, and we shine the torches to measure night-time snails. Thanks to a child's curiosity, I have a memory to cherish, whereas I completely forget what I ordered for dinner.

11 Aug 2010

Practical, real-world problem solving

One Ikea desk, thirty-two picture instructions, all day, and see how she gets on with it.

10 Aug 2010

Taking time to travel together

Because we believe that travelling together is better than travelling apart.

9 Aug 2010

Treasured moments

Reheated stew, things to do, books to know.

8 Aug 2010

Qualities that I admire

My children show me. Persistence; resolve; dedication to a task. And a steady determination to conquer fears.

7 Aug 2010

Yes, there are daily challenges

For which you're rewarded with a three-hour model-making session and a theatre production. (You just have to love the kid that makes it.)

6 Aug 2010

The universal lesson

Cooking! How much mileage does this give us? Last week it was chemistry, maths, physics and geography. This week it's history, French, religious instruction and chocolate mousse.

5 Aug 2010

Our school gathers

A moral assembly, with added view. (And even better, all the doors are locked and the audience can't get out.)

4 Aug 2010

Introducing another family member

If she's with us, she home educates. She's led us to wikipedia; drawn us in story; focused our discussion; taken us to see her for real. (And if you are looking for a literacy lesson, I would show you her diary. But it's private.)

3 Aug 2010

In this world, we meet all different types

And I am so grateful to them, for putting up with us.

2 Aug 2010

Who has control over the education?

Children. They build it for themselves. We support them.

1 Aug 2010

Home education: Liberation

Arseface the Dolly agrees. She comes with us everywhere.