We are now entering our fourth year of education otherwise, or as I like to call it ‘homemade education’. I am loving it. W would be entering Year 3 this year and B would be entering Year 1. But in our little Home Ed world, they are just entering a new cycle of learning. So, what does that look like for us this year?
Maybe you read last year’s blog, my education plan seemed well thought out but you know what they say about best laid plans…especially in 2020! After what seems like an eternity in lockdown and a 2 day experience in a local school, we are firmly home educating again. I must stress, that the way we do things is what works for our family. Every family’s set up/lifestyle etc. is different. Some home educators might read this blog and think we are too structured, others might think we aren’t structured enough.
This year, there is a bit more pressure as B (5) is no longer in the ‘free to play’ all day category. I have to manage my time well between both of them. B (5) taught himself to read and is teaching himself to write, he is fiercely independent when it comes to his education and highly sensitive when it comes to everything else. Meanwhile W (7) has diagnosed disabilities and suspected learning difficulties. He gets anxious and overwhelmed easily, needs a lot of reassurance and hand-holding. So I spent last week, working out a timetable that works for us, identifying areas of learning and generally just having fun.
Now our ‘timetable’ may not look like an actual timetable to anybody as our actual ‘learning’ is child-led, inspired by their interests and educational requests. But we do have a few ground rules:
- Monday – Thursday mornings only
- Wednesdays are dedicated to creative pursuits (art, music, role-play etc.)*
- 20 – 30 minutes table work per subject
- No screens (excluding Zoom language classes and a online language program)
- At least 3 hours playing outside everyday
*this rule is mainly for me to ensure that I provide them with opportunities to develop and explore their creativity at least once a week.
The 20-30 minutes table work is where the ‘homemade’ part of the education comes in. It can take W, one hour to write one sentence. This is impractical for many reasons and also means that he is spending all that time feeling anxious. If I have a 20-30 minute table work rule for each subject and I notice that it is taking him longer, then I need to try a different approach. It also means that I can give him work I know he can do fairly confidently while I work with B. Today I was able to put my theory into practice, and by the end of this week I will have a fairly goo idea of it’s effectiveness. Which will be another blog.
Thanks for reading! What is your educational approach?