Preparing for the new home education year

We don’t always follow the school terms because we generally don’t need the respite of holidays. But I burned out in a big way this last year, trying to do too many things at once. We started the farm and I upped my freelancing, I also simultaneously increased my volunteering as a breastfeeding counsellor and wrote and performed a collection of poems at a literary festival. All amazing things but a lot to take on all at once. We also had the busiest year in terms of activities the kids were doing outside the home. It’s meant a lot of…

View Post

Shifting gears: home education and “having it all”

I’ve been doing a lot of multi-tasking recently. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this just means there’s even more background noise than usual. On paper it looks like I’m attempting to have it all. I’m continuing to build my freelance writing business, increasing my voluntary work, sharing in home educating our children, attempting to cooperate in keeping the house reasonable and the people in it fed and, somehow, getting ready to perform a collection of my poetry at Penzance Literary Festival in a couple of months. And that’s just the stuff on the surface, the things I’m able…

View Post

And if the garden is all we have: Ideas for nature play at home

When we talk about connecting with nature, getting ourselves and our children outdoors, we often imagine wild swims in hidden natural pools, challenging hikes along stunning coastline or, at the very least, a run around a National Trust property. But there are many reasons why people might find it difficult to get out like this. They may not have the time or funds, their location might make it difficult, their health may limit their mobility or their families may need to work up to spending more time outside. This week I’ve been collaborating with Multicultural Motherhood on the #7daysofoutdoorplay challenge…

View Post

Home educated children are not missing education or invisible

Like so many home educators in England, I watched the much discussed episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches, “Skipping School: Britain’s Invisible Kids” earlier this week. The episode itself I didn’t find compelling viewing – a bizarre soup of tenuously related issues thrown together, overwritten with repetitive commentary, meant both to get the audience worked up and force some meaning on this mess. However, I know that many watching the programme won’t see it this way. The Children’s Commissioner’s report referenced in this documentary is part of a bigger conversation around home education that has become difficult, and even dangerous, for…

View Post

Our homeschooling week

I’m toying with the idea of doing a weekly update on what we’re getting up to, partly to remind myself that we’re doing more than I think on days when I feel unsure about everything. Realistically, though, it’s impossible to record everything because home education encompasses all of living. I’ve also omitted some stuff because this post would get insanely long if I included everything. If you have questions about anything we use or do, please drop me a comment and I’ll get into it in another post soon. Learning happens as much through conversations and unstructured play as through…

View Post

Resetting my homeschooling intentions

The last couple of years, I’ve had to make the decision not to make New Year’s Resolutions. I can see how for some people the process of taking stock and putting together a “new year, new you” kind of plan is inspiring, hopeful, exciting even. I’ve felt that too when crossing into January. I have all the ideas and I want to put them into action now. Often, though, resolutions point out to me all the things I’m not. “Read more books” reminds me that I don’t read enough and is too big and vague an idea for me to…

View Post

Frankensnakes – an engineering-inspired Halloween trick

This post is sponsored by The Year of Engineering You may remember Talitha tried one of the activities developed by the Year of Engineering’s Holiday Makers in the summer. They’re back again with more engineering-inspired activities for children aged 7-16 over the October half term. My kids always light up when they hear anything about engineering because one of their aunts is an engineer but the reality in this country is that only 12% of those working in engineering are women and only 8% come from ethnic minority backgrounds. The Holiday Makers are aiming to help families get making and…

View Post