Monday, 23 March 2020

School Closure 2020 Home we go again!

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Our home education journey began back in 2007, with Imogen, Jemima and Reuben. Rosanna joined us a couple of years later. Our home educating journey lasted nine years. Some of our memories here on the blog. When Imogen got to 14, she returned to school to do GCSE's. She went on to do A levels and is now at university. After Imogen went to school, Jemima became lonely and she joined Imogen at school. This left Reuben and Rosanna at home. They missed their big sisters and home education became more difficult for me. I became tired and made the decision that home education wasn't the right thing for our family. Reuben and Rosanna started school.

Here we are again, like the rest of the country, home educating our children:
A second year university student
A beauty apprentice
Y8 student
Y5 student.

Over the past few days, I've really enjoyed looking at our blog. I'm hoping to blog our new home
education journey. A record of life in 2020.

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School Shutdown 2020. Home educating tips and advice

This time thirteen years ago, I was heavily pregnant with my third child and thinking about home educating our two daughters. Reuben was born and our home education journey began. A journey that lasted nine years, with Rosanna arriving along the way. We had amazing days, crazy days, mundane days and days when I would shut myself in the kitchen and eat Nutella.

We’d been thinking about home education for about six months before starting. Time to plan, meet people and think ‘is this right for us?’ This time we’ve got no choice, we are doing it for a different reason to save lives; to stop the spread of this nasty virus. There won’t be trips to museums and art galleries. No big meet ups with the home ed community. No groups and activities. It really will be home education.

I’m not a home education expert, but have put together a few thoughts. Over the past few days, I’ve felt overwhelmed by the about of information available.

·         The first few days at home might be very difficult. We are all adjusting to a new routine. So, don’t panic or think ‘I can’t do this’. We will all need time to adjust. Don’t judge yourself on the first week. It takes time to find a rhythm and routine that suits your family.

·         Talk, read books, play games, get creative, bake. What things would your children like to do at home? I’m going to write a list. We can then add, amend and tick off the things we do.

·         There’s lots of ‘home ed’ websites available with free trials. There are timetables available. You can watch lessons at 9am, 10am… Do look through them. Use the resources that will help your family. I don’t think you’ll need them all. Last time, I had a couple of favourite educational sites that I used.

·         Don’t panic when you see or hear what other families are doing. Do what is right for your family.  And remember that people tend to share their highlights and not their lowlights so much.

·         Look at the work set by school, keep checking for new work. After all children will be returning to school eventually.  I want to keep dialogue open with school via twitter, see-saw, school blogs. I think this will ease the transition back to school.

·         Pace yourself, don’t burn out! After Monday you’ve got to get up and do it again…and again! You don’t need to sit with your children all the time. You don’t need to entertain them all the time. If they are old enough, let them take some responsibility for managing their own time at home. 

·         Err on the side of trusting them.  All children have a desire to learn and the new situation might spark that in new and creative ways.  Sometimes they will resist every suggestion you make.  So switch everything off and give them a chance to get bored sometimes, ignore them and let them find their own solution to it.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

·         Your house doesn’t have to be a classroom, but if that works for your family do it. I would say the world is your classroom, but that’s can’t be true so much just now. Your garden is certainly part of your learning environment though.

·         When the weather is good, get outside into your garden. If you want to do formal work, you can do it outside, you don’t have to work inside at a desk. You may get a week when it rains, so when it’s nice weather get out.

·         Be confident. You know your children better than anyone else. Learn together. You don’t need to know all the answers. Be investigators.  Facilitate their learning, point them in the right direction, the internet, books, even another adult. Enjoy the process.

·         Be brave, be bold. Plan an activity that you’ve always wanted to do.

·         Make time for yourself, take time in the day to go into a different room and take a break.

·         You’ll have bad days and you won’t be alone in that.  Phone/text a family member, have a moan and move on.

·         Record what you are doing (photos, video clips, writing), put it somewhere you can see it. It’s a great way to stay positive and to see how much you have achieved.

·         Don’t have a pj day. Get up and get dressed.

·         Celebrate the good days, move on from the bad ones .Record it all for history!  One day you love to look back on it. I certainly have over the past few days.

·         Dance in the rain! You’ve got to do that!


Social distancing: A walk around your neighbourhood Building name game

I love this idea, great for exploring your local neighbourhood, especially now we are social distancing.
See the source image
In this game of exploration, you and your child walk through your neighbourhood and make up names for all the interesting buildings you see. The names can be anything, choose a category and away you go. How about animals?
a giraffe building could be tallest.
Be brave name buildings after family and friends! Make up a story.


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