Finding our Way
When you begin home educating, many people advise a period of deschooling – a time when you may not do any formal learning (though possibly plenty of activities) to get school out of everyone’s system. Different people suggest different lengths of time, but a rule of thumb I’ve seen used a lot is one month per year spent at school. According to this measure, we’re now at the end of our deschooling period. It certainly feels like time to move on.
The last three months have been… different to what I had imagined. More scary. Harder work. But I think we all have a better idea of what home education looks like in our family. I certainly have a better idea of how to approach it in a way that’s right for Bean.
Yesterday was day one of our new “we’re properly home educating now” phase. I’d tentatively agreed some activities with Bean, although I knew we’d agreed more than we would get done. And still there are times when I felt like he want doing anything, not learning anything, until I realised that this was now about me still seeing learning through the mask of an Ofsted inspection.
He spent an hour tinkering with his car on a game, testing to find the right combination of power ups and tools to achieve his aims. He time he changed something, he predicted what would happen, noted the results and used them to inform his next change.
Then he moved onto Mathletics, spending half an hour playing maths games. Then we played Countdown. I hadn’t realised he liked it, but he does. We’ve agreed well play it every day, if we are at home when it’s on.
Onto to some DT – learning the basics of the rainbow loom. He found bits of this tricky and wanted to give up, but eventually decided to try again. He beamed and beamed when he put his finished bracelet on his wrist.
A quick check of an ongoing science experiment – discussion of results, agreement to continue the experiment, what might change) and he was done for the day.
And this is what I need to remember: it is still learning, even if it feels like fun! It doesn’t have to be all sitting down with books (it doesn’t have to be any sitting down with books). They’re right when they say it takes adults longer to deschool than children. Add an ex-teacher into the mix, and we may be here some time 😉