Finding our Way


deschoolWhen 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.

loomOnto 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 😉

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6 comments on “Finding our Way

  1. I remember the kids next door when I was younger were home schooled, I was always so jealous as their days always seemed so filled with fun compared to mine sitting down just being fed information. Sounds like you are off to a good start, I find my little girl always learns the most when we are doing something fun at the weekends or after school xx

    Charli | Secrets Behind The Closet Door
    Charli recently posted..Getting Back Into ActionMy Profile

  2. I agree! Children don’t need to be stuck in classrooms with their heads in books in order to learn. I find that often children learn best when they’re having fun anyway.
    Keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂
    Amy recently posted..RECIPE / Chocolate Fridge CakeMy Profile

  3. It is a lot harder for us adults to de-school, I have to still remind myself often that despite it looking like they are not learning anything, they are like sponges and are learning more than we can imagine..
    Shiney Shoo recently posted..Childrens ability to question…My Profile

  4. I always learned more when I was on vacation, travelling somewhere, with my parents. They knew the art of bringing History and Geography to life, unlike my school teachers who droned out of books.
    Amrita Dasgupta recently posted..Restaurant review: Rodizio LebanonMy Profile

  5. Sounds like fun!
    Mathletics is the only “schoolwork” Harry does out of school without complaining. Computer+Maths= 7 year old heaven.

  6. Sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into this, I’m sure you’re more prepared then you realise xxx

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