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June 26, 2014 posted by littlewhitecottage

The last week of school before we leave to home school our eldest…

cake 2

It’s a week before my boys break up from school for the summer holiday and as so many of my followers are very interested in following my home school journey over the next year with my eldest I thought I’d write an update as to where we are, what we’re planning and how we’re all feeling about it…

I’m sat at the kitchen table (yes this blog really is written at the kitchen table) with a cup of hot tea and slice of chocolate cake writing whilst the baby sleeps. I’ve been wandering around school this last week and seeing how Ollie’s friends are preparing for year 6 and it is with a tinge of sadness that I look at him knowing that he won’t be joining them next year. I’d be lying to say that I didn’t have doubts about what we’re doing re home schooling, I think I’d be a useless parent if I wasn’t worrying about this huge step that we’re taking that bucks the trend of all our friends and also Ollie’s.

I wonder if I’m up to the job? After complaining about Ollie’s education so far I am now putting my money where my mouth is and I’m going to teach him myself. My, that sounds big headed doesn’t it and that’s something I’ve had to get over too. I don’t think I’m the be all and end all when it comes to teaching and I know I have serious weaknesses in certain aspects of my Year 6 subject knowledge but what I do have over any teacher that could ever possibly teach Oliver is love. Simply put I love Oliver and no can ever beat that. I will work as long as I need too to help him, I will research, read and find answers to not only questions he may have but also ways to help him fulfil his potential whilst acknowledging his dyslexia. What I don’t know I will find out and I won’t stop until I do.

Hubbie is also committed to home schooling and knows that he will need to play his part. This isn’t something we’ve undertaken lightly as he will have to find time when he doesn’t have any at the moment to help. I’ve had to make decisions about my little business (I teach sewing and make a few items to sell) that’s just taking off and I know I won’t be able to follow my dreams for another few years but that’s okay. Having children isn’t easy and there are times when their needs have to come first and this, I think, is one of them. My rationale is that I trained for 4 years and taught for 5 so that’s 9 years of helping and (hopefully) inspiring other people’s children to learn and have a thirst for learning and now it’s time I used my skills to help my own child. It’s a no brainer really when you think about it. My son needs help and I can help him so why on earth wouldn’t I?

Ollie is nervous understandably. He’s been a little quiet lately and we’ve had chats about how we’ll keep in touch with his friends –he has a solid group of lovely friends – and we’ve already started organising sleep overs and going to clubs that his friends go to out of school. I’m hoping he’ll learn how to keep friendships going when you don’t see your friend every day and this is a huge life lesson as I’ve just listened to a radio programme about loneliness and how adults find it hard to make friends. He’s very excited about the things we already have planned though. In the autumn he’s off with Grandma to Ireland to see his Aunty who lives there. He’s going to plan the journey (researching ways to get there, routes to take ect), learn a bit about Dublin and also, I hope, go out with his Aunty to see what she does for a living. She’s a trained archaeologist who now has her own geophysics company that surveys bits of Ireland for archaeology before planning is granted. He’s excited about this as he’s not been on a ferry or visited Ireland before. He’s also going to go to Austria with Grandma to meet our Austrian relatives. He’ll learn a bit of German that I hope grandma might keep up and teach Ollie more when he gets home. He wants to learn about the bubonic plague, World War II and also ‘make things’ as that what really lights his fire. We’re having a question of the day to write on a whiteboard (yesterday’s was from Ollie ‘were gold coins really made from gold?’) to fuel a thirst to find out and learn and we’re doing this as a family. We’re not viewing this as something unique to Ollie but something we’ll do altogether. I’m seeing this as a bit of an adventure.

So I’m nervous but excited, I’m enthusiastic beyond belief but channelled in my approach and I hope, in years to come, that we’ll look back on this year as one that was fab, fun, interesting and a wee bit wacky (I’m still working on Hubbie to buy a boat for us all to go and live on for a year, that one might take a bit more time!). But I think we’ll do it, I really do otherwise I wouldn’t have even contemplated home schooling. Someone once said about a challenge that ‘If you’re not scared, you’re not aiming high enough.’ Oh yes, I’m just a bit scared too…

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