Monday, 24 July 2017

Our first Local Education Authority visit

Its almost 3 years now since we took the decision to Home Educate our children. ER is now 8yrs old and AR is 5yrs old.
It would appear that when we de-registered from school we became 'lost in the system' and our local authority wasn't aware of our children! I had mixed feelings about this, on one hand we didn't have any random people with badges of authority poking around but on the other hand I was unaware if I was doing the best I could for my children.
The LEA became aware of my children being home educated after a trip to a Paediatrician over concerns that AR had some development issues, I expected to be under a lot of scrutiny given the circumstances but I didn't expect the Dr to write to the education to express concerns about my children not being 'seen'.
He explained that this was due to the fact that AR would need an educational psychology assessment and this would involve the LEA.
I frantically headed to the bosom of the Home Education groups via Facebook. This is my safe place. When I feel like a failure, when I have anxiety, when I need questions answered, when I need support these groups are my safe haven.
Many people on the group was advising that I didn't HAVE to have the visit at all and I could simply send a letter explaining my educational philosophy and that would be that. Others told me what questions I should ask the LEA should I decide to have the visit, what they would ask me and what they would want to see. Basically the choice was my own and thanks to the groups I could make an informed decision.
I decided to let them in and meet the children and see our work. I armed myself with a pen and notepad filled with questions.
A very pleasant man came to the door in a beat up old car which for some reason immediately put me at ease, had he been driving a Jaguar or something similar I think I might have felt intimidated, a feeling that never crossed my mind until he pulled up.
I walked him through the house to the living room where we do most of our school stuff. He took a seat opened his huge leather bound folder and after a quick introduction started the meeting.
My first thoughts was how informal it seemed to be, I quickly felt at ease but remembered in the back of my mind the advice from the group about being on my toes. He has a quick look about him and wrote in his notes, he explained he was checking if the area we chose for learning was sufficient and clear enough, I was bold and asked him if he could turn his folder a bit so I could get a better view of what he was writing which he happily obliged.
The next hour was a chit chatty conversation about what we do on a day to day basis in regards to learning. He asked about socialisation and physical activity.
Next he tried to chat with the children, I was on guard incase he asked any leading questions but he seemed fair and kind. He took a look at their work which mainly consisted of Reading Eggs worksheets and stuff from Twinkl stuck into A3 exercise books.
The meeting came to an end with him apologising for having no one visit since we decided to HE and telling us there was no issues and that he would be back in 12 months.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

ER expressed that she likes doing worksheets to my suprise! I joined a couple of sites called TES and Twinkl where they have some amazing resources. Most of the stuff is free to download off TES on Twinkl some of the stuff is free to download however, If you plan on using the rescources a lot I suggest going for the platinum deal as the rescources are truely worth it.
We printed off some Maths, and English ones to start with. I went very basic with CVC words. Just to get her feeling confident with her spelling and writing.
ER responds well to rewards so we also printed off a simple sticker chart. She doesnt know but she will get a star on it daily. Its to keep her mood and confidence up. She got one on friday when she had been playing with a box, she said 'but mum Ive not done any work' to which I replied yes you have. You have just made yourself a Boxtroll outfit! Thats art, design and maths right there! She was very proud I must say :)

Monday, 1 February 2016

WOW! Cannot quite believe thats it has been a year since our last post. I think this was mainly due to us finding our feet and finding exactly where we wanted to go on our Home education journey.
I had a LOT of wobbles last year and found it to be quite stressful, we started off with all good intentions of time tables, schedules, and learning and that lasted for all of 6 weeks if that. ER was wanting to sit infront of the TV all day watching YOUTUBE videos while I was spending the day basically picking up after ER and AR and the mess they left as they were cooped up for days on end. The attitude and bad behaviour I was recieving sometimes had me in tears. I was seriously doubting myself at this point. Had I done the right thing. Will they actually learn anything. Am I doing enough. Am I being lazy. Can I cope with this ect ect ect just complete and utter self doubt.
As christmas approached I was still feeling the same old dread and doubt and I decided that I had to make a serious choice about whether this was the right decision for us.
As I packed away the reams of paper we had built up over the year I sat down and had a look through them. Pictures lots and lots of of the day we went to the park to look at different leaves, of when we went to the museum, went shopping, explored the woods, saw a rainbow lots and lots of other things we saw and places we went. I decided to have a look at some of the photographs of the children from these you know what I saw....unkempt dirty children wearing some of the biggest ever smiles, smiles that never was displayed when they went to school. It was then that I realised I had made the best descision EVER that I could make for my children. Turns out my worries and stresses was for nothing. Safe to say our Home education journey continues into another year.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

ER blumenthal

Today was a bit of a mad one. ER decided she simply did not want to do any work of any kind today.
We all have those days right? I didn't fancy a argument so I asked her if she wanted to watch some video's on YouTube. She enjoyed the ones yesterday. We watched some Horrible Histories clips of the Vile Victorians and suddenly she decided that she wanted to know what Mexico was like so we took to Google Maps and had a virtual trip across the world :)
Finally we did a bit of cooking and made a coconut loaf cake. I found a nice simple recipe online and let ER do the rest.
She read the ingredients list and the method all by herself which actually suprised me!
Then she went onto weighing all the ingredients out and following the method, the only thing I did was put the oven on.
The cake was left in longer than needed because she wanted to stick to the 'rules' We ended up with a beautiful (if a bit burnt coconut cake :D )

Monday, 5 January 2015

Back to Home school :)

As you may have read in my first post I was Ill at the beginning of December. Well that horrid little virus wouldn't leave me alone, so I decided to put my feet up for December. Therefore Home school was put on hold until today.
I have made a schedule for week days right from getting up to going to bed, I put it on the wall for all to see so the children because ER likes to have structure. Otherwise she gets upset and all hell breaks loose.
As my neighbours have experienced for the past 4 weeks, and we've had the dreaded 'knock knock knock, can you keep the noise down please' so for their sanity and my tenancy I drew up a plan.
Things seem to be going well so far.
Anyway back to the home schooling.
I found a cheap planetarium craft set in 'the works'
so I decided we would learn about space for a full term and make a planet each week, ER really enjoyed it when we learned about Neptune.
We learned about the sun, I found some facts in a book and found a cute little video on youtube (that ER made me play twice because she liked the song)
We did some maths from workbooks and we took out a subscription with conquer maths its £7.77 a month if you use the discount code HOMEED

Sunday, 7 December 2014


For the last day of our first week I decided to take ER to the victorian museum. It is set out as if you have gone back in time and are in a victorian street!

 ER and her little sister dressed up in the outfits provided by the museum (so did dad!!) And they had a ball. Looking into all the shop windows and looking at the displays.

ER was facinated at EVERYTHING. Im not sure how much sunk it but I think we will do a little report about it on Monday :)

Day 4

Today we focused of phonics and spellings. I thought we'd start with the basics and see where to go from there. ER has the reading age of 6.8 even though shes 5.7 so I expected her to fly through the CVC spelling test I set up. To my surprise she only got 5/10 I had a look to see if there was a connection with the mistake and there was. The letter E and I she seems to get mixed up with the sounds so next time we do phonics I think we will concentrate more on those letter sounds.

I feel good that I have noticed the issue as soon as it happened, it fills me with confidence that I am actually capable of doing this home school stuff. I have been nervous and worried, wondering if I was capable but as the days go on I realise that she is literally like a sponge, sucking up all the information. Its a beautiful thing to see :)