Tag Archives: home education

Educating Ewan: our home educating journey so far

Our family on a wild camping adventure to Piel Island, spring 2017

Home education

Our son Ewan has never been to school. He attended a small, nurturing playgroup until he was five years old. When he left playgroup he became ‘officially’ home educated in the eyes of the state. That was two years ago. It certainly was not any easy decision to decide to home educate our son. It has also been a journey with many ups and downs, yet the longer we home educate the more strongly I believe we made the right decision.

Ewan in Colorado, autumn 2016

Parents experience countless challenges and doubts, whatever path they choose to take, as well as many delights and feelings of joy along the way. Looking at our seven year old son today, I can say with conviction that he is thriving and he is happy. He experiences a whole variety of rich learning experiences every week, in many different contexts with a variety of different people. Below I shed a little light and wisdom on our home educating journey so far.

What our week looks like

Spotting dinosaur footprints in Denver, US, autumn 2016

Our typical week involves two days at a home educating Montesorri group, one session at forest school, one to two days at home and a variety of day trips out to local nature reserves, museums and education centres. When we are at home Ewan plays the piano, learns to read and pursues a number of ongoing projects, which have included space and local history. Ewan also attends piano and swimming

Ewan in his Beaver unifo

lessons, goes to Beavers and until recently went to martial arts class. At the weekends Ewan and his younger sister, Tessa, are often actively out and about with their dad doing outdoor pursuits, such as climbing, wild camping, cycle camping, canoeing and attending wildlife groups. We also go on regular holidays to the continent, to Scottish Islands and sometimes further afield to the States or Asia. Continue reading Educating Ewan: our home educating journey so far

My children, my teachers

Welcome to the August 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Life Learners

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have talked about how they continue learning throughout life and inspire their children to do the same.

Travelling in Scotland

Life learning is an interesting, relevant, large and worthy topic for parents to explore. Here’s my post about how I continue to be a learner now I’m a parent with two young children.

Background

I was fortunate to be to able to spend the majority of my twenties studying, training or travelling. My son was born just shy of my thirtieth birthday, my daughter followed almost three years later. I have spent the past half decade parenting, finding some time to also pursue my hobbies of writing, yoga and walking. More recently, I started volunteering at my children’s playgroup, which has led me down a new and exciting career path in Forest School.Our family in Quebec

Forest School training

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On the forest school training course

I am at the beginning of a year of training to be a Forest School Practitioner, having taken an initial training course and now consolidating my skills through further voluntary work, studying in order to complete my portfolio and the start of paid employment one session per week in the role of Leader at Woodland Adventurers, an outdoor session for 2 to 3 year olds at playgroup. If all goes to plan, I will be a qualified practitioner by the end of 2016. Studying is in addition to my main role as mother and home educator of my children, who are now 5 and 2 and a half years old.

Learning and parenting

Ewan and his Mummy
Baby Ewan and mummy

After my son was born, I spent many hours devouring every natural parenting book available, mainly when Ewan was nursing. I was in the very fortunate position of being able to dedicate most of my time and energy to my son, without a job to return to or other children to already care for. Becoming a mother sparked a period of new self-directed learning, with the ultimate aim of becoming a better, more informed mother. This more choice-based, learner-led research was a far-cry from the more formal, directed learning of my past. It also bore in me a period of creativity in writing, which is still developing. Continue reading My children, my teachers

Starting out on the Home Education journey

First published in Education Otherwise newsletter, Summer 2012

I would like to share with you our first step down the exciting yet challenging road of home education. My first tentative footstep landed after a number of well-meaning but revealing enquiries by friends, family and acquaintances. My son is not yet two, yet I have been asked more times than I can remember whether and/or when he is going to day-nursery or pre-school.
Continue reading Starting out on the Home Education journey

Stepping out of the box and dealing with criticism

This post is part of the; Authentic Parenting May Carnival

My son, my teacher

My son is my greatest teacher. In our first meeting our eyes locked as he looked, all knowing and serene, into my eyes shining with wonder. He communicated, with a depth amazing for a newborn, that it was all OK, that he would show me the way. Each and every day he keeps this first unspoken promise, teaching me to listen to him and to my mothering instincts, to really trust nature.

Which path

There are moments when I am swayed by mainstream society, becoming a sheep plodding along the well trodden, comfortable path, craving approval, normality and recognition. At such times all I must do is stop, question, and look to my son to steer me back to the right path. Yet this path is little travelled in this modern age, weeds tangle and knot as tree trunks lie haphazardly blocking the way, ancient wisdom and primordial practices, half lost, so difficult to find amongst the debris.

Walking this lonely path I eagerly look for other like-minded souls. I find a few and stumble upon others who are supportive and appreciative of this alternative style, even if they choose not to practice it themselves. I also begin to search the virtual world, one of the many wonders of our modern age, sharing my parenting style through writing. I find a growing online community who listen, applaud and reflect on my words, as I in turn listen and learn from theirs.

Support groups are also a lifeline to me, one an informal weekly meeting between local mum friends, the other a local La Leche League group. I also find wisdom in natural parenting literature, including research about the benefits of attachment parenting, which helps affirm my belief what I am doing is right. My cousin recently pointed out that my parenting is an example of research-based practice, which to a certain extent is true, although my son is by far greatest teacher, research often backs-up my practice.

Continue reading Stepping out of the box and dealing with criticism