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.
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
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
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→
In support of the Thirty Days Wild campaign launched by the Wildlife Trust, below is a log of what the wild things my family and I have done every day in June. We tend to do a lot of wild activities, but ensuring we do something everyday is more of a challenge and recording it is a great incentive. Thank you Wildlife Trust for launching this challenge.
Day One; June 1st
Fire-lighting: I’ve set myself the challenge of lighting a fire every week from now until I complete my Forest School Level Three training. Here I am having lit a small fire in the wind and rain in the evening. I used excellent tinder to ignite the fire, dry birch bark collected at the weekend with my son, Ewan. The kindling I used were sticks collected with both of my children, Ewan and Tessa, in local woodland. I dried it out as it was raining all day today!
Day Two, June 2nd;
Here I am identifying a wild flower, this one Herb robert, in my local woodland. I am hoping to identify a lot more wild flowers this year. I already know a lot more than I used to and am enjoying learning to identify them.
Day Three: June 3rd
I spent the morning volunteering at Woodland Adventure, mini Forest school for two to three year olds, with my daughter Tessa and 7 other youngsters. Later I walked in the Peak District, carrying Tessa in the sling. The weather was gorgeous weather, making it a fabulous day out.
This is my first blog post to be shared with the parents at Grindleford and Eyam Playgroup. My intention is to share with you Tessa’s experiences of Woodland Adventure at playgroup. I also plan to blog about my experiences of training to be a forest school practitioner.
I start volunteering at Woodland Adventure in the summer term, where I will have the opportunity to develop my experiences in a forest setting and create a portfolio towards my qualification. I am very grateful for the opportunities both Tessa and I are being offered through playgroup, walking down exciting new paths. I am glad you can join me along the way.
Tessa has just turned two. Tomorrow she starts Grindleford and Eyam playgroup, beginning with one session a week on Wednesday mornings, the Woodland Adventure session. This is basically forest school for the younger children at playgroup, those aged two to three years old. Tessa and I will head out into the woods for the morning with seven other littlies, plus staff and parent volunteers. Whilst we are with our fellow woodland adventurers, my four year old son, Ewan, shall also be in the woods at Forest School. As he is almost five, he is the oldest child in playgroup, whilst Tessa is currently the youngest!