New to Home Education?

Home Education Part 1

Welcome to home education, I along with my husband have successfully home educated our four children for years at a time throughout their lives. Three are now adults with careers, our youngest is still in education. Like most of you, his school closed on Friday and he’s at home now.

There are many different home education styles, most people begin with a structure, a timetable with set times for each subject, making lesson plans and having a goal which may be to get your children ready for a test to a particular standard. I would refer to this method as homeschooling (i.e. recreating school at home).

There are other more relaxed methods including child-led learning where parents and carers provide learning opportunities and material and allow the children to decide their path, this method is usually crossed with a little homeschooling, eg mornings are for formal lessons and work plans and afternoons are more relaxed or creative.

There is also the option to use an autonomous method, some parents take this to the level of never telling their child what to do or not to do. This has led to some interesting discussions between children when they meet up, homeschooled children chatting with autonomous children makes for fruity eavesdropping …

”what do you mean you don’t have to wash if you don’t want to?”

We have used a little of all three methods over the years.
If you simply want to get through the next three months and for your child to not fall behind academically, I would recommend a mix of homeschooling and child lead learning.

This means getting together a nice amount of resources. No, you don’t have to know all the subjects and nor do you have to be a teacher, your child will look to you at first to direct their learning as they do their teacher at school. However, the aim should be to get the child to find the ways that they learn best and the times they work well. This is vital for older children especially. Study skills are an important life skill. How long did it take you to find out that your best work is done at 4am or that you need to plan in advance to make the most of your time as you can’t work properly under stress? The sooner your child learns their limits and strengths the better.

Right now I would strongly recommend talking to your children, playing together, cooking, cleaning and making things, we are all incredibly stressed and afraid we need love around us. Have a movie night, bake cookies or a cake, have a dance-off, build a Minecraft world together.

The lessons can begin next week.
Jameella Leadbitter Suljam.com

Teen Education. Think Outside of the Box (2 Min Read)

Routes to take for teenage education.

  • School, yes school! If you find the right school for your child then they can do very well taking the traditional route of GCSEs. Look for independent academies that don’t have catchment areas to have more choice.
  • Distance Learning, recommend Oxfordhomeschooling
  • Treehouse, this site is the most amazing online up to date resource to study Web Design, Coding and App Development. For a small fee or a free trial, your child can start to build skills and network links that will see them into a career. Not just aimed at kids, I’m studying with Treehouse myself, so it’s something that I strongly recommend.
  • Flexi Schooling, This is becoming more and more popular, find a Head that agrees to it and you can arrange for your child to attend school or college part time sitting a few subjects rather than the usual 11 or 12 GCSEs.
  • Local College from 14. Contact your local LEA and college for details, funding is available for 14-year-olds to study core subjects. It does depend on your location, though.

Continue reading “Teen Education. Think Outside of the Box (2 Min Read)”

Raising Teen Boys. (2 Min Read)

Why the title? Why not just “Raising Teens”? Well mostly because I only have boys and also because men and women are different. Teenage boys have to deal with a rush of testosterone which causes anger, aggressive behaviour and a need to try and be alpha. As well as the rapid growth and deep voices our boys are struggling with all kinds of emotions they didn’t have before. They don’t know what to do with these raging hormones and are often overwhelmed, understandable really.

As a woman, I have a lot of ideas about raising girls too but that’s another article altogether!

Thank God I’ve survived raising three boys into men or rather I’ve supported three men to adulthood. Through the stubbornness, anger and moods and happy times, it’s not all doom and gloom. Now with the internet and social media is very important to monitor their activity, I don’t like to do this in a big brother kind of way but we do have monitoring software on the computer, porn blocks on the home wifi and we regularly ask our teens to talk about what they are doing online.

Here are my top tips.

 

  • Listen to them, read between the lines, boys are not as keen as us females to share their feelings when they do speak be sure to listen.
  • Try to remember what it was like to be a teenager yourself. The moods and just how incredibly difficult the whole time can be. Did you enjoy being in the midst of puberty?
  • Encourage their interests, they won’t be the same as yours, as these people find who they are, support what they want to do. So if your teenage son tells you he wants to be an (insert horrifically inappropriate career choice here) be supportive, if you react negatively you can be sure they’ll be more inclined towards it.
  • Set clear boundaries
  • Don’t argue with them, for some reason my teens go through a phase of goading me into a row, sometimes this goes on for years and puts a real strain on our relationship. I’m working on this one!
  • Have fun together, do something together that isn’t work related that you both enjoy.
  • Get them into a sport, from 16  gym membership is a great idea!
  • Forgive. Move on.
  • Be positive.
  • Love them, even when they are not very lovable.
  • Religion, don’t force it, simply teach it and let them find their way. Their relationship with God is for life, make sure it starts well.

Why do boys need to be alpha? Genetics I suppose, but it’s exhausting trying to coax them into everything, so I just leave them to it. A man of 16 can decide when he needs to do things, organise his time and work. He’s old enough to know the consequences if he doesn’t uphold his responsibilities. Let him deal with the outcome if he does mess up. It’s so important to treat them as adults or else you will have a 20 something child on your hands!

Give children responsibility from a young age, all my children have chores or jobs to do around the house, as they get older these jobs get bigger and more important. They are not nominal and nor are they to “earn pocket money” they are important parts of running the house. Praise them when they do well, praise them for trying when they don’t. No one wants their shoddy work put down. But we all like praise don’t we?

Help them make choices but don’t tell them what to do. I was dictated to as a child, teen and adult by my parents, you can be sure that whatever they decided I should be doing, I did the opposite. Not just to rebel but to carve my own way in the world.

I can’t imagine going back to my teenage self and given the chance I’d tell myself one thing

“It will get better”

What would you tell your teenage self? What’s your experience of raising teenage boys?

Selfish Mothers.

So the new trend at the moment is mothers loudly declaring that –

“I Love my daughter, I wish I’d never had her”

Guardian Weekend Magazine 11/02/17

Yesterday I didn’t get a chance to read the entire article,  Today I’ve read it, researched the whole movement and yes it’s a thing, bloggers, writers, Instagrammers everywhere online there are a few of these regretful parents.

I feel deep sadness reading these quotes, real anger and a need to go and hug one of my children.

Continue reading “Selfish Mothers.”

Can’t Write, Won’t Write.

Most home educated children that I know or have known hate writing, actually, the problem is worse with boys in my experience. So what is there to be done?

I remember when my second son was 5, who up until then had been 100% home educated, almost in tears on the phone to a friend who is also a home ed Mum,

“He just refuses to write, says its too hard, you do it, Mummy, I’ll tell you what to write”

She was awesome, made soothing noises and said things like

“He’ll write when he’s ready”

Continue reading “Can’t Write, Won’t Write.”

Sick Days

Today is a sick day, not as in “this day is super cool” more, everyone has the lurgy, myself included. Today is a day to rest and heal, drink tea and write, read and catch up on my work, in between bathroom trips and sipping lemsip, this bug is really getting me down.

I’ve managed to get dressed finally and feed a young man, I’d administered physio, he thought his legs were broken this morning, he had a cramp. Some tough love from me, “stretch it out, yes I know it hurts, now walk on it, no, walk properly”

Had left him distraught until he realised he could run, he ran laps around the house to celebrate!

My third son is still in bed, I really must go up and check on him, 1pm is late even for him. My lot have a great knack of really milking a cold for all its worth, I suppose because its only of the times I’ll fuss over them. I’m not usually a fussy mother, not my style. I’m raising men. Men who can do their own laundry, wash up and even my youngest can cook a meal. But when they are ill they don’t have to lift a finger, I’ll sit by their beds while they fight a fever, rubVickss into their (sometimes hairy) chests and make soup, endless honey and lemon and run hot baths with olbas oil in, filling the house with nose clearing vapours, buy their favorite ice cream and watch endless TV to keep them company.

It is nice to feel needed, time flies and my boys are nearly all grown. Sad to think that in ten years or so they’ll have their own lives and wives to share them with. I hope they remember fondly feeling safe and loved.

Whats sick day traditions do you have? Please share in the comments.