This half of term has flown by and I wonder if I’m the only one who’s been feeling that life has seemed a little out of control? After eighteen months of constant fluctuation and uncertainty, I’ve found it hard to settle back into our home ed rhythm. We now have the freedom to go on visits and field trips and home ed meet ups, and once this new reality sunk in, our calendar filled up quickly. I’ve wanted to make the most of every opportunity. However, this has added to the whirl of life!
Home education truly is learning without walls. When our boys reminisce of their home ed days, it’s often the outings they remember with smiles and fun anecdotes. As home educating families we have the blessing of being able to visit museums and other places of interest when they are relatively quiet. We can go at our own pace, which allows our children to become immersed in things which fascinate them. I find that often children can behave better when they’re out and about and that seeing friends and enjoying the wonderful world around us breathes fresh life into our living education.
Since we started our home ed journey, the number of groups and opportunities for home educating families has incensed exponentially. Thus many of us, especially those in areas with a large home educating community, have a wide variety of activities and groups to choose from. Even for those like ourselves who live in more rural areas with less of an immediate group around us, I’ve found I need wisdom to know what to say yes and what to say no to. Our children have always thrived on routine and if we have too many days out, the younger two in particular find it hard to settle to a home day with our normal rhythms. It can be a juggle too, if one child thrives off being with others and loves all the noise and stimulation of learning together, and another prefers a quieter environment. I do wonder if a perfect balance is a bit of an elusive concept.
Seasons change too, and what is good during one part of our family’s life does not necessarily work at another time. Then GCSE’s, or the need for more structured learning comes; this has probably had the greatest impact on curbing our outings and it seemed for a while that the girls missed out on adventures while we were more home based for the boys’ studies. Our weekly Thursday outings were reduced at this time to half termly, but looking back these outings, though less frequent, were still important in drawing us together as a family, as the boys quite naturally began to develop their own paths. We create shared memories as we explore, picnic, laugh and enjoy time away from the daily work pressures which increase as our children get older.
We are planning a family day out during Lanky Dude’s reading week from Uni. However, the season of outings has now come for the girls so here’s a glimpse of a few or our autumn adventures.
I hope you too are enjoying some fun outings and memory making as you share new experiences and visit familiar haunts with your children.