Jesus following, natural living, Somerset homeschooling mum to Acey. Here is our blog to share with family and friends and anyone else who might be interested, about our home ed journey.

John 13:34 - ''A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.''

Friday, 30 September 2011

September, the start of the new school year but just the same as ever for us!

Autumn time has crept up on us again really quickly this year! Usually I am a little sad to be saying goodbye to the summer sunshine, but unfortunately we didn't really have the romantic skipping through wild flower meadows basking in the ocean skipping through forests with picnic basket in hand happy summertime that I'd had in mind really due to various reasons. Infact this was probably one of the most difficult disappointing years for me, and although we still did have some pretty wonderful times I can honestly say that for once, I will glad for an excuse for Acey and I to snuggle up, go for walks that are so cold we can't wait to come home and snuggle up some more, and hibernate alot with the knitting. And then we can have a fresh start in the spring time!

The beginning of the season started with sticky red fingers and mouths as we gathered SO many wonderful juicy blackberries. There were so many this year, we were literally going for walks daily, gathering them greedily. We mostly at them raw with delicious unpasturised cream, but we did make a couple of crumbles too! We have also foraged so far; apples (so many apples) pears and elderberries. When September came and most of the children went back to school, I have to admit I got a bit of a 'home educator and proud' attitude, and went out and bought some actuall school shirts, which we took home and tye-dyed with the elderberry juice. They did come out a lovely pinky purple colour, but didn't come out very tye-dyed at all (it was our first attempt) so we obviously did something wrong....still, the shirts are very pretty indeed! We are going to get some silks soon and have a go at batik patterns using wax, which a friend suggested we might be better suited to!

At the beginning of the school year, I really felt very in need of some structure (not MAJOR structure like sitting down doing arithmathics and letterland characters) but just a little routine put into our day, as sometimes it felt like we were just drifting and not really getting alot done! So I have devised a simple little timetable, just containing different daily chores that Acey can help out with during the day now that he is getting bigger, and different things to do each day, with special circle times in the evenings. I have learnt, after been total laid back slummy 'let him get on with it, hmm what shall we do today then' mummy that maybe children do need some routine and structure to their days. (mine does, anyway)! So far this little time table thing we have going does indeed seem to be working, and it is quite enjoyable really, for us both. We don't stick to it religiously, like if we have different plans for a certain day, but it  is nice for it to be there.

This month has also involved attending a steiner inspired forest school kindergarten in Broomfield, set up by my friend Chrissy, which was a really enjoyable day filled with baking bread rolls, making and eating soup, singing some songs and going for a walk at Fyne Court. Hopefully, there will be more sessions of this soon.. Acey has a new electric guitar from our friend Glenn and he has already had a few little lessons. He has the whole rockstar thing pretty worked out already!! We spent alot of time with our lovely friend Marcus, who is soon moving away to Jamaica (massive sad face) but is coming back in six months (massive smiley face)!! I am so glad I have met someone very amazingly smile provoking, kind and great with Acey. Hmm, I wonder if he is reading this ;) We love yoooou loads Marcus xx (urgh I know, pass the sick bucket, right)?!

We have attended a few home ed group sessions, which we really enjoy.. Acey plays very nicely with the children there, and looks forward to it. Unfortunately we missed the Not back to School picnic as my dad was here decorating my room (very pretty pink bedroom now though) but we attended the first session in a hall this week, where the children baked apples,did some cutting and sticking with some beautiful sparkly paper, and played in the little playpark. Some photos of this are included below, which we again have had to pinch from somebody else, as am still without a camera!

Perhaps the next blog post will contain more pictures, as I do intend to get my own camera soon!!

I have to say, this child-led with now a slight bit more structure added style of education is really working and going great for us! Acey doesn't go to school, but he does enjoy spelling, simple adding up, singing the alphabet, cooking and baking, going for long walks, and playing with friends. Sometimes I really feel that school children are missing out on the freedom that comes with this choice of learning at home, yet I can't think of anything that Acey (or any other home ed child I know of) is lacking in any way.  What a rewarding thing to be able to say!!