Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wasted Monday and a busy Tuesday :)

What happened on Monday is a bit of a mystery to me.  After all of the walking around we had been doing, my body seemed to just give up and told me to rest.  So I did.  I went to sleep for a little 'snooze' but didn't wake up until 1pm - so 4 hours or so later...oops.  Thank goodness for husband being home - even the most unfortunate of events have an upside!  The rest of the day wasn't really anything to shout about, we all just ambled around doing our own thing.  I did put together the outline pages for our new home-educator welcome pack which will be given to those new to home-educating when they join our local group.  I am putting together a slightly different version to those already home-educating but new to the area :)   The children just wandered around rather aimlessly, but seemed happy enough.  Reading, computers, wii playing, trampolining, rabbit care, and role-play games, all occurred at various times.  I asked Chelsea if she would like to write a piece about why she likes home-education to put a 'child's view' in the welcome pack.  This is what she wrote:

Chelsea’s Thoughts on Being Home Educated (Aged 14)

I enjoy being home educated because I am free to wear what I like, and can dye my hair whatever colour I want to without getting into trouble for it. I can be an individual, with my own thoughts and ideas, and not have to worry about fitting in with ‘the gang’. I don’t have to pressurise my parents into buying the ‘right’ trainers, or designer-named clothing as I don’t feel the need to succumb to peer pressure. I love being able to choose to study the topics that I am interested in, and learn as much or as little as I like about them. I find it so much easier to learn by following my own interests instead of being force-fed a topic someone else thinks that I should know. I can also delve much deeper into a subject than the school curriculum and time restraints allow, and I don’t think that learning is just gaining enough information to answer questions in an exam.

Simple things like being able to read a whole book in one sitting if I choose to do so, is so much better than being moved on to the next subject lesson when the bell rings just as things get interesting. The time issue at school was so frustrating, just as I was beginning to settle into a topic we would have to pack things away and change subject. It was annoying having to wait for any question I had to be answered too. Sometimes the whole lesson would go by and my question wouldn’t have been answered as the teacher was busy with others. It seemed the ones that misbehaved were the ones that got the most attention. As I was quiet and ‘good’ I was safe to be ignored.

I like the fact that I can socialise with as many people as I like, of any age, rather than just with 30 odd kids within my age range in a classroom. I am free to spend my time with adults if I want to, or I can play with babies. There is no separation in the home-education world. Boys and girls can talk and be together without the silly girlfriend / boyfriend issues. We don’t have to grow up as quickly as it seems some of my schooled peers do. I have never heard anyone say that they are not playing or talking with someone because they are a girl/boy/too young/etc within a home-education group, but I have heard such things said within a playground plenty of times. I just enjoy being in the company of others – I don’t discriminate.

One real positive about being home-educated is that I get to spend a lot more time with my family, and I know that my relationships with my siblings and parents have benefited greatly from us being taught at home instead of being sent away to ‘learn’. I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything by not being at school, but perhaps the only downside (in my opinion) to being home educated is being judged when people don’t know you. For example, you’re obviously stupid because you don’t go to school, or receive an education in the eyes of some people. I have struggled to form friendships because of people’s views of what home-education is about. Some schoolchildren think that it’s a novelty having a home-educated friend, but there are others that criticise and maybe even get jealous that they are not taught at home. That has caused a few problems, but not enough to make me want to go to school! That’s the only downside I can really think of.

I know that home education will not work for everybody, and that some kids thrive at school, but I don’t think it was the right environment for me. My mum has always said that the option of school is open to me – but I’ve never taken her up on that offer!

I always find it interesting to hear my children's viewpoint.

Tuesday was a bit more of a success - I actually managed to stay awake!

We headed to the beautiful village of Cockington to meet up with a few home-educating friends.  It turned out that 6 families managed to make it, totalling 17 children between us.  It was fun!  We walked around the craft studios, watched a glass blowing demonstration, talked to the wood carver who made beautiful rocking horses that I would love to be able to afford and treasure, and watched a blacksmith at work in his forge.

Cockington Blacksmith Forge

We strolled around the organic garden, passing the old cider press along the way...

Cockington Cider Press

In the Organic Garden - Cockington

We stroked horses, watched butterflies, fought off wasps, and ended up at the play park area where the children were soon entertaining themselves with the unusual equipment.

Cockington Visit - At Play

Socialisation issues? -  Cockington

It was one of those days that made me smile on the inside as well as the out. A feel-good day, when I could look at my little world and think how lucky we are to be able to home-educate our children and have such a wonderful network of like-minded friends to share our days with :)

Just a quickie reminder before I go - it's that time of year again, when we book our free cinema places courtesy of http://www.nsfw.org/index.php - This is open to schools as well as home-educators, just put home-educator in the 'school name' section of the form.

I do put out a plea to those that book places though - do please try to turn up!  A few years ago, Film Education removed home-educators from the offer due to people booking and not turning up.  Not only was this deemed unfair, as it meant others may have missed out on places - but also some cinemas do tend to delay the starting times of the films waiting for late arrivals.  This is obviously inconvenient to the schools, and also to those that work at the cinema voluntarily that day.  Lots of home-educators got in touch with Film Education and voiced our disappointment at being dropped from the free films scheme.  There were some obvious communication problems, with some HErs not having confirmation letters or phone calls, and once this was explained and our upset listened to, film-ed quickly changed their mind and included us again. 

This is a free service that I for one would be sad to lose. If we wish to visit the cinema at the moment it costs us £38 a time - we can't afford to do that very often! (Unless we attend the cinema club which is much much cheaper). 

Rant over :) xx


  1. Another lovely installment for the Pollard Family Memoirs =)
    BTW ... have to correct you and point out that Monday was not a wasted day, as you claimed. You slept so long because you obviously needed to rest ... maybe in anticipation of Tuesday's events? From the photos and write up, it was a super day for everyone by all accounts.=)
    Thoroughly enjoyed Chelsea's thoughts ... and a couple of things she mentioned struck a chord with me. My 15 year old daughter came home from school very frustrated yesterday and as a parent you not only feel their frustration too ... WHEN you are eventually told what is wrong of course and then realise there's nothing you can do about it LOL ... BUT you then become the one who has to deal with the backlash and the focus for all her anger. Not good for our mother/daughter relationship. S'not easy to stay calm sometimes but I try not to get angry with her - after all she needs to let it out or she would explode.
    Anyway ... enough already LOL!
    Today is a new day so we'll see what it brings.

    Max's Craft Creations
    Bah! Humbug! Challenges DT

  2. What a lovely 'blog'
    You & your family are so totally happy Julia & your Daughter shows maturity & clearly knows how to express herself, She sounds like a lovely girl.

    A real pleasure to read of your days.
    Thanks for sharing, Love Christina

  3. They do have cheaper movies on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

    This one is in Exeter, but I think I've been told this is also possible in Paignton...


  4. Just wanted to say hi! I've been reading your blog for years and I don't think I've ever commented! :( I'd also be interested in your HE pack for new HEers. I'd like to do something similar for where we live. What kind of things are you putting in it?
    Best wishes

  5. Loved what your daughter wrote, thanks for sharing it with us.

    We have similar issues with homeschoolers acting irresponsibly and giving the community a bad name and wrecking things for us. One museum banned HS groups for 3 years due to showing up late, being disruptive, and parents hanging out talking loudly so the kids couldn't hear the teacher teaching the hands on workshops. Sigh.