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We’ve been following Story of the World since September. It’s our first year consistently checking out history. I very loosely look to The Well Trained Mind for ideas of what to offer when so we’ve been hanging out in the ancient world. Six-year-old Talitha has been drinking it all in and was especially enthralled with ancient Egypt. I suggested we pick up the pace quite a bit more this past term because I imagined she would love arriving in ancient Greece (we have and she is) but we found lots

I started writing this when Delilah was upstairs having a nap and the older two are watching Netflix. The morning’s excitement included Delilah refusing to wear a nappy and using the potty instead – mostly. She’s been doing this off and on for a couple of weeks. At some point I will get it together and give the situation enough focus to help her close the deal. She’s twenty-one months old and I’m so aware that life won’t long be punctuated by naps and nappy changes. She saying lots of

“You should never leave someone alone if they don’t want to be alone!” my six year old appealed to me. Laurence had been gone for a couple of days. The twenty month old was doing early mornings with the change of seasons and I was running on a deficit of sleep. After a particularly tiring day where every transition had been a struggle for my four year old, I just felt done. Now she wasn’t ready to get out of the bath and all I wanted to do was put

I started this post on a day that took it out of me. I’d texted a friend earlier admitting that I was finding everything too hard, that school looked like an attractive option. And actually, come September, I could have two kids in school since Ophelia would be reception-aged. Almost as soon as I’d offloaded and she’d empathised, though, I knew that I didn’t mean it, as is often the way. The reasons we homeschool run deep, our third year in. Every now and then someone asks why we home

I’ve experienced culture shock twice. The first time I was nineteen. I’d just moved to Brighton from Trinidad to study English Lit at university. There wasn’t a language barrier (much – there still managed to be a lot I didn’t understand or couldn’t make understood easily) but just about everything else was unfamiliar, from the sense of humour to the cultural markers to the public transport. But I was fortunate to fall into a lot of fast friendships that sustained me through those years and many of those people remain

My six year old asked me the other day whether men’s bodies store sperm or make it continually. She qualified the question by pointing out that she knew baby girls were born with all their eggs. As we talked we got on to the subject of what happens once a month when an egg isn’t fertilised, how you insert a menstrual cup and why I’m not menstruating at the moment (ie lactational amenorrhea). She wandered off, seamlessly losing interest and moving on to something else but I paused, grateful that

November is well underway but I don’t want to miss the opportunity to look back on what we got up to in October. Reflecting helps me to make sense of what our lives look like right now. Yet I’m also cautious because I would hate for someone to misconstrue this as any kind of “how to”. The shape of our home education mirrors the shape of our family in whatever season we happen to be in. For this reason, comparison is unhelpful. That said, I like seeing what other people

I was reorganising the playroom the other day (because when am I not reorganising that room as if I’ll one day walk in and magically find there isn’t too much stuff in there) and I had a bit of an epiphany. I wasn’t holding a baby. There wasn’t a baby calling for my attention. She wasn’t even in the same room, off instead with her sisters in the adjoining living room, genuinely trying to join in with whatever game they were playing. I know it’s been like this for a

“Three girls! Poor dad!” Thanks, you’ve just told my children their dad wishes at least one of them were a boy. He doesn’t. “You have your hands full. Are they all…?” My eldest has started answering this one, “Yes, we’re all girls.” “Are you going to keep trying for a boy?” I guess the assumption here is that that’s what we were doing the second or third time. I’m always tempted to respond asking for advice on how to do that. I mean, is there a specific position for conceiving

Talitha takes books out into the garden on a sunny day. She’s reading about famous artists here. When I was pregnant with Delilah, I fielded a lot of questions about how I’d cope with home educating then five year old Talitha when she was born. It’s amusing that they considered the new baby more disruptive to our set up than my wildly busy then two year old! How I’d respond depended on how well I knew the person asking and whether I felt energetic enough to explain that we weren’t

We finally managed our first camping trip as a family of five. We were meant to go to a festival when Delilah was six weeks old but Laurence got ill and that just proved one obstacle too many. Then our first trip this year got turned into a picnic since the forecast for the rest of the weekend was dire. So the older girls were desperate for a night under canvas. A couple of weeks ago, we made it to Bude. I’d booked a cute little eco campsite and we

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