What I loved about our first “term” of home educating

As the second term of the school year starts, the fact that my four-and-a-half-year-old is not in Reception is still both fresh and something we’re already quite used to. Taking a quick look back as I think ahead to what this new term might hold, there are a few things I’m grateful for.

Siblings spending more time together
Talitha and Ophelia have really started playing together in earnest, complete with dressing up, pretending, challenging each other and lots of running around. I know this would have happened anyway, even if Talitha were away most days, but I am thankful for the extended time they have together right now. This new development has made home life much easier as their individual need for my input is far less intense, met instead in each other.

Not having to do a school run
I know this will seem silly to some but we really aren’t morning people. Apart from a few months as a baby, when Talitha deemed 5.30am morning, both girls have always been relatively late risers. Even when they wake up, we spend a bit of time lounging around, playing and chatting in bed, slowing easing into getting breakfast, let alone getting dressed.

I’ve especially appreciated this because I’m pregnant with a third child, something I’ve not mentioned here yet but will blog about soon. I’m twelve weeks pregnant, so we’re looking forward to welcoming our new baby in July. Occupying the girls here at home and getting out as much as usual has been a challenge when I’m feeling nauseous and tired. Yet, I honestly choose that over having to get out of bed early or go do pick up when anytime past 2pm has been exhaustion point for me. And I definitely have been grateful to have them both around to play with each other when I’ve needed to take a moment. See point above.

Seeing her unlock new ideas
Talitha has sped along in her reading this past term, mostly on her own. In fact, she’s surprised us both when we’ve borrowed early readers from the library and found she’s able to read at least most of them. It’s been interesting too seeing how well she follows chapter books now, hungry for the next chapter, the next book. I really cherish the hours spent reading to her.

I’ve been fascinated too by how she’s begun to understand numbers and mathematical concepts mostly by just playing with an abacus and everyday objects. I want to support her more in this and have bought a Spielgaben set from someone on eBay which is now with friends over in Brighton. I’ll let you know what it’s like when we get our hands on it later this month.

With open access to craft supplies (sometimes to the detriment of the house thanks to our toddler), she’s often creating her own models, drawing things I couldn’t and generally coming up with ideas that surprise me. I know this would happen whether or not she were in school but I really treasure the time we have to explore new things, to go at her pace and follow her interests.

Getting an education myself
With all this exploration, the questions she asks often throw me. I try to write them down, talk through them and help her find answers. Everything from substance to animals to God to human bodies to space gets a look in. I learn so much with our conversations as a starting point. Often, I have to slow down and question things I thought I knew too.

I’ve also been learning about balance. The balance between offering her my plans and being led by her spontaneity, going out and staying in, how much time outdoors, how many classes we sign up to, how to meet everyone’s needs, when to accept that’s not always going to be possible and so on.

Going on holiday in term time

We had the pleasure of going to Madeira with Laurence’s parents in November and the freedom of that was thrilling. I imagine it might still be possible to do that if she were in Reception as she’s only four and not legally required to be attend until the term after she’s five but it’s nice knowing that even next year, we’ll be able to do the same thing. We’re taking our decision to home educate a year at a time but with the application process beginning again this month, we already know we won’t need any forms.

Delving deeper into friendships
We made some wonderful new friends in the home ed community and had the chance to go deeper with friends we already knew who are also taking this route. That’s been so valuable for both Talitha and me. I’m looking forward to much more of that in the coming year.

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Every month, I’ll give a little update on what we’ve been up to as part of This Homeschooling Life, a new linky I’m hosting with blogger friends Jess, Polly and Laura. I’m sure I’ll have lots more to share next time around. Do read more about it below and if you blog, consider linking up.

This Homeschooling Life is a linky sharing a week, a day or even just a moment from your life as a homeschooling family. We are hoping it will be a great way to discover new blogs and learn how we all do things differently.

The linky will open at 8am on the first Monday of every month and, throughout the rest of the month, the hosts will share your posts on their social media channels.

The Hosts:

Adele who blogs at Circus Queen
Laura who blogs at Side Street Style
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / PINTEREST / INSTAGRAM
Polly who blogs at Enchanted Pixie
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / PINTEREST / INSTAGRAM

The Rules:

1. Link back to one of the hosts. You will find the code for the badge at the bottom or if you prefer you can use a text link.

2. Link up a post from your month, no more than 3.

3. Link directly to a specific post, not your main blog.

4. Follow the hosts on at least one of their social media platforms.

5. Visit and comment on some of the other blogs linking up.

6. If you share on social media then you can use the #thishomeschoolinglife so we can all find each other.

This Homeschooling Life

An InLinkz Link-up