What we did last week

As I’ve mentioned before, we have to report to the board of education, once a year. We have to show that Miss 5 has made advances in the previous 12 months. As part of this report we have to provide a record of what we do, including dated examples of her work and photos. I have a display folder and a few work books for her to keep examples of her work, and this blog – hopefully – will be enough to cover the rest. So every week I hope to briefly describe what we have done in the previous 7 days.
I keep our weekly plan fairly vague, with lots of room for Miss 5 to pick and choose where we go next, as well as lots of flexibility to swap and change things around if we come across something better, or more interesting. We have decided that we are going to have one “home economics” day a week (which is really just me saying I still have a house, a husband, two other children and a never ending pile of laundry that needs to be seen to!), during the course of this day we clean the house – Miss 5 helps with the chores, or helps by cleaning her room or tidying up the playroom with her sister, we do any gardening that is required, and we have a shopping/cooking lesson. All the chores are age appropriate and I don’t force her, but most of the time she’s happy to chip in and do her bit. Last week we planted a whole bunch of veggies. We planted spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, capsicum and peas. Miss 5 goes out every day and checks the growth of the seedlings and makes sure there are no weeds or snails. She had a ball digging in the dirt and watering the seeds and seedlings. She also found a grasshopper and chased a little lizard 🙂
Miss 5, like her mother, is a bit of a fan of Jamie Oliver. So on our Home Ec days, we go through Jamie Oliver’s 30 or 15 Minute meal cook book. We read the recipes and she picks one that she likes the look of. Then we write out the shopping list, go to Coles and she finds the items on the list and checks them off. When we go through the checkout, she pays. When dinner time rolls around, she – with my help, and the “help” of Miss 2.5 – follows the recipe, and cooks dinner for the family. Last week she picked Falafel Wraps. She did a really, really good job. THe next morning we talked about not being able to find certain ingredients in the store and how we substituted. We also talked about Miss 2.5 accidentally tipping too much water into the falafel mix, making it too runny. We talked about what we did to fix the problem, and what we might do differently next time.
The other structured activities we did this week were worksheets and reading. We made a stop at the local library and stocked up on books. There were books for entertainment and books about Ancient Egypt. I also set her up with some yarn and some sticks that we found in the backyard, and we practiced some weaving. Surprisingly she found this quite difficult, and even more surprisingly she did not cope well with finding something that she couldn’t quite figure out. It took a fair bit of coaxing on my part to convince her to keep trying. I think the fine motor skills are something that we will have to work on a little bit more in the future. She did make me laugh, however, when she decided the weaving project looked like a guitar 🙂
The rest of the weeks learning was led by Miss 5. One of the things that is amazing me most about her and the process of natural learning, is the amount of creativity and thought and ingenuity that she shows in her ideas, when she’s been given the space and freedom to explore them. This week she decided that she wanted to grow some crystals with her little crystal chemistry kit. She also decided that she wanted to make a sculpture. She took the bowl of coral and shells that she has been collecting from our travels up north, and glued them together. When the coral proved to be too heavy for the glue she was using, she got some blu tac and held it together with that, until the glue dried. She also organised a music concert with her instruments and her sisters. They played music together for over an hour! We finished reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and she painted a picture of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, her favourite characters in the story. We finished our story stones – the stones have pictures painted on them, you put them into a bag and take turns pulling out a stone and telling a story involving the item in the picture. And, I taught Miss 5 and Miss 2.5 how to play Uno!
All in all I was fairly happy with the week. There are, as always, some things that we will tweak, and try differently this week, but I think we did well. I have a vision of how I would like to manage our Home Education, eventually, I just need to work, with Miss 5, towards finding that groove that I can see in my mind.
We managed to tick off reading and writing everyday, we did science and practical life skills with the cleaning and the gardening. Science, maths, health and reading with the shopping and cooking. Plenty of art, story telling, music, playing and being outside.
I spoke to Miss 5 again, about school and whether she was sure she still wants to be at home, doing what we do. Her answer was “I definitely want to be at home and doing all of this cool stuff, with you mummy.” So it’s full steam ahead, into another week 🙂

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And the week looked a little like this.

The first thing I thought I should do is take a look, and I mean a really good look, at exactly what my daughter knows and can do, and then guide her through the next step. I have sat with her doing number puzzles and word puzzles, to gauge where we need to start. I am a little surprised to find that – even though I always knew she was a bright little button – Miss 5 knows more than I assumed she did. I’ve been pretty impressed listening to her spelling words, reading and writing and adding and subtracting. I’ve watched her write words by following the letters on the giant alphabet poster we have, sounding the words out and diligently writing them down. It may be phonetic, and it may not be one hundred percent correct, but the thought process behind it is amazing to me.
So we have been doing our number puzzles and our words puzzles. We have been reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, which is a bit more advanced than anything else we’ve read, so there are a lot of words she doesn’t understand, which means we’ve been working on her vocabulary. We have added to our “box construction” corner (box construction is the name Miss 5 has given to finding boxes and cartons and making things out of them. She uses masking tape and scissors and creates all sorts of things. It’s a great way to improve motor skills and great for problem solving), and this week she has made an aeroplane and an elevator that moves up and down on a piece of string. We have cleaned out the last of the summer veggies from the veggie patch, and decided on what we want to plant to get ready for the winter harvest. And we have started delving into the world of Ancient Egypt.
We have been learning about mummies. Miss 5 is entranced. She is particularly fond of explaining to people the embalming process, paying close attention to what was done with the brain! We have had discussions about amulets and the gods and goddesses.
Which brings me to one particular discussion we had. Miss 5 has quite the reputation of coming up with very astute, often wise and always hilarious comments, and this was one such time. We were talking about the different gods of Ancient Egypt, and how different gods looked after and protected different things. This lead to a discussion about religion in general and peoples beliefs in the afterlife, heaven and god. Miss 5 wanted to know about other religions, so we were talking about other ancient cultures like Rome and Greece, as well as different people we know who are of different faiths. We came to Christianity, and our conversation looked a bit like this;
Miss: So that’s the one with the big cross?
Me: Yep, that’s right.
Miss: And how many gods does that one have?
Me: People who are Christian or Catholic believe that there is just one god. And he takes care of everything.
Miss: Everything?!
Me: Yep.
Miss: Really?
Me: Yep.
Miss: What about the animals, and the trees?
Me: Yep, he takes care of them.
Miss: And the Mums and Dads?
Me: Yep.
Miss: What about the little kids?
Me: Everything. The people that believe in that god, believe that he takes care of everything.
Miss: Wow. That’s a lot of work for one person.
Me: I suppose it is.
Miss: If he moved to Egypt, he could get some help.
🙂
And that has been our week. We have also spent time outside, although not as much as usual as Perth has had a week of 40 degree heat. But there has been time for playing in the garden, catching up with friends and giving the slip and slide a workout.
It’s been a good week
🙂

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Letting Miss 5 choose when we do school work

I follow a few bloggers from the homeschooling community. One of my favourites being the happiness is here blog, if you want to check it out. I have also watched and read numerous reports from “education experts”, and they have all, at some point, made the same statement. Children want to learn. I thought this to be a true statement. I thought it, until I watched Miss 5 this week. Now I don’t think this is true, I KNOW this is true.
I was fully prepared to give Miss 5 a week or two to recover from our trip overseas, and to ease into the idea of doing school at home. However the day after we flew back into Perth, Miss 5 asked me “when are we going to start school Mummy?”. She was so very eager to get started. And this eagerness hasn’t diminished at all. She not only showed how keen she was to get started, but continued to show how keen she was every day this week. Immediately after breakfast, every day, Miss 5 has been insistent. “Let’s get started, Mummy!”, “what are we doing today, Mummy?”.To see for myself how keen she is, is amazing! And it’s incredibly vindicating too. There have been some comments along the lines of “if you let her decide what to do and when to do it, she’ll do nothing but play all day”. I don’t particularly have a problem with her playing all day, but this proves that, left to her own devices, she wants to learn 🙂
I had roughly worked out in my head that we would do around an hour to an hour and a half of “formal” work – Maths and English, with the worksheets that she loves so much – and the rest of the day would be for her to follow her own interests and ideas……. Wait! Can you hear that?! There are at least 20 people reading this, right now, shouting incredulously “What?! An hour to an hour and a half?! ARE YOU CRAZY??”
No. I’m not. Here’s how I came to that figure; The school bell rings at 9am. 25 x 5-6 year old children collect their bags, make their way to the classroom, line up, decide they’re in the wrong spot, move, see their friend, move back, drop their bag, pick it up. The teacher calls to them to hang their bags up on the pegs, line up nicely, every body stop talking, hands on the shoulder of the person in front of you, walk calmly into the classroom and take your seats. It is 9.15am. 25 x 5-6 year olds enter the classroom, shuffle around trying to find their seat (even if it’s the same seat they were in yesterday and the day before), chat to their friends and sit. It is now 9.20am. The teacher explains to the class what they will be doing today, what they’re going to be learning about, how they will be doing it. Teacher gives them any information that they need before the day starts. 9.30am. Teacher asks if anyone has any questions. 25 x 5-6 year olds find that each one has at least 12 questions desperately needing to be answered! And likely nothing to do with school. 9.45am. The teacher calls an end to question time, tells the students what they will need to take out to begin their first lesson or activity, 25 x 5-6 year olds gather what they need, argue over who got there first, take their seats and get started. It is now 9.55am, and they’ve only just begun their day. And so it goes all day. Recess = 20 minutes, coming back into the classroom after recess = 10 minutes. Lunch = an hour, coming back into the classroom after lunch = 10 minutes. Lining up and holding hands = 30 minutes out of the day. Then there’s the time consuming factors that just can’t be helped because of the size of the class. One simple worksheet, that could take one student 15 minutes, becomes an hour long task simply because there are 25 children who will at some point need help with it. Packing away after each activity, waiting until everybody stops talking before the teacher can give the next lot of instructions. When you take all of these little things out of a 7 hour school day, all of a sudden it doesn’t leave that much time to do actual school work. When you think that there is none of that happening here, an hour to an hour an a half of uninterrupted, one on one work, is more than enough.
However, after explaining how I came to be happy with the thought of doing between one and two hours a day, I need to mention that, Miss 5 approached me and made this comment; “Mummy, I like how our school days are nice and quick, and I love how there is lots of time for me to do my projects, but some days can we have more time doing worksheets and that kind of stuff? I really like that kind of stuff, and I think I want to do more”. Just WOW!!
Today is Saturday, and you can bet your boots that Miss 5 has asked to continue with our work from yesterday, while Daddy and the two littlest girls were napping. This child is incredible, and has made this last week a real pleasure.
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First day of school

Today is day one of term one, of the new school year. A big day for all school aged kids and their parents. Today Miss 5 would have started Pre Primary. I have seen all of the Facebook photos of her little friends, dressed in their uniforms, with big smiles on their faces, so proud to be starting big school. It’s been really hard to see, I can’t help but feel that there should be a photo of my little girl in her first day uniform too. It didn’t occur to me that not having one would hit me in the feels. So to make myself feel better and remind myself of the reasons why I don’t have or want a “first day of school” photo, I thought I’d write this.
Currently we are on a family holiday in Mauritius. Husband, Miss 9 months, Miss 2.5, Miss 5 and myself. We were able to get the trip relatively cheap, or as cheaply as we can expect when travelling with 3 children, because it is outside of the school holiday period. In the last week, Miss 5 has had a long conversation with a lovely elderly couple from Zurich, she has spoken to the Mauritian staff at the hotel, as well as other tourists from India, France and South Africa. She has taken in the sights of a third world country, which has lead to discussions on economy, currency, lifestyles and how fortunate we are to have been born in a country like Australia. She has been drawing pictures of the local wildlife, and the flowers that she can see from our hotel room. We have seen the local temples and had discussions about religion. She has tasted foreign food, seen varieties of plants and birds that are different to home, and she has almost grown gills and fins with the amount of swimming she has done. We have collected shells, found pippis, found starfish, walked on the beach and eaten our body weight in chocolate ice cream 🙂 In two days we will be having a Mummy and Daughter day and we will be out dolphin watching together and then snorkeling on the reef. This has been our first week at school.
Coming away from our time in Mauritius, Miss 5 will have learned to play Bocci, she has picked up snippets of French – and has decided she wants to learn how to speak French when we get back to Perth – she has learned a Mauritian dance, and she has learned the valuable life lesson of gratitude. Plus, when we get home, there will be no rush for her to get back to normal in order to start school, she can take her time to get over the jet lag, get lots of rest, swim and play with her sisters and relax before we start with our own lessons.
In the meantime, I will admire the gorgeous photos of my friends’ little ones on their big day, and I will remember that our journey may be different, but it is still pretty special.

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So we’ve made the decision…. What now?

After all of our long talks about homeschooling, which included me flooding husbands Facebook feed with memes and links to speakers that I found inspiring (like this one and this one by Sir Ken Robinson, if you’re interested enough to take a look), we finally made our decision. Which went a little bit like this;
Him: You know what? Just do it. We have to make a decision, so let’s just do it.
Me: Are you sure?
Him: No, I’m not sure. Not at all. But I love you, and I trust you, and I know that you’re going to go at this like it’s your life’s mission, just because you hate to admit defeat. There’s no teacher in any school in the world who is going to be as dedicated to my girls, as you. So do it.
Me: Schools aren’t going anywhere.
Him: I know.
Me: If it goes pear shaped, or if she asks to go to school, I will be the first person to drive her down to the local primary school and enroll her.
Him: I know.
Me: So are we really going to do it?
Him: Let’s do it.
He’s pretty special 😉
So the next day I was onto the website for the West Australian Department of Education to find out what I had to do to make it official. I’ve since found out that every state in Australia has a different system as far as registering and reporting to the board is concerned, and, luckily for us, WA is one of the more “user friendly” states. We will be assigned what they call a Moderator, who will check in on a yearly basis to make sure there is progress displayed since the previous visit. The Moderator will make an initial visit in the first three months as a kind of meet and greet thing (from what I’ve been told). As we are off on a trip overseas next week, I am not expecting to hear from our moderator until we get back. So one phone call, a couple of forms and a copy of Miss 5s birth certificate later, and we’re registered.
And that’s it. There’s no information evening, no course to do, no instruction book, or teachers pack. Nothing. As I am yet to meet our moderator, I don’t know if s/he will turn up with something of the sort or not, but to date there is nothing. At first I must admit, I found it pretty intimidating and more than a little overwhelming. Especially with so many people asking “are you capable?”, “do you have any qualifications?”, “how do you know what you have to teach her?”. The answers to these questions are no and I don’t know!! And then I had a little epiphany. I was over thinking it, and beginning to second guess myself. In the last 5 years I have guided her through sitting, crawling, walking, talking, feeding herself and dressing herself. We have already learned to count, the alphabet, to write her name and countless other things. My lightbulb moment was realising this, I am already her teacher. I already am schooling her at home, AND doing a damn fine job too. Once I realised this, I relaxed. Sure it’s going to get more involved and there are going to be times where I’m going to be burning the midnight oil studying up on whatever lesson is at hand, but I am already doing it! I’m already doing it, and there is nobody on earth that knows how to teach my daughter something, better than I do. This realised, I started to do even more research! I knew that I liked certain approaches to teaching. Certain philosophies of Steiner/Waldorf, Charlotte Mason and a few others made my heart sing, so I looked further into them. I read about homeschooling, deschooling, unschooling, classical methods, natural learning, relaxed schooling, Montessori methods, digital schooling and unit studies. And each one had at least one thing that made me think Yes! I want to try that. And then I heard the term “eclectic homeschooling” and that suits Miss 5 and I perfectly. So that’s how we plan to move forward. We are taking the methods and principles that we like from wherever we can find them, and applying them to us. And that’s the “how” part taken care of. Now for the what.
This part I found really easy. I just asked Miss 5. People think that you can’t trust children to want to learn, or to choose the way that they learn, but it disagree. I think, if left to their own devices in their own time frame, children will want to learn with a ferocious appetite. It’s when you force children to learn certain things in a certain timeframe, outside of their own rhythm, that the resistance starts. Learning is an indelible part of the human condition. So I asked her “What do you want to learn? How do you want to learn it? What do you think is really fun? What do you really not like to do?” After all this is her school and I will be her teacher, here to help her learn, so it has to be what she wants. We sat down and talked about it. She told me that she wants to learn about Ancient Egypt, how creatures live under the sea (Not about the animals, mummy, I already know what fish and sharks and turtles are. I want to learn about how they breathe underwater, and what they eat, and where in the world they like to swim, and why some creatures live in the icy waters and not in the warm waters), she also wants to learn about China, learn to cook and learn woodwork! She told me that she didn’t enjoy “mat time” when she attended the Kindy program she was in, she didn’t like to have to sit still and not talk. But she did enjoy the worksheets that they did at Kindy. This was enough to give me a start. I checked and cross referenced the curriculum to make sure I wasn’t missing anything as far as major subjects are concerned, like math, science, english etc. And I designed themed work sheets. I gathered a plethora of experiments and activities to cover the STEM subjects. I have a reading list compiled, which will be added to our own reading for pleasure (I am listing the books we are reading, as we go, on a page on this blog. Feel free to check it out.), and as I have a background in art and photography, there are arts/crafts ideas galore! After we return from our trip, I also have plans to enrol Miss 5 in a musical theatre class, as well as joining in various co-ops, classes and social activities that we have access to through the Perth homeschooling community. We’re going to be pretty busy!
I have deliberately left the “lesson plans” pretty vague. We will work it out in more detail as we go. Miss 5 is bold, and highly verbal and quite happy to take control and steer this ship in the direction of her choosing. And I’m pretty happy to go along for the ride 🙂

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To answer your questions…

Since we started telling people that we were planning to homeschool Miss 5, we have noticed a couple of things. Most people are positive, and those who know us best and understand our thinking and how much this means to us are not only positive, but supportive and encouraging and even offering to help by adding their own areas of expertise. We have had a couple of disapproving comments, although not nearly as many as I had anticipated, and a few who are – Im sure – operating under the “If you cant say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” umbrella! Regardless of the initial reaction, the thing that everyone seems to have in common is the questions. So many questions and so much curiosity! So I thought I’d write my first post addressing the most common ones.
Please remember that I am writing about my thoughts, my decision, my family and our lives. We don’t expect that everyone will agree with us, and we don’t claim that our way of doing things is going to be suitable for everyone, or is the only way of doing things. So here goes;

1) So does that mean you hate schools now?
No, it does not mean that we hate schools. We don’t hate schools or teachers or people who send their kids to school. It’s just not for us. We also think teachers are fabulous people, who work hard and don’t get anywhere near enough praise. We have a few issues with the model of education in mainstream schools, that’s all.
2) You know that she’s going to be left behind and won’t get a job because she hasn’t gone to school, and she’ll end up a beggar on the streets. Right?
We look at it this way; when we think of every person we know (not just family, but every single person we know), there is around a dozen people who have started kindergarten at the mandated age, progressed through primary and secondary school, gone on to university, graduated from their degree and got a job. EVERYONE else has either, not started when they were supposed to, interrupted the progression for travel, or illness, or relocation, switched from public to private schools, switched between school and TAFE, left school as soon as they were legally allowed, not gone to uni, gone to uni but not finished their degree, changed degrees (in my case 3 times!), graduated and not worked in the field in which they studied, or graduated and gone on to collect unemployment benefits. The point is, we believe that an “educated person” is someone whose learning encompasses every facet of their lives, not just what they learn to recite in school. And people who don’t follow the straightest path, still end up as contributing and functional members of society. We do not believe school (school, not learning) is necessary to that process.
3) So, have you like, found Jesus or something?
No. We are not becoming religious fanatics who want to teach our children creation instead of science. Although we do plan to include religious studies at some point. Not only of catholicism but Buddhism and the Jewish, Muslim and Pagan faiths as well.
While we’re on the subject, we are also not turning into tree hugging hermits who want to avoid the general population while we make soap out of rendered fat and weave baskets. Nothing about our current life has changed.
4) How long do you plan on doing it? Will she ever go to school?
Who knows? Thats the short answer. We will do this for as long as Miss 5 wants to, and as long as we, her parents, are comfortable with it. What we know for now, is that we believe 5 (or even 6, 7, and 8) is too young. Too young for the expectations that go along with attending school.
We are not projecting into the future. We are taking it one year at a time. “But you’re like, not going to homeschool her through high school, though. Right?” Who knows. She’s 5. High school is a long way away. But you know what? If she wants to, and we, her parents, are comfortable with it, then yes, we probably will.
5) Have you even thought this through?
Yes. We have. Long and hard. We have questioned ourselves. Questioned each other. Questioned everything that we thought had to be done, simply because it’s the way things have always been done. We have researched methods of learning, methods of teaching, curriculums (by school, by state, and on a national level), and we have researched the pants off homeschooling and all that goes with it. We have actually thought it through more than we would have, had we decided to send her to a mainstream school – private or public? can we afford it? which school do we fall in the catchment for? Done.
After all, she is our baby, we are not going to enter into such a momentous commitment lightly.
6) Its a nice thought, but who’s got the time or patience to sit down all day doing school work?
We wont be sitting down for 7 hours a day, Monday to Friday, doing schoolwork. If we don’t agree with the model of education in a school, why would we pull our child out of school, only to mimic that model at home?
7) How are they going to learn about real life/the way the world is/to stand in line?
Yes, I have heard “homeschool children do not know how to stand in line”, to which the reply was “Unless they plan on going to prison, I don’t think that is going to be an issue” 🙂
As to the other examples for this argument? She’s 5. There is plenty of time for my daughter to learn about deadlines, long hours in a place that you may or may not like, with people that you may or may not like, away from your family, not able to pursue the things that truly make you happy. She’s 5. There is plenty of time for her to find out about the judgement of others, bullying, the cruelty of cliques and “lining up”.
8) But how will she get any socialisation?
I saw a funny meme about this. It said “we socialise dogs, not children”. It made me giggle.
I guess to answer this question I need to explain the way I define being “social”. To my husband and I being social means interacting with the world and the people in it. All sexes, all ages, all religions, all races. WE believe that being at school does not necessarily teach this. Being at school teaches children to interact with their classmates, who are categorised by age. Smaller children are separated from the bigger ones, and kept separate. The only interaction they have with adults is with the handful of teachers they come in contact with, and the same ones every day. Their experience with religion and ethnicity is with whatever is popular within their postcode, and most schools will sweep any hint of sexual preference completely under the rug. I don’t believe that this is conducive to “being social”. My children interact with strangers daily. They play with children younger, older and children who are the same age. With our day to day and our travels, they are exposed to people of all races, cultures, religions and sexual orientations. They don’t have any issues talking to adults, and they are just as happy in the company of their parents as anyone else. Just because they are not going to attend school, does not mean that this will change. And before it comes up, yes, they do have friends. Good ones, who they see regularly. So they will still have birthday parties, play dates and (when they’re old enough) sleep overs.

If I had an open forum – which I do here, so I am taking advantage 🙂 – I would tell my friends and family these things that relate, not to school and our decision to not send Miss 5, but to us and our family and our decision to keep her home.
There are little things that matter to me. My 5 year old will be able to eat when she’s hungry, drink when shes thirsty, go to the toilet without asking and have a nap if she gets tired. It doesn’t sound like it’s important, but the little things matter. It’s important to me to be lucky enough to offer my daughter a hot lunch, or sushi (her favourite) instead of squishy sandwiches. It’s important to me to know that my child, who is still so very small, will have enough sleep and not suffer the “after school meltdown” because the days and weeks are too long. I like the idea of not running around in the morning yelling “quick! brush your teeth! hurry up! we’re going to be late!”. I like the idea (and so does Miss 5) of doing our school work in our PJs if we want to 🙂
We are going to be able to give our daughter the opportunity to pursue her interests. There are so many inspirational quotes that get thrown around, about people finding their passions and chasing them. Why shouldn’t this apply to children as well? Learning is a natural progression that stems from curiosity, interest and passion. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that people learn more when they’re interested. Miss 5 proved that when she was Miss 3. As a 3 year old she loved dinosaurs. She could name them, categorise them and tell you which part of the Mesozoic they came from. Her current passion is Ancient Egypt. Pursuing home education means that she wont be told “no, we’re not learning about the importance of irrigation to be able to grow crops in an arid climate (my discussion with Miss 5 over breakfast yesterday), today we’re learning about farm animals.” 😦
We are going to have time. And share time. We wont be subjected to spending only weekends and weekdays between 4 and 7 (which isn’t really quality time anyway, because she’ll be so tired and cranky after a long day at school) with our child. We get to spend all that extra time, and treasure all of that extra time. I am so very lucky and honoured to be able to share in her learning – as a mother of a dinosaur loving 3 year old I too could tell you the names, categories and time periods of the dinosaurs! I have recently been reading about hieroglyphs and the 6 components of the Wadjet! – helping her learn is also pursuing my love of learning new things. And we get to share it together. We also have the luxury of having the time to follow a subject through to its conclusion. Miss 5 will not have to worry about getting engrossed in whatever project shes pursuing, only to be told its time to pack up and move onto a different activity. Just because thats what the timetable insists on. She will also have the added benefit of one on one tuition, which is an undeniable advantage.
And finally Miss 5 will not be told to sit down and keep quiet. She is not an inactive child, who enjoys sitting still. She is an active girl who loves to move, dance, run, jump, skip, climb and twirl. She also talks. A lot. But that is how she figures things out. She learns by voicing ideas and talking about things until the discussion/questions (endless questions!)/monologue leads to that lightbulb moment. Imagine the lack of lightbulb moments my vocal child will have if she is being told to keep quiet and speak when spoken to? She can be outside in her fabulous natural wonderland, as much as she wants. Dirty and barefoot and experiencing her world with freedom, not restricted to sensible shoes and a uniform that mustn’t get dirty, and don’t climb that tree, the insurance doesn’t cover it.

So this post turned out much longer than I anticipated. In the time that it took me to write it, Miss 5 has gathered specimens (dead ants) to look at through her microscope and she has made a hobby horse for both her and Miss 2, and is currently drawing up a storyboard to make a movie about ponies! I’m under no illusions about how perfect things are going to go. We are going to have rough days, days where we get nothing done, and days where the both of us throw our hands in the air and say “it’s all too hard”. But we’re going to have those days with or without school. I think we’re going to manage just fine. 🙂