Home Education Update: January 2018 (A bit emotional)

A new year is a chance for a rethink

A time to refocus on what we want to do

This is a tough time of year for our little family

With Tilda’s anniversary

And reliving those earliest hours and days after her death

These few weeks do not get easier

They just do not

I thought that the way to get through

This winter

Would be to fill our time with classes

I learned today that is not the way

With four children

Aged 8 months to approaching 8 years

Making our days work for everyone

Is not an easy task

But I think now I am settled on a routine that works

A timetable of activities chosen by our children

To fit their wants and needs

From now until Easter our weeks look like this

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Monday

Fun Train

This is a music class aimed at preschoolers. Bea attends this class, Esther joins in with her and Edie watches avidly. William uses the time to read or complete Maths / English / Science workbooks or to read whichever book he is currently engrossed in

Get Talking Languages Spanish

This is a private Spanish lesson for Esther and William. They had their first session this week which they really enjoyed. The lesson is practical with songs and puppets and has a small written element too. Perfect for my two.

Ballet

Esther and Bea both do ballet on a Monday afternoon. Esther also helps out with Bea’s class which she loves. William again spends this time with his head buried in books.

Tuesday

Ballet and Acro

Tuesday has been a preschool day for Bea

But she is desperate to dance

And so today after trying to fit in preschool and ballet

And it really not working very well

For any of us

I have taken the decision

With Bea

To reduce her preschool hours

To focus on dance

So Tuesdays we will have a quiet morning at home

Or in the woods

Then go to ballet and acro after lunch

These are Bea’s classes

Esther is very keen to be a helper for the little ones

And William will again use the time for independent learning

Some days William might stay with David so that he can work on his laptop

Wednesday

Wednesdays are going to be home days

My aunty and uncle often see us on this day

And I sometimes take some time with my best friend

Bea is starting a preschool Spanish group in the afternoons

And Esther and William go to Beavers in the evening

Thursday

On Thursday Bea has preschool in the morning

And she spends the afternoon with Granny

This is the one day I have with Esther and William

To go out on visits that are not so good for Bea

In the late afternoon

Esther has ballet

And both Esther and William do Acro

Friday

Friday is a preschool day

Bea is at preschool until lunchtime

I use the time to do some work with Esther and William

Or we sometimes go to the library

In the afternoon

William has gymnastics

Saturday

Saturday is music school day

I take Esther and William to their lessons

Piano for Esther and Ukelele for William

In the afternoon William is very excited about starting Street Dance

And twice a month both twins go to a musical theatre workshop

Sunday

Sunday is family day

Once a month we attend a family service at our local church

We are going to make better use of our National Trust membership this year

And English Heritage

It will be a slow day when needed

An adventure day when wanted

A chance too to reflect

Before our week starts over again

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I think that this weekly routine

Is busy without being crazy

It leaves us time to play at home

It leaves us time to go slow in the mornings

I like how this week feels

Most of the classes are with Charlotte

She is such an amazing dance teacher

She has patiently helped me to find the right classes

For all three children

At the moment they are working towards a show in March

Then the classes will all change

Meaning at Easter

Which is really not too far away

We can look at this timetable again

The most important thing about this plan

Is that the classes are with people we know and trust

They are in places I am happy to drive to

They are activities the children really want to do

I feel like for the first time

I do not care what other people think

I am building a life for me and my family

That fits us

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There is a lot of pressure on home educating families to socialise

Oh how will your children ever make any friends?

Esther and William have friends

They do not each have a best friend outside of our home

For one very good incredibly genuine reason

They have each other

They are best friends

And have the most wonderful relationship

I am sure that in time that will change

But at the moment they have the best time everyday

In the company of their very best friend

I have felt the need to push them into all sorts of things

They do not really want to do

To make home educated friends

As they would have school friends if they attended school

But right now they do not want that

They want each other

And that is fine with me

So we will go to classes because they enjoy the class

And if they make friends that is a wonderful bonus

My children are just about as sociable as children can be

They are intelligent, confident and articulate

They will happily engage in conversation with anyone

Who will stop long enough to listen to them

I have realised recently that I do not give my children enough credit

For the wonderful human beings that they are

Particularly Esther and William

They have had their own battles to fight

Linked to prematurity

Health issues that are still ongoing now

They have been through the death of their baby sister

And seen their parents battle with grief

They have coped so well with some really tough times

And I am incredibly proud of them

I am incredibly proud of us

And today

In making this timetable

And setting out a framework

For the coming weeks and months

I feel I am giving us time

To settle into ourselves

As a family

Now that Edie is not a newborn anymore

Some time to be realise how blessed we are

To have one another

To have these wonderful opportunities

To be able to take this time together

To do the things that we want to do

And to be proud of the life we have chosen

Because I am

Proud

But scared to say so

And never seem to be able to put in words

The passion that I have for what we do

And the belief that this is the best way for us

Because I know this is right

We may not get it right everyday

But the choices we make are made after careful thought

Lots of discussion and deliberation

I am proud to teach my children at home

I am honoured to learn alongside them

And though we may trip and stumble along the way

I know that this is the path for us

I am also letting myself off the hook a little this year

Realising I cannot do everything with Edie

That a mummy with just one baby can do

I cannot do everything with Esther and William

That a parent homeschooling one child can do

And that is okay

It really is

I have to make myself believe that I am enough

And what we do

What we achieve

Is enough

We are all doing the best we can

And that is enough

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I am excited to see how 2018 unfolds

We have some exciting adventures planned

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