Wednesday, 1 June 2016

4 Years ago..

This time 4 years ago i made up my mind that i was going to Home School my 2 littlest girls.
It had been simmering away inside me for quite sometime and when ever i thought about i got a serious case of the collywobbles..what if i screwed it up and ruined them for life.



I weighed up all the pro's and con's i could think of and came out of it none the wiser.
My husband encouraged me to go for it..try it out if its too hard or they fall behind i had the safety net of sending them back to school.
So i researched it properly and found i had to write a letter informing the school of my decision and when Fern would be leaving.I chose to take her out at the end of the school year..when they broke up for the summer holidays that was her last day. I expected some kind of resistance from the school but nope not a peep.
Fern was not that upset at leaving to frank..she was a very quiet little girl who would barely speak at school and often got looked over for things because of quietness.I did ask why she had the same book for 3 months and was told if she doesn't ask she doesn't get..she must make herself heard..thats a little difficult in a class of 32 children and several with problems that demanded constant attention..as is the case, the quiet ones get lost in the crowd.Not putting the blame on the teacher she was doing her best .
We could both tell that Fern was seriously unhappy..she wouldn't speak at times from when she left the house to go to school until she got back in the front door..weekends and half term were her little haven.
In the end after some more research i decided to just go for it and do the absolute best i could for her and her sister.



I had an Inspection from the LEA..they could see it was what i wanted to do and had no concerns..i have had 4 inspections and have passed each and everyone with flying colours.
I signed up for some Home School clubs..never heard a word from them..tried to join a Facebook Club for Home Schoolers..never heard a word from them either..so i figured right its all down to me so i am going to go for it.
I then found websites and Forums for Home Schoolers..all American who welcomed me with open arms..i found inspirational mums who home school 5 or more small children and still manage a small homestead.
These websites,blogs and ladies showed me it can be done and you don't have to be that super smart either.
I am not smart..nor exceptionally clever but i am determined and at times ruthless and also brutally honest.
You also have to be prepared,lesson plans are a total must and also patience.


I was expecting to have to pay out a ton of money to get myself set up..no that didn't happen either.
I bought exercise books on sale,also pens,pencils and all manner of stationary stuff to get the basics.
Everytime i went shopping i would buy just one thing..my parents also helped by buying bits and bobs that were on sale also..pretty soon i had a stash that would rival any stationary shop..

Time..now thats the thing that is really hard..you have to devote yourself to it..to start with we would spend at least 6 hours a day working away..pretty soon that got really boring and i was running out of ideas for them..so i changed it..we spent 30 minutes every day on 3-4 different subjects.
After that we then read, separately,out loud and i then read a chapter of a book to them. We discuss the books we read and i often incorporate what they read into hand writing exercises or grammar exercises.
I have found lots of word association games that they can play..and it also incorporates Math in different ways for them too.

Art is something we do as well..any kind of painting is perfect for them..we print off pictures in black and white that have been painted by the old masters and i let them paint them in the style they should be done.
Craft afternoons are a favourite as well.. we spend time making things ranging from pom-poms to collages..its nice to do these things as we talk about things as we do them..doing this together kind of lets their guard down and if they have a nice relaxing and enjoying time they more often than not tell you if they have any problems or little worries that are bothering them.

I have to admit i lost some friends over my decision to do this..lots thought i was Crazy,Mental and going to fail..one even said see you in a year then..not on your bloody nelly !!..
I also found lots of other people who were really interested in what i was doing..some even said they wished they could have done it.


I always get the question about socializing..that has never been a problem..the girls are now more confident in themselves and have slight nerves when going some where new with new people but who doesn't.
The girls have big sisters and a big brother..nieces and a nephew..they all mix wonderfully and there is absolutely no social awkwardness.They mix with a wide range of people of all ages and are chatty and polite.
I do get asked if i ever regret my choice..No i don't.
I look at my girls with pride.
Fern is so happy now and has so much more confidence in herself..she has come out of her shell and is vibrant and a fantastic sense of humour.
Iris has never set foot in a school so being taught at home is the only thing she knows..but she is happy and confident and an absolute joker who makes us all laugh at her antics.

The girls have no peer pressure,no cliques to try and fit in with,they can just be themselves.
I don't get the "but i got to have it" from them at all..they don't ask for the latest in trend things that are a fad..the only things they really ask for are books .

I don't have to buy the uniforms and pay out constantly for trips or other stuff that i hear mums complaining about week in week out.

So 4 years ago i took the life changing decision to Home School..and i am still loving it.
Sara

24 comments:

  1. Sara, I can't believe it is 4 years, how time flies.

    You should be so proud of yourself, and even more proud of your girls. They have come on in leaps and bounds, and I have received some of their beautiful art work.

    You have 2 very happy children and you know their needs. You must have surprised yourself because it must have been daunting to start on this journey, but you have proved over again you can do it. Fern and Iris are growing up to be happy and well adjusted young ladies, and as you say they have plenty of time with other childen.

    It is a pleasure to hear about what subjects you are studying each month, and I love to see photos of the girls, they are always smiling.

    Keep up the good work you are an inspiration

    Love and hugs to you all

    Marie xx

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    1. Hi Marie..i know we couldn't believe it has been four years since we made the decision.
      I can honestly say at times it has been very daunting and not being the brightest spark i was worried that i had done the worst thing possible..however i can say hand on heart i have totally and thoroughly enjoyed very minute..its been hard at times but so rewarding..there is no rush and no pressure from to get it done..there is always tomorrow.
      The girls are extremely happy and so am i..i think a happy mum=happy children..
      Thank you..
      love you much
      sara

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  2. I think it's a fantastic decision. It is one I often think about myself but as Lily already has issues socialising I'm not sure it would be the best thing for her right now. I would, however, be very interested to hear your thoughts on it. X

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    1. Hi Jules..how do you mean she has trouble?
      Is she shy or plain just doesn't want to know?
      sara

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    2. Love reading your blog, school lessons always look fun and interesting. Also schools don't seem to have time for sewing classes, which is a shame. Keep up the good work

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    3. Hi Sue..o yes i must admit we love our sewing lessons..pricked fingers and all..next step is showing them the sewing machine
      sara

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  3. I'm sorry Sara, I should have been clearer. She has some traits associated with aspergers, although they don't think she does have it, if that makes sense. X

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    1. Hi Jules..i can hand on heart say i no nothing about Aspergers..but isn't it where the child doesn't like change..if thats the case you may have to introduce school and new people slowly.
      sara

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  4. Sara:

    How nice to read that your girls are doing so well with home schooling and are well adjusted to social situations. You should be proud. You made the correct decision 4 years ago.

    Do you read Michelle who has a blog "Remembering the Old Ways?" - her latest post indicated that she has made the decision to pull her twin girls from primary school and full time home school starting this September. The comments section included remarks about how they home schooled.

    Take care and continue on with what you are doing.

    Sandy

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    1. Hi Sandy thank you so much..we enjoy it and i think that is what makes the difference.
      Yes i have spoken to Michelle last year about home schooling..i would encourage anybody to just try it..i feel for Michelle's little girl..so hard when you know they are not as happy as they should be.
      sara

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  5. Good for you. It sounds like you are raising two wonderful, happy children.
    xx

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    1. Mum..thanks i am so pleased they are doing well..
      sara

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  6. You are doing so well! My daughter in law always get top marks when the inspection checks on their two. In Leicester they have a good circle of science clubs etc for home schoolers.

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    1. Hi Trish..thats brilliant news and so nice to hear that other are doing well also..i tried to join clubs but never heard from any of them so i do my own thing..lone wolf lol
      sara

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  7. Well done Sara. I admire you enormously. My friend Samm home schooled her kids for a few years and they learned so much more than they would have at school. Will you home school through the secondary school years too?

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    1. Thank you Cherie..i love the absolute openness we have with the girls..no subject is off limits..and i think that is a good thing..we are quite liberal and not easily shocked after raising 3 older girls and a son..
      We plan on educating them all the way through the school years..
      We spoke to Fern about going to Secondary school and she said no thank you..i think she made the right choice..she is a quiet girl and for her to be 1 of 300 that start a new school she would i fear get totally lost in the crowd..She is confident but quietly confident.
      sara

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  8. We only home schooled for 6 months ( ages 9 and 11) because of moving house twice but my lot wanted to go back to school and that worked fine for them. I'm so glad we had just that 6 months as they knew they had that option.
    Is Education Otherwise still in existence? back in the early 90s it was the only information group available

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    1. Hi Sue..so glad that you had the opportunity to do it and that your children went back to school as they wanted to go..
      I have never heard of the group at all..some clubs around here are quite cliquey and so intense its scary..
      sara

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    2. Sue, I belonged to Education Otherwise when we took our son out in1984. He was statemented for special educational needs (although the staff just used to sit and do a lot of knitting instead of teaching) and up until that time no one in our London borough had managed to remove a child with a statement. We were the first to do so - although not without a massive battle!

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  9. Most parents just wants the very best for their children...I can relate how daunting it was in the beginning simply because it is not the norm....we homeschooled our two girls from the start...15 years ago and still going. I can assure you that we've done the right thing: the girls are happy, confident and I can already glimpse their success for the future! Be encouraged...you've done the right thing! Your children are blessed for what you've invested:)

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    1. Thank you so much..that is very encouraging to read..thats all i want for them really..to be happy and confident..success is something they will work for and achieve and i will one proud mum..
      Its so nice to hear from you..it was daunting at the start but now i relax and enjoy it all..
      sara

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  10. Well done you! Something I wish I'd done myself sometimes...too late now they've all grown up though. x

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    1. Thank you..i wished i had done with my older children too but i wasn't aware i could..nor would i have had the confidence..
      sara

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  11. Hi Sara. We have something in common you and I. She comes in the form of MrsLurcherwalker. Lyn, our dear friend, suggested I come to your blog because if I don't win a school relocation appeal I am thinking of home educating my 8 yesr old. She has difficulties connected to dyslexia that the schoolnrefusevto acknowledge so for her self esteem I may well do this. I am concerned re: social development though but I have to stay grounded in that her confidence and self esteem are what is important. I hope you don't feel me nosey but I feel I should tell you that I will be having a good look around your blog this evening.

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I will reply to everyone..however i will remove if its rude or trolling.