Friday, 28 December 2012

Lessons from home education in 2012

2012 marked our third anniversary of home education. In many ways we are still newbies and on the learning curve. I hope my children have learned something but what have I learned this year? Of course, some fascinating bits of information from the children's work and the revised Latin but what else?


  • Some materials work well for us but other, quite popular materials just don't. Being able to choose materials that suit us is the beauty of home education. We finished using Five in a Row with some sadness. I'm hoping to use it again from autumn 2013 for out youngest son but Miss Belle has asked if she can join in too. All three of us love these books. 
Ingredient map to go with "How to make an apple pie and see the world."
  • The most important work is the daily and steady. Every school day, we do maths and English/phonics.  The phonics has seemed particularly difficult; my knowledge of phonics isn't great and I've had to learn alongside my daughter. By the way, can anyone explain to me why the "ch" in Christmas and chronological isn't pronounced as in church and chime? I don't know. Presumably it is something to do with "chr". However, the long slog does seem to be bearing fruit.

  • I need a backbone text or curriculum. Without a backbone, I deviate and worry that I'm not being thorough or consistent. With a background text, I have the freedom to ignore it, add to it and decide to skip bits but it is there for those dark days in February and gives me confidence on jolly days in June.

  • To have maximum benefit from home education groups, we need to align our learning with group themes. This may seem obvious but it only really dawned on me when we were learning about the Ancient Egyptians while the group was learning about the Hundred Years War. Recently, we've concentrated our efforts on the late Middle Ages-easier and less confusing. 

  • I really miss continuing education meetings and conferences from my professional life. They are a source of inspiration and energy for me. The time has come to sign up for some on line educational conferences for 2013.

  • Seasons change-this year, trips have been so much easier without a stroller. Middle Son's programming is way beyond me and his German is taught by distance learning with a little help from my husband. My help is limited to making sure files are labelled correctly and that the distance learning term is the same as ours.

Trip to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
  • This end of the year, there seem to be a fair few new Christian home educators around and I'm thankful.
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