Updated: Aug 24, 2019
Benjamin doing some maths
Let me introduce you to our children. Sam, Benjamin and Robyn. Sam is Jan’s son and the other two belong to Martin and Myself. Our family regularly do things differently, often going against cultural norms, and raising our children is no different. We have chosen to teach them at home rather than sending them school.
Reuben and I were home educated for parts of our childhood and loved it.
Lots of people ask us what home education looks like. So let me see if I can give you some idea of what a typical day of ‘homeschool’ looks like.
Sam studying accounting
Sam is studying for GCSEs and A-Levels so his routine is a little more predictable than ours. Jan goes to work so my mum (Clare) and dad (Doug) teach him. He does his work at the dining room table. He works Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm with breaks in between. His day is made up of a mix of lessons and self directed study or revision.
I teach my two and our days are, well, every day is different. The beauty of home education, especially with little ones is how flexible we can be. The children can learn a lot in a very short amount of time which leaves a lot of time for exploring and free play. We work year round and take days off here and there when we have other things going on. But a typical day, if there ever was such a thing would probably look a little like this:
While we are having breakfast we take communion, practise our bible memory verses and sometimes we sing a song. At the moment we are learning the national anthem.
Walking in the woods with Daddy
Once we are ready we will normally go out somewhere. We might go to the farm, or for a walk in the woods, shopping or to our local toddler group. If we stay at home we get out the paints or the play doh and teach Robyn her letters and letter sounds or counting. Because she is so little all of Robyn’s learning is done through play and hands on activities.
After lunch Robyn has a nap and Benjamin has quiet time. He usually uses this time to read by himself.
In the afternoon I get to spend a bit of time with Benjamin. All of his lessons are very short. We do maths, phonics, handwriting, Spanish and piano plus other subjects such as map work, history, science, art, although they tend to be merged together. For example this week we looked at the life of Mother Teresa which was history and then we looked up her place of birth and where she lived on the map and learned a bit about India, bringing in Geography. He then did a bit of IT/English as he wrote up what he had found out, on the computer. He will then present his work to family and friends at our halloween party tonight by reading out his presentation, so I guess that could be classed as drama or public speaking. We normally only spend an hour maybe 90 minutes max on this more focused ‘school work time’ each day.
In the early evenings the children usually go to activities where they get to meet other children and learn a sport. Benjamin does gymnastics, ballet and Beavers. Robyn does ballet. Sam does badminton and Explorers.
Robyn painting, ‘D is for Dog’
We have a lot of fun together and it’s so rewarding to be there when they reach milestones, overcome a difficulty or experience something new for the first time.
Yes some days are tough. The hardest thing as a parent is being with the kids all day, every day. Especially the days when the little one is teething, the middle one is bouncing all over the place and not following instructions and the teenager is in a bad mood. These days happen, but I am blessed to have the support of a big family. I am responsible for raising and educating my own children, but thankfully I am not doing it alone. As I write, Sam and Benjamin are in the kitchen carving pumpkins with the dads ready for halloween. It’s great to have a whole house full of adults who chip in from time to time and share their own passions, skills and expertise with the children.
Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home. – Mother Teresa