I've started this blog to record the progress and activities of my homeschooling family, i say 'homeschooling' but that sounds like we do school at home, we don't really do that at all, we do what some people call unschooling, or autonomous learning. Which is basically, my interpretation of it, creating conditions for curiosity and allowing my children to learn whatever they want to learn, allow them to follow their interests and to help them achieve their own goals, to become themselves, the way they are meant to be. This blog is to record the way children (my children anyway) learn without a classroom, without a teacher and without lessons.
I'm going to give you some basic information about me and my family so you can build a little background picture of how we live.
I'm 38 years old. I have 3 children aged 7 - Jamie, 6 - Alex, and 19 months(nearly) - Amelia.(i'm not using their real names for their own protection, this feels weird but I don't want to use nicknames or initals)
We live in a small 3 bedroomed semi-detached house in a relatively quiet edge-of-estate road in a small town.
I live with my long-term partner who is also my children's dad, we're just not married (yet).
We only have the one wage coming in, so we're just about scraping by!
I've been homeschooling Alex since mid november 2011, and will be homeschooling Jamie when she finishes year 2 in july. It's completely Jamie's choice to be homeschooled, she's very bright and popular at school, but feels very restricted.
Alex is homeschooled after suffering considerable anxiety and stress from being at school, he is currently being assesssed for Aspergers and Dyspraxia.
We have two crazy dogs, a rabbit, a hamster and a Giant African Land Snail.
We have an allotment locally.
Oh, and I've just been unofficially diagnosed with ADHD.
I didn't start off doing autonomous learning, not that I'm complaining, but Alex refuses to do anything he doesn't want to do and I'm not about to force him, although I do get him to do a bit of reading by bribing him with sweets.(he has sweets anyway, but if he reads to me - whenever he wants to - he gets to choose a penny sweet from the tin- i know sweets aren't the best thing but stickers just don't do the job anymore!)
Jamie has told me that she wants to do a little bit of 'school at home' by this she means she will organise her own timetable of what she wants to do, but she said she mostly wants to play and have fun, so I'm really interested to see how it works out.
Me, Alex and Amelia already go to a few home ed meet ups and activities in our local area, recently these have been things like science, craft, woodland walks and park meet ups, I encourage Alex to try as many different activities as I can, but obviously, Alex will only do what he wants, which can be frustrating, I'm still trying to get my head around letting go and letting him be himself and not what I would like him to be! but at least if he sees whats available, he can make up his own mind. He seems to be up for anything that's outside, but is less enthusiastic about indoor activities, I think it may be a sensory thing.
I'm going to be starting this blog before Jamie starts homeschooling because I thought it'd be interesting to see how the dynamics change when she's out of school, compared to how it is now, to see how Jamies behavior changes, and to see how Alex's and Jamies relationship progress's. I'm going to be observing their activities and reporting back.