It has been SOOOO long since I last blogged!!
Quite a lot has changed attitude-wise.
I have been home educating my children for 2 years now, and I have learnt so much, I've evolved loads. The first year I spent most of that time trying to figure Alex out, realising he has some form of Autismbut I spent a long time reading books, asking lots of questions, getting lots of advice and now I'm happy to just let him get on with it, and he is now quite a confident, happy boy.
I also spent a lot of time figuring out HOW to home educate. There are a few different styles - structured, following the national curriculum, semi structured, unstructured, and completely autonmous lifestyle. For a while a worried about where my family fitted into all of that, I got carried away with other peoples opinions, looking outwards for a way forward, but I wasn't looking at my own family! So I've dropped all the shoulds and shouldn'ts and the 'where do we fit in?' and I'm now just focusing on us.
And I've learnt that we are all introverts in our family! I was going against my introverted-ness and throwing myself and my children into all sorts of groups and meet-ups thinking that I MUST socialise my children! When in fact I was pushing my children into situations that didn't make them feel comfortable at all, and it's ok to not want to be around lots of people all the time! So now, we just have little meet-ups, with people we feel comfortable with, in situations we feel comfortable in, if it's not a pleasant experience then it's not worth doing it.
I have been allowing my children to follow their own path, not insisting that they learn anything in particular, I really don't see the benefit of trying to force information that doesn't have relevance to them, only for the information to not stick. So after Jamie had been out of school for a year and 4 months, she came to me and said she would like to start doing structured learning. She would like to study maths, English, science, history, cooking and art! She would also like to learn everything she can about chickens, because we have 6 rescue hens now and Jamie loves them to bits! I had a big chat with her about she wants to go about it, resisting the urge to become 'teacher' although she does want me to become teacher with the art, she is happy to do English and maths workbooks every morning (except weekends) do a couple of science experiments a week, happy to choose a topic for history - she has chosen to learn about prehistory, the continental drift and evolution. I also suggested that we carry on learning about the suffragettes and life in the victorian times as we were doing a few weeks ago and she is happy to learn about that too, so we've got lots of writing pads to fill up and documentaries to watch and places to visit in the new year, I'm really excited about it! She's also learning about computer science too as she has her own Minecraft server, can download and install mods and is learning a bit of code!
Alex is still really into Minecraft, I'm amazed at how much he is learning through it. He's even had a go playing online with other home educated children, he's not too sure about it and there is a bit of a communication problem as he can't handle hearing the other people talking in his ear when he wears the headphones so he refuses to wear them, but he still manages to be able to find other ways to communicate. He's really good at building design on Minecraft and said he would love to build a structure in real life and in the new year we will be visiting different types of buildings and taking photos so he can get some ideas to build things on Minecraft. He's also really good at building adventure maps on Minecraft, inventing different games for people to do, he's not quite built one on his online account yet though as its relatively new.
Amelia is 3 now and can also play Minecraft really well on the xbox! She just needs to learn how to craft things on survival mode and she'll have it sussed! She absolutely LOVES dinosaurs, turtles, tortoises, lizards, snakes, fish, parrots and owls so she's been learning lots about them by watching documentaries and reading books and visiting places. She's also really pleased with herself because she has just learnt all the words to 'The Prehistoric Animal Brigade' song!
I'm really looking forward to the new year, this year has been a huge year for me. I've really looked into myself and I'm clearing away lots of things from my past that have been holding me back, I feel like I have changed a lot and I think I'm feeling much better about myself, more confident about being myself and it must be better as I'm not anywhere near as stressed out as I was a few months ago, I have a much more peaceful and loving relationship with my children, but I still have a bit to work on myself, I'm getting there though!
I'm going to try and start doing this blog more often again, I think it'll be good to help keep my head on the right track and have fewer wobbles! :)