1st Blog Post!
So I have dumped my old website to start this free blog. The resources I had on my old site can be found here.
Worksheets and Powerpoints
Mastery Scheme of Work
I’ll still update them and add new things when I have time but my life has changed dramatically since my wife and I decided to home educate our children in April 2016.
It was something both of our children were keen on since not settling into a new primary school we had recently transferred them to, and it suited my wife who had started up a successful English tutoring business which she is running from home in the evenings.
Now we have control of our children’s education and we believe we have the necessary skills to give our children of 7 and 9 a fantastic opportunity to learn in a happy, stress-free environment. We are all happier since we made the decision but it isn’t easy and it didn’t start perfectly.
We joined lots of Facebook groups, found other home educators on twitter got amazing support from family friends but, for the first few months, as most home educators would admit, we worried about doing enough or too much. Now though we have found a happy medium and both kids are showing more and more enthusiasm for learning. They can at times work longer hours than they would in a normal school day, but its because they are engrossed in a topic or activity and they know that they don’t have to stop for a bell or a change in direction.
We structure our day with some ‘non-negotiables’ (reading, arithmetic, writing) but also give them free-learning opportunities and plenty of time to just be kids. My wife has found some amazing educational trips that have been organised by other Home Ed parents, and both kids will happily learn 7 days a week.
We have invested in a lot of resources and recently bought both kids a laptop each. Home educating is not cheap but bargains can be found and many establishments offer Home Ed discounts.
In terms of teaching, my wife is an English teacher and a linguist so that base is covered. I’ll be covering the maths, ICT, CDT and we’ll share out the rest. We are all going to learn a lot from this new life. We will still look at secondary schools to see if the kids want to go but we are all open to the possibility of carrying on with Home Ed through secondary and further education.
What I do know for certain at the moment is both my son and daughter are happy and making massive progress with their learning. Today we worked for about 4 hours. In that time the kids learnt about degrees, how to draw and measure angles, and played a game estimating angles – http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/bananahunt/bhunt.html. After that we finished coding a game on Scratch. I say WE, really it was all them! I helped them with a couple of previous games to get them used to it but now they are able to follow instructions from a book and create some fum games. They then tweak and improve them to make them exactly how they want them. When they were finished with Scratch, I got out the new sets of compasses that my father bought for them a few weeks ago. They learnt how to draw circles and made some interesting patterns to put in their Art folders.
I won’t always write about Home Ed. I have a school life too where I am Deputy Head of Mathematics and will be attending Mathsconf8 in a couple of weeks where I will be holding an NQT/RQT advice session with the help of Amir Arezoo (@WorkEdgeChaos) and Julia Smith (@tessmaths). I will write about mathsconf8 and other mathematics teaching stuff that interests me.