Of all the posts, I have ever written for this website this feels the most pretentious from the start. Therefore, I’m going to apologise now but write it anyway.
For those of you that don’t know, we currently one month into a year-long trip around the world. You can follow our journey and experiences here.
To do this trip, we made the decision to defer Emily’s start to school. She should have started reception in September, but the husband and I felt that this little jaunt would be better.
Therefore, we have found ourselves homeschooling our big girl as we go. Or at least trying to homeschool given that we are both a little clueless.
What’s the plan?
Well, obviously, we don’t want her to start school in a years’ time and be behind her peers. A lot happens in Reception and we know that she would be frustrated if all her friends could do things and she couldn’t.
With this in mind, the plan is to keep up with the general pace that she would have experienced at school, but with a little flexibility.
Given that much of the first year of school is about getting them used to school and we can’t do that, we figure that there’s space for us to do other things.
Plus, large amounts of their time at school is spent playing and doing arts and crafts at this age. So, we don’t have to force that either.
We are working on a minimum of an hour every day, including weekends, for more formal learning. Then the rest of the day can be spent exploring.
What is your setup then?
In that hour, we start with a free choice element which big kiddo likes to spend drawing. Daddy and my eldest will watch YouTube videos that talk you through how to draw various kids characters. They draw along together.
Once this is done, Daddy hands over to me and I do everything else. This includes reading (letter sounds, sight-reading, blending, reading books), writing, numeracy and a newly introduced Spanish section.
Given that resources are tight, we are relying on paper and pencil mainly, but we have been using my Kindle for reading books. I downloaded some Biff and Chip books for us to read together, which have proven popular so far.
How are we finding it?
I personally love it! The structure is brilliant. I like that we do it every day at the same time. We run through the same things, adding new elements as she masters each one.
And my charming student seems to be enjoying it too. She is proudly showing Daddy how well she can read and write the list of words that we have been working on.
There have been multiple times when she has chosen to do school work on her own or asked to do more. She makes requests about things she wants to learn and we are blessed with the freedom to meet that request.
What about all the other things she would learn at school?
Well, we figured that travelling in itself is enough of an education. We can cover history, geography, religion, sport, music, dance and all sorts of other subjects on the road.
Our kids will return home with their eyes wide open to what the world is like, with stories to tell and hopefully lots of questions to ask as they grow up.
Would I homeschool in the UK?
In a nutshell, yes! I think that my eldest is going to love and thrive at school once she starts. Therefore, I am not going to hesitate to send her.
With my littlest though, given that she is a summer-born then I would definitely consider homeschooling her for her Reception year too. Even though it would be in a much less interesting environment, I can now see the benefits of education outside of schools.
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.