Friday, 8 January 2016

New year, new start

It's funny how in January many people either start a new blog or try and revamp their old one, start a diary, a new fitness regime, a diet, or something else that they will most definitely keep up with... until mid January when it all falls apart! Well, we have a new start in our house.. a few really.

As I've mentioned previously, we decided when my youngest was a baby that we would probably Home Educate him until the age of 7. I'm early years trained with a degree in early childhood and health and I couldn't shift my view that a young child shouldn't be in formal education until at least age 7. Children learn through uninterrupted play. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti - school, but when you've spent all your adult life watching young children learn (including your own), and you've researched the whole subject extensively for various university essays, you pick up the pros and cons of various settings and for me, a school or nursery setting just isn't appropriate for a young child. They need to be able to make their own choices on what to learn, play with and do. They need to have time to get fully immersed in what they are doing without the need to stop for the register or story time, or outdoor play time or because it's assembly or home time. Yes, there is a need to learn how to share and play cooperatively together, but I don't believe that needs to be all day every day from the age of 2 or 3 or 4 or even 5. They can learn those types of social skills from siblings, playing in the park with other children or playing at friend's house. If school was for 2 or 3 sessions a week of a couple of hours at a time of totally free play, I would certainly consider it. But not for 6 hours a day and 5 days a week at such a tiny age. So HE it will be until age 7. And once we get there, we will review the situation.

To add to that, due to various reasons, we have also de-registered our 13 yr old to be HE. This may be a temporary thing, it may be permanent. Who knows. All we know is that is is the right thing to do NOW. For her. If an adult were in a job that they hated, the sensible thing to do would be to start looking for another job. No one would tell you you have to stay there for the next 4 or 6 years. It would be up to you to choose to make a change, and so we decided it was no different for one of our children.

It is very early days and we are all adjusting to this new way of learning, but I know deep in my heart it was the right decision. The start of a new adventure in our lives.

Talking of adventure, after going through a tough time over the past few months, we have decided as a family that life is far too short to put off the kind of life we would love to have.  We also realise that having a family of five ranging in ages from 3 up to 39, we will obviously all have different interests. "Perfectionist" me has always been the one to insist on family time at the weekends but this has got increasingly harder when someone really doesn't enjoy what they others want to do. It's taken me a while, but I have finally accepted that it doesn't matter! We don't ALL have to be together ALL weekend! We always have meals together, we live in the same house and we sit around and talk A LOT, so if we don't go for a walk in the country as a family every weekend - so what!  C (aged 10) and I love swimming but G, N and F aren't keen. So C and I will start going swimming sometimes on our own (shock horror!) A couple of years ago I would NOT have accepted that. I would have made everyone go which meant we only went sporadically as it was too much like hard work to make them go regularly. N (aged 13) and G (aged 39!) love cycling but the rest of us aren't great cyclists really, however much I want to be. So he had she will be having some hacks in the country sometimes without us (or while we're playing in the park!) 

You see, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that everyone is enjoying their own life and not living someone else's. 

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