Thursday 18 August 2011

First Day Not at School!

Aw, my little baby all growed up....

Yesterday would have been her first day at school,
but we had decided a long time ago, that was not for us.

So we decided to have an activity based not-at-school-day instead.
[Small's additions are highlighted thus]

First we weighed and measured out the ingredients for 
fairy cakes 
(deploying Mum's robot-arm for doing mega-whisking

We scooped the mixture equally out into 12 cases.... 
[there had been 2 scoops in each one, but we had to add more, so there were 3 tiny scoops of mixture in each case.]

Then we baked them
  [we had to wait for the little light to go out so we knew the oven was ready] 
Mum put them in.... because an oven is Hot, Hot, Hot

Then we tidied up, Mum washed the dishes while Small cleared and wiped the table.

Small wanted pink icing on the cakes, so we went out to the garden to discover Mum's secret ingredient for making pink icing.... Small remembered that beetroot is a kind of pinky-red so we brought that back to the house to make some pinky liquid that we could use to colour the icing.

We decorated the cakes - 3 different colours of icing 
(which never quite set, but no-one complained)

Then we read The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Dad came home for lunch and we had some ciabatta and salad.... 
[not Chewbacca, but it does sound kind-of the same]

We had some of our sticky, offensively pink, cakes.

- - -
Then we brought out the lego on to the dining table.... we all worked together to find the bits we needed to build some of the big models. Then we played for a while.

Small got to choose dinner - spaghetti bolognese.

Then we tidied up the lego and put on a David Attenborough documentary about coral reefs while we ate (We don't usually watch TV while eating, but it was a special occasion)

Then time to tidy up and head for bed...

Lessons today included - 
  • Maths
  • Home-economics
  • Investigation
  • Problem solving
  • Gardening
  • Art
  • Science
  • Planning
  • Teamwork
  • and an hour long lecture on Marine-biology.

- - - 
As she has approached school age we have come up against various criticisms and curiosities from those around us.

I'm not pretending it is all fun and games, it is hard work and (incase you hadn't noticed) I have a lot on my plate. 
But we have always planned to home educate so we have tried to encourage Small to be as independent as possible. We involve her in the tasks we do every day, and we adapt those tasks to suit our needs and her capabilities. We encourage her to take on chores around the house that involve planning and sorting (hanging up socks to dry, tidying and setting the table, etc)

We favour autonomous learning, and follow some Steiner principles.

We have done our research, our child's education is not something we take lightly.

And it isn't written in stone... we can change our methods or even enroll her in the local school if our circumstances change.
- - -

In Scotland there is no need to register as a home-educator, no education authority has specific right or jurisdiction over any syllabus, there is no home-visit from the authorities and, unless there is a child welfare issue, the authorities have no grounds to challenge your right to home-educate.

Gosh, all that sounds a bit defensive...

OK, it is an individual choice, what home-ed lacks in one area, it makes up for in others.

... Fairy cakes and Lego are pretty good + factors if you ask me ;o)


  1. Sounds like an excellent first day! I looked at home education for my daughter when she was ill some time back and was really impressed with how independent and confident the kids were as well as still achieving excellent academic results. My daughter recovered and chose to return to school but her grades didn't suffer at all from the time lost in school as she learn't to research for herself the subjects she missed!

    Your little one is very lucky to have such a wonderful environment in which to learn and grow, congratulations :)

  2. What a lovely post! I love the fact that you covered all those 'school' subjects without doing anything out of the ordinary. I have homeschooling envy ;)

  3. Hi just ran across your blog, LOVE IT!! I will be starting home school this August, the problem I have is I keep looking at it as a whole and it seems scary! Would you have any ideas on how would be the best way to approach the first months?

    1. Hello Kim,

      Welcome to my corner of the internet! and Thanks :)

      "Would you have any ideas on how would be the best way to approach the first months?" -

      Children are born with the unbelievable thirst for information and knowledge. Most of the time you just need to be there to answer the questions. Don't worry too much about the academic side of things (unless there is any real need) Provide plenty of wholesome toys, books and DVDs; crayons and paper; love and praise; and you will get on just fine.

      It is good to find a local support group, just to chat with and to remind you that you are not alone.

      Just take a deep breath, have fun. These years are precious and you are allowed to enjoy home-educating, heck, that is half the point!

      Good luck!


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