Oscar has had his first official home ed day today. He’s loved it. He stayed in bed all morning for the first time ever but was reading all morning. He was just so happy. He was reading a rule book for an incredibly complicated fantasty roleplay board game that he and Lucas have just spent a hard earned £60 on. I was out at playgroup with Anton and Dante while Lucas was at Acorns.
I’ve always wondered whether teenage lethary in the mornings is more to do with whether they are looking forward to their day or not. I bet I will look back in a few years and laugh at my naivety but Oscar and Lucas have always sprung up out of bed when they have woken up as children do, but it was only when Oscar was at school that he wanted to lie in. Was that because he resented not being able to, because he was daunted by his day, or because hormones were kicking in?
Looking back to this time nearly a year ago before Oscar went to school, I can see so many changes. He seems to have a more developed vision of himself now and who he would like to be and this seems to involve so much more independence. He wants to make his own lunches (toasted sandwiches) which today involved a trip to the shops on his bike with a plastic bag (all part of the vision, a rucksack wouldn’t do apparently). He loves his bike. Or rather he loves biking. Apparently his bike is “Too heavy” so he’s saving up for another one. He and Lucas have been biking at Follaton House for hours this weekend and Anton has joined them, loving the long summer evenings. R and A came for a sleepover on Friday and they bought their bikes too. Follaton is great now they have put the bollards up at 7pm and at weekends so there are no cars. I love seeing them on bikes. The essence of boyhood.
This bike craze has all been possible because Joth has sorted out all the bikes and put them within easy reach for the boys. We’ve been on a couple of family rides too, to the Avon Dam and on the Totnes to Dartington path. Such fun.
(I’m not sure that at approaching 50 Joth should be contemplating those stepping stones in slippy crocs…)
(You can at 12 though!)
(Determined not to be outdone though!)
(All at the Avon Dam)
(We earnt these ice creams for once at the end of the Totnes to Dartington cycle path!)
Anyway when I got back from toddler group Oscar and I had a brainstorming session to see what ideas we came up with in the immediate future for home ed.
DAILY – practise, get the rats out.
WEEKLY – make a meal
PROJECT IDEAS – lego robot, finish mechanical arm, learn touch typing, learn shorthand, maths (conquer maths course), zetangle artwork, history project/listening, 247 essay writing competition, update his blog, grade 5 theory, decide on a language to learn .
I just suggested the Grade 5 theory but all the rest came from him. He went straight off to do it too and had a very fruitful afternoon. He keeps coming to hug me too at the moment and even (I nearly fainted) offered to carry the washing upstairs without being asked. I’m not naive enough to think it will always feel as lovely as this but it is a reminder that people are at their best when they are happiest and that change can be a very refreshing thing. I really enjoyed his company and I think he needed to hear me say that.
I really feel like this is chance to change our family relationships for the better. There are other stresses that we carry that are harder to do things about – money is our biggest worry, so we’re not as calm and content as I would like us to be but we are incredibly lucky and I never forget that even for a day. Sometimes I feel guilty for having the luxury of home educating the children, for doing a job I enjoy and being able to jigsaw together such a sociable, happy, purposeful life but surely it would be more of a crime not to make the most of all the choices we are so, so lucky to have.
(Learning to do Zentangles while listening to a radio play – we’re all hooked on drawing these! They are the most fabulous ways of learning how to do intricate patterns and detail. Strangely theraputic too.)