Monthly Archives: April 2009

A day in the life: Home education monday.

I keep getting asked “How do you do it?” by people we meet who find out we are a home educating family. In response I thought I might put up some ‘days in the life..’ blogs so that those who really want to know can.


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Research based practice-Government Review of Home Education

april09-020Back in my nursing days we had the “research based practice” mantra drummed into us.  We were expected to had read and understood and KNOW the research for the area of psychiatry we worked in. What ever happened to that professional approach?

THIS IN THE TES seems to show that a lot of Social Workers in Education whether Ed Socs or Education Welfare Officers have NOT A CLUE about the research on Home Education in the UK and homeschooling in the USA.

This shocking statement

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Looking for inspiration-and finding it unexpectedly.

There’s a new series about the Duggar family on Friday evenings now. I can’t remember what it’s called; 17 and counting or somthing like that. I think Discovery do a good job with the programme and don’t often come across as anti the large family. Still, things are changing aren’t they and I noticed last night that Michelle Duggar found herself having to defend her children’s carbon footprint. *sigh*.  She quietly pointed out that her children as individuals probably had a much lower impact on the environment that the average child in a family with one or two simply because they used so much less each. Interestingly though they were also able to counter the “you have too many children” arguments as a Korean film crew arrived to show them on Korean TV. Their demographics are so bad the country can’t cope ecomonically. (Much like the UK).

The Duggars make quite a thing out of the fact they live debt free so I was looking forward to last night’s programme to see all the tips for doing this. I had seen Jim Bob Duggar interviewed and he said things like “Don’t buy a new car.” I was not impressed.

I’m afraid last night’s programme wasn’t much help at all. Most people I know ALREADY do all the things they do.

They food shop at a discount store-we go to COSTCO.

They go to thrift stores- we get stuff given us and although I can’t get around charity shops (which can often be expensive any way) I have friends who are eyes for me and pick up stuff when we need it.

They make their own washing powder-okay we don’t but then I can’t even change the brand as it causes skin reactions for a couple of the family. Eczema is hell.

They have just started planting their own veg thanks to a family friend who helps. We are doing the same and the cost has been met by a lady from church.

Iona patted my leg as I got more frustrated. “Just face it mum,” she said wisely, “They live in a different world to us.”

Then I look at DEB and how well she manages-how strong she tries to be no matter what life throws at her and I think; now there’s inspiration. Hope you like the new banner on this blog which is one made and designed by Deb.

Doing Education.

As the weather is so good the children have been spending mopre time outside. We’ve had the chance to see blossom on trees and water the little plants that hopefully will give us some veg in the Summer.  There has been some lapbooking to do as Roni is making one about the trip to the Convent before Easter. Sr Kath asked for one they could have there for visitors to see, so that’s what we’re doing.

We added a bit more to the lapbook about the moon thanks to Josh giving us a huge map of the moon he had hidden away in his room. Roni has marked the place on his moon picture where the Apollo 11 landed and he has marked a place where there are a few craters named for Fr. Clavius SJ. There are over 35 areas of the moon named after Jesuit Astronomers, so we picked a couple of them to add to his lapbook.

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Home Education: Freedom of information

The website What do They Know has a fascinating amount of FOI requests on home education.

I have been interested to see that Birmingham City Council while seemingly admitting they filled in the 60 questionnaire, have not kept a copy! Was this deliberate to prevent anyone finding out what they wrote? We have seen their response to the 6 questions the rest of us were allowed to complete and it wasn’t pretty.

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Home Education Monday

It was the first day back (officially) today. No TV this morning for the smalls who were quite happy about that and went off to play until prayer time.

Avila had her hospital appointment this morning so off we went to the Children’s to see her pediatrician. I was able to say she is doing really well and when they weighed and measured her she is now 2stone and 101cms so she is well into ‘normal’ now. The doc was so impressed HE HAS DISCHARGED HER! Jump For JoyShe got a couple of stickers and off we went!

We spent the rest of the morning planting out the seedlings. It’s hard work and ye gods it HURTS. Still, we got the purple broccoli, carrots, onions and more curly Kale planted out. Hopefully we will have enough of a crop to share. I also want to be able to give some to the lady from church who gave us the money so we could do this. This is part of Ronan’s Spring study and a photo will go in his little book of seasons.

Spent half the afternoon washing up stuff as the dishwasher is bust. I had forgotten the amount of washing up we can make here.

Iona showed me the photos she took on the 3 day Scout boat trip last week.

It rained for a day and a half but they had wonderful sunshine for the other day and a half.

Iona took this, which I think is lovely.










She took this one too.

Each of them had a job and cleaning out the weed trap had to be done.

This boat is owned by the Council so that children can have a go at this kind of thing. I’m grateful they had this time and they really enjoyed themselves.

Scouts is great for the children. Although here I am again having forgotten to take Ronan to Beavers! *Sigh*.

I need a BIG sign somewhere  I can’t miss it.

Divine Mercy, kindness of others and how home educaters share.

divinemercyHappy Feast of Divine Mercy to you all.

I was struck by a few things in the readings today, not least the fact that as today we concentrate on the words “Jesus I Trust In You” we have the story of Thomas saying he wont believe Jesus has risen until he sees and touches the Lord for himself.

Everyone loves St. Thomas don’t they? He is so like the rest of us.  I guess I have known God too long now to ever stop believing in Him; but there are still times when I wish things were a little more concrete-where I would be happier to believe if I could put my hands on it or see it better.

The other readings were about how the early Church took good care of one another, sharing resources and then the next reading was essentially  saying if you love God you will love the children He gives you and so they will be taken care of.

Sharing in church and home ed.

I think people think families and communities-even Christian ones-don’t bother with all that any more; but yet again this Easter a kind person in church handed us a card with a lot of money enclosed. She isn’t wealthy. She has a large family-grown up- of her own and knows the challenges of bringing up children especially these days. Thanks to this lady we have enough money for the seeds, big basket things and compost we need to grow some veg.

The bloomin’ Review keeps leading to questions of what the Government and LAs should be doing to monitor us and as they want to interfere what financial support we want in return. Most home educaters say “NONE THANKS!” because Government money always comes with nasty strings attached.

But the temptation to take back our money from the Government is muted by the way home education and Church communities work.  WE SHARE. I know I go on about this sometimes, but I think it’s very important. The early Church knew the only way they would ensure widows, slaves and other poorer families survived financially was if those who had more than they needed sold some of it and helped the others out. A lot of it was because the Christians needed to get out of Jerusalem before Jesus’ prophecy came to pass, and of course by 70AD there was hardly a Chrisitan to be found- but there was a sense of ‘we’re all in this together’ that ensured no one was left to struggle alone.

The help we have received from people at church; money, clothes, and offers of help when I was particularly ill have been wonderful. Why hand over your hard earned money to fake charities like the NSPCC when you could help a family in the pew behind?