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Blog revamp

Eek, tried to be clever and change the theme of my blog and it’s all gone a bit wrong! Anyway…I’ve made a new ‘page’ from my last post about home educating in Gloucestershire, and it can be found on the top now.  I’ve expanded it to include local resources for a range of subjects.  Hopefully it will be of some help to people starting out in Home Ed locally.

Would love to know your thoughts 🙂

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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Home Educating in Gloucestershire

A growing number of people are turning to Home Education in our neck of the woods.  Very exciting!  Here is a list of links I usually share with friends who ask for some pointers when starting out in HE:

Yahoo groups to join (ONLY if you are HEing or thinking of HEing):

– GlosHomeEducators, is a group for those HEing or thinking of HE, in Gloucestershire to share events, activities, links or ask for local help! To subscribe send an email to: gloshomeeducators-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

– TuffleyHomeEducationGroup, is a group to discuss and advertise activities at Tuffley Home Ed group that runs twice a month in Gloucester.  To subscribe send an email to TuffleyHomeEducationGroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk

– EarlyYearsHE is a national HE forum for parents of children under 8yrs, to exchange ideas, resources, and ask thought provoking questions!  To subscribe send an email to EarlyYearsHE-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Websites to visit for initial HE information:

The Muddle Puddle site is a good starting point as a source of information on different educational philosophies, books, resources etc.

Education Otherwise charity, supported by subscriptions from Home Educators, has membership contact lists, and lots of templates for school deregistration letters etc. Good resource, but debatable politics behind it.

Home Education UK – useful legal information and starting point.

Websites to visit for inspiration and ideas:

I personally find blogs written by other home educators a great source of information and ideas! This is blog ring is a good starting point, and each blog usually has a list of other blogs worth following, so surf away!

This is a new list on an unschooling blog of ofher unschooling blogs, which might make an interesting read!

My newest find is Pinterest, I’m accumulating a nice list of HE activities on my boards!

Actual Education links…!

Education City offers online access to literacy, maths, science and language games. Can recommend, and am signed up to a year’s subscription for my 2 eldest.

Reading Eggs is the first reading-type scheme my 6 yr old has ever embraced…have even been impressed enough to take out a subscription!

Toy Theater has a range of FREE educational games, which my 4 yr old loves.

Local resources:

Gloucestershire Resource Centre, or Scrapstore, where with annual membership you have access to their warehouse of goodies!

At Bristol – fantastic hands-on science centre.

National Trust – there is a home educators discount on annual family membership, provided it is only used in weekday termtimes.

English Heritage – if visit is booked in advance, will provide free access to their sites to Home Educators.

I think I’ve missed quite a few things off this list, so will keep adding to it if that’s ok?!

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

So…how did you break it to your parents?

Having spoken to lots of families thinking of taking the Home Education route, among the many questions, and thoughts, the main one is how to persuade a father round to the mother’s way of thinking 😉  Another big leap is breaking the decision to your own parents. Some people have lovely supportive families from the off, others have to persuade their’s round, some just never understand!

So…how did you break it to your parents?  Did you take the defensive, with arguments/statements ready to play?

What did you find hardest in starting your journey into home education? Was the decision easy to make?

 

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The great outdoors

Being outdoors seems to really suit us all at the moment.  The monster baby seems to need huge amounts of exercise daily, and can be a total pain in the early evening if he hasn’t had his exercise fix! I’m finding more and more that E is happiest outdoors. She loves exploring nature, meeting minibeasts, climbing trees, watching birds make their nests.  It calms her down, and gives her space to be with friends, or play on her own as it suits her.

Need to invest in some spotters guides.  Any recommendations?  I let often let the side down by not knowing what tree/bird/insect we’re looking at!

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Nature, Uncategorized

 

Going car free

The subconscious wave of thoughts on car free living from our lovely green friends has obviously had more impact that we thought!

Financially, things came to a crux this week, and something had to give.  We’ve tried cutting back on most things: bills, food shopping etc, but we took a long hard look at where our money goes, and it turns out that about a quarter of our monthly income gets poured into our car. <gulp>

I did some sums, and taking into account petrol, car insurance, car maintenance, car loan <groan>, car tax, over the 3 month period Mar-May we would be spending about £1200.  That’s £1200 I could really do with spending somewhere else!!

I presented these thoughts to B the other night, and sat up late talking it out, and by the end of it we could totally see all the positives to this change.  The thought of all the extra exercise we would all be getting, the money saving, and the change of attitude we would need towards our travel arrangements.

We don’t live slap, bang in the middle of the city centre, but we have pretty good bus links from where we live to most other places nearby.  Plus there is a new car club that has been set up here, so when we do *really* need to get somewhere that public transport can’t take us, there is another way!  For our summer camping trips we will have to probably fork out for a hire car, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!!

I had a think through all the places we *need* to get to every week, and they can all be done by walking, cycling (the girls have their own bikes, and the boy goes in a baby seat on mine), or by bus.  We’ve been venturing outdoors into local woodland, and other such wildernesses recently, so they are going to be more tricky to do, but am going to have to get creative on that!  Worst case, we hire the car club car for a few hours so that we can do stuff like that.

I’ve done a quick budget for transport without a car over 3 month period: bus pass – around £150 (I will have to pay for me and E, who is over 5yrs), car club hire approx 4hrs per week@£5p/hr – £240, one weekend hire – approx £300.  I’ve way overestimated the car club hire, and it’s still halved our transport costs.

Well we spent the weekend cleaning the car outside and in, and have now put it on local free ad sites.  Tomorrow’s job is to put some signs up in the car windows, and get this thing going! If you can think of where else to advertise it, let me know!!

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Libraries and books :-)

We love books, and visit the library about once a month, taking a huge stock back with us, then usually end up taking them back overdue – oops!

H, aged 4, reads her stash every night we have them before bed.  By the time they go back she knows at least one of her books by heart, and I inevitably end up buying a copy because its become part of the family!  Last month’s was Tiddler by Julia Donaldson and Axel Schaeffler.  Interestingly, not all of her stash become favourite’s, some are just always pushed to the bottom of the pile.  What makes a good book?

H’s current haul consists:

  • The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear – interestingly illustrated version with a new verse at the end
  • I want my Mum by Tony Ross – a little princess book
  • …I’m going to have to go and look at the rest of the pile to remember, so you can see which 2 have become favourites in the 3 weeks we’ve had them!
H has latched onto other Edward Lear books before, there’s one about a hat and a tree?  Just found it, ‘The Quangle Wangle’s Hat’.  Anyway, there is something about the dreamy words, and the rhyming that really appeals to her.  We have read this every single night for 3 weeks, and she’s got a bit funny when E has tried to borrow it, so its definitely in the ‘keeper’ category! She likes joining in with the repeated last line of the verse “and they danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon…they danced by the light of the moon”.
I’m not quite sure about the appeal of the little princess books, but H seems to like the repetition, and recognising the emotions of the princess and asking endless questions about it all!
Already this morning H has read 2 books to the monster baby L:  The little princess book and Tiddler.  Lovely stuff 🙂
 
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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Literacy, Uncategorized

 

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Utterance to treasure

Blog neglected again, needless to say.

Just came on to note down something my Granny said to me last night when I went to visit her in hospital.

I was telling her about going to Westonbirt Arboretum in the glorious sunshine we’ve had this week, and she said that she wanted to live to 100, actually, more than 100 (her words!), so that she could see how my children turn out.  She said we win hands down on making the most of the weather when everyone else is stuck in the classroom, and my kids are at an age when they should be immersed in nature.

Praise indeed from a former primary school teacher!

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Uncategorized