Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Be Prepared!

James joined the Beaver Scouts a couple of weeks ago. (A younger version of Cubs). Their motto is 'be prepared'. I've decided to adopt this as my motto too. A few weeks ago I was thinking ahead of the coming year, and what I would like to do differently. I came up with two main thoughts - I would like to be more prepared, not just for home ed, but in many areas of life - domestically, as a parent, as a friend and so on, and I would like to enjoy life more, to laugh more and have more fun. I've been way too serious for way too long - and my kids could certainly do with some cheering up.

So this week has been a week of preparation, getting ready for home education. I know that the boundaries between education and life are not clear cut, as education should permeate all of life. However, we still need a place to work, to create, to play, to talk and read and listen. As we've been having some building work done recently, that has taken a few weeks longer than expected, we are still in a bit of a pickle here in terms of organisation and space. In other words, there is stuff everywhere, and none of it in the right place. So James, having finished school last Friday, has been helping me to sort things out. We've done some housework, some clearing up and some organising (I even had James willingly mopping the floor and doing dishes! Not bad this home education lark!).

The other thing we have had time to do this week is just talk. We have talked about some of the subjects James would like to explore as we spend time learning together in the coming weeks and months. We have talked (mainly me) about our expectations regarding behaviour, and this week we are going to establish the 'rules for a happy home'. I'll share those with you another time. We talked about what a typical week might look like, and decided on a theme for each day, so that we have something to focus on as we plan our work. Again, I'll share those another time. I'm just grabbing five minutes to get some thoughts down on the blog.

So we are looking ahead to next week, our 'official' first week of home educating. And as we do so, we are praying for guidance, enjoying the time and space to think and talk, and excitement is bubbling up as we anticipate the journey we are about to begin!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

We have a date!

For starting home educating, that is. Next week will officially be James's last full week at school. We start on Monday 31st January. Excited!!!!

I had planned for James to finish school a week later, but two things have changed my mind. One is that there hasn't been a day since the new term started that James hasn't dragged his feet of a morning and emphatically declared his hatred for school. I know that he isn't alone in feeling that way, and that isn't by any means our only reason for taking him out of school, but I have witnessed a gradual increase in his reluctance to go to school and his objections have become stronger as the days and weeks have passed. I can't wait to start home educating if only to put an end to the whingeing. (Of course I realise it won't put an end to it really, but it helps me to think that it might).

The other thing is that James came home from school the other day and told me that his teacher had called him a 'lazy child'. Now, I know that James is lots of things, but lazy isn't one of them. He is bright, challenging, daydreamy, quiet, sensitive, distractible, and a bit silly sometimes. But he certainly isn't lazy. And even if he was, I really don't think any child (or person) should be subject to such unhelpful (even borderline abusive) comments. I also don't think that he made it up. He isn't usually given to telling tall tales, and we don't use the word 'lazy' at home at all. He told me when and where it was said and explained the context. I have also witnessed his teacher being less than kind to some of the other children in his class. So I believe him. I am really cross with his teacher.

But I haven't expressed that to anyone (well, apart from you). Instead I have channelled that energy into getting as geared up as possible for our home educating adventures. And I have taken this incident as confirmation that we are doing the right thing for now. The sooner James comes out of that environment, the better.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Another Pound Bites The Dust.

As the title suggests, at my WW weigh-in today I discovered that over the Christmas season I actually lost a pound in weight. Astonishing. Maybe it was all the illness, maybe all the stress, who knows? I have been eating a teensy bit less recently, but haven't done much exercise to speak of. Oh well, I'll take it! And now I start the year with a new determination to succeed at this weight-loss malarky.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Conservatory Update 2: Another Photo.

Unfortunately, the weather and the state of the roads and the availability of concrete and the size of vans and the general attitude of builders and heaps of other things seem to be working against us at the moment, thus delaying the completion of our new conservatory. However, we do now have walls. I am thankful. And I sat in my lounge recently thinking to myself how fortunate we were to be having an extra room built on the back of our already fairly decent-sized house, while some people live in houses half the size of our lounge, with ten children, several grandparents and a few chickens. And a goat. And no toilet. So, again, I am thankful.
Here's a photo: