Aka minion 2..
So as I said in my previous post he decided to come out of school just before Christmas…he’d had a period of bullying and although he held his own etc it was beginning to wear him down. So I gave him the couch to stay in school (year 8) or to finish the term and start 2016 fresh.
He decided to start a fresh…so for me panic mode set in a little. 2 main reasons. .the boy needs structure to his day… he’s not self motivated so needs direction.. which meant more work for me. The second reason Exams! I thought I had at least 7 more years before Lil…needed to start contemplating exams and I’d done no research…
So first things first we had a cha about what we wanted out of Home Ed for him and I typical teenage no committal style I was give a shoulder shrug and the utterance of “dunno”.
So I decided we’d get Christmas out of the way… a few weeks of not doing much really and some gentle nudging but still the answer was the same. Now the boy is a very intelligent person and given an inch he’d take a mile. ..so after a month of non committal we had a sit down and the law was laid that Home Ed was not an easy way out. .I expected him to learn.
Tyrant I hear you scream… maybe but unschooling doesn’t suit our family…Nor does formal sat down lessons from noon till night..so we decided on semi structure..a list of subjects he was intetested in…mornings for work. .afternoons for informal stiff like Home Ed groups. .science experiments..museum visits etc. .
But we mainly did alot of this at first…
School had made him so closed off…and in my occupation with life I’d lost a connection with him… as sad as it is to admit I didn’t know him as well as I thought. .not due to lack of care but because school robs you of a bloody big chunk of your child’s life… as babies and toddlers and young children we know every flip of a mood, we know when a cuddle is needed when independance is required..but slowly as our children grow and they enter the education system new rules are adhered to… they stop playing..stop being the wondrous, inquisitive child they were.. stop being independant but instead asking if they’re “allowed” with every move they make..I think for the first month it drove me mad ..watching him flounder. Unsure. As in school every move is dictated to them..free thought and initiative are eroded. .its been 10 months and it’s only just receeded.
By the end of march we had a list of topics he was intetested in
Maths – which he loves. English language and literature.
Maths and English language are non negotiable as his aspiration is to eventually go to University he’d need both no matter the direction of study he chooses.
Japanese language (love of all things magna.)
History – Greece and Greek Mythology followed by British History.
So 4 basic subjects to be getting on with interdespersed with theatre visits, art, science, museum visits, forest school and rock climbing..
I did get in touch with Home Ed friendly colleges in the area who the previous years had taken on Home Educated children with provision of the 14-19 curriculum. But after many phone calls and emails those colleges would not be doing so again as basically they got more funding allowing pupils from schools to access the provision. Needless to say I was pissed…
Then I heard on the Facebook pages that exams were changing from A*-G to 1-9..content was changing, exam structure etc. ..which is a big arse ache…I didn’t want him to be sitting exams that had not been sat before..so after another chat he decided that he’d like to sit his GCSE Maths and GCSE English language whilst he still could on the old system..
So mornings are pretty much spent doing this….
Afternoons are spent doing this…..
He loves rock climbing. He hates team sports. He’s always been more of a gamer, reader, but with leaving school I wanted him to get some physical activity, so after some convincing he said yes to try Rockclimbing at Littl lady’s Home Ed Rock climbing session, and he too to it like a duck to water. A few weeks back I signed him up for the Nibas award and he’s already completed his level 1 award and is working towards level 2.. Last lesson he managed a level 5 climb – he looks forward to climbing. So for someone who hated sport I’m so proud of him, but more than that it’s a comfort to see his confidence grow. Each acheivement, his self belief grows and thats more important to me than any award.
And I’ve recently decided to stop procrastinating and started to reachout to local Universities and access their schools outreach programmes to organise workshops. Next week we’ll be attending an archaeology dig in association with Salford University’s Archaology department.
This is mainly due to me having to work and not being able to attend activities arranged on those days I work..I didn’t want minion 2 and 3 to miss out…so I had to start reaching out and organising activities … one being a weekly teen Home Edcuation meet up in the city centre.
It has been fabulous for him to connect with others in his age group in a more informal setting. Those attending range from a mature 12 – 16.. they can actually sit chat, play games, do nothing, head of in groups into the city centre to shop and hangout. …….its just a space for them to hopefully build friendships that are not forced upon them..
So much is done for younger children within the Home Ed community that the older age group tends to get a little negelected. It’s nice for them to have a meet/space just for them..
So that’s a condensed version of Home Ed life with the boy so far…