Thursday, 22 November 2012

Learning At Home.

Roman train

Maybe it's a little twee of me to say so (even though I've thought this one thoroughly through) but we decided a very long time ago that we'd home school our children. I can still remember questioning Bryan on this, to gauge his response first.

Me to Bryan: "What do you think of home schooling?"

Bryan: "I knew someone who was home schooled and they were a bit strange. If you were going to do it, you'd need to socialise A LOT."

Since then we've discovered a lot more about learning at home/home schooling. We've discovered children who are currently being home schooled, adults who were home schooled and parents who home school/ed. I've also discovered I don't want to do anything other than that, where it's possible. But sometimes I wonder if it's really what I want to sign up for, you know? It's a huge responsibility and while I have the education, intelligence, experience and common sense to back up my choice the responsibility of home schooling my child terrifies me from time to time.

Choo choo

If we were doing what a majority of people do in this area then Roman would be enrolled in nursery right now. I'm not confident of the nurseries in this area so he hasn't been enrolled. It's not mandatory and it's not even expected, it's just what people 'do.' I myself wasn't nursery educated, I went straight to school from home and I feel no negativity from that experience whatsoever. I know I'm me and that I can't simply justify my choices for Roman through my own life experiences but I'd rather have him here, playing and learning, than send him to a nursery with a sub-standard record. I've had various work experiences from nurseries and I can say one thing: what they do at home is no different to what they do in nursery - or rather the tasks I did with the nursery children is really no different to the activities I'm doing with Ro. The only difference seems to be numbers; more children, more adults, more social interaction. Not all of that is good or positive interaction but who wants their child to grow up in a bubble, right?

Well I spend a great deal of time researching various groups we can attend that will provide that social stimulus for Roman and now he's at an age where he can form friendships and have other children around for play times I feel it's important to be out there, making connections socially - for both of us.  

R + R

Today, however, was spent learning various letters and more specifically; the spelling of Roman's name. I tried in vain to get him to copy my r's (I even did a join-the-dots 'r' for him) but he wasn't interested and instead scribbled all over my writing ;). He had a lot more fun - and less frustrations - with the name train my mum bought him when he was a few months old. 

"Arrr," I'd say to him. "Arrrr!" he'd repeat back and so on until I could point at an individual letter and he'd tell me what it was. "And what does that spell?" I'd ask once he'd completed telling me each letter. "ROMAN! ATT'S MA NAME!" he squealed in delight then picked up the 'a' and told me, very happily, "Att's a 'eh'!" Now I know...some kids learn their alphabets before they hit 2 but Roman's strong points seem to be in numbers. He loves telling me the volume of things and he loves to count. We go through numbers every single day and I'm finding that it's improving my cloudy brain - numbers? Not my favourite. I deal better with words.  

Roman loves books, he loves learning about dinosaurs, meerkats, panda bears, he loves visual lessons where he can be very involved and included and he loves to help in everything we do. Today I realised I can let go of my huge fear of educating my child from our home because although it won't be easy and I'm sure I'll get stuff wrong I'm really looking forward to learning, changing and growing by his side. I'm excited.