Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Long Time, No See!

It’s been a while! We have really been immersing ourselves in our home education….so much that each waking minute is maximised! I am writing this as the kids do their Yoga DVD…my only spare moment today, so please forgive the disjointedness and length of this edition.

We have started attending the fortnightly Hobart Home Ed group day and have covered forests, had a special art session with Caroline Amos….. learning contour drawing with coal, cooking lessons and general learning through play for the younger kids (ok…for all the kids!) The kids have a total blast!

Another new addition is gym day! We have the Kingborough gymnasium booked for both kinder gym and gymnastics on a Wednesday morning so I do kinder gym with Vince while Miss Ant does gymnastics in the other half of the gym. It works really well and both kids really love it! Miss Ant grows in confidence physically with each lesson and Vincent just runs non-stop for an hour and a half!

Miss Ant has also started piano lessons. Simply Music, taught by a fellow home Ed mother (which is great because Ant really likes, trusts and respects her). With Simply Music, the kids learn to love and play music before getting stuck into the reading. After 3 lessons, Miss Ant is playing 2 songs already, singing along and truly enjoying it. Once a month the girls all get together and have a piano party (usually on a Tuesday morning) and they have such a great time. Whoever thought…..parties on a school day! One of the top 10 things I love about being at home with my kids is the flexibility and freedom, you just can’t beat it.
 If anyone in Hobart is interested in lessons for their children (Home Ed or not), let me know as I am happy to recommend her :)

Building relationships.  One of the many things we have gained so far through home education is good friends, you know the type that you remember and cherish forever. I see that in both my kids when they interact with others in our group. They make each other gifts prior to ‘playdates’ (bracelets, baking, general nick-nacks they find), gifts that thought and care go into. Which I LOVE! I love going to others houses and taking a little something and it’s nice to see it passed on to the next generation, passed on without any intention to….but very welcomed all the same. They sing together…at the top of the lungs with nothing held back and what I truly love is that they teach each other, no power-over situations – they just simply see a space, and want to fill it. They all take an active interest in ensuring each other learn and understand. This is evident with classical, unschooled and Christian schooled home educated kids, it doesn’t seem to matter what way they are home educated. The girls swap books and discuss each book together, excitedly like they have just read the ultimately BEST book ever! Then they go crazy about what book they will share next with their friends (think teenage girls in a clothing shop, but change that to 7 year olds talking about novels!). The older kids playing football will take the time to help my little man out, they will team up with him and include him in the game. Each time I witness this I am humbled and reminded of how Home Educating my kids is by far the best option for us.

One of our favourite group activities has been Game Day. We hosted the 1st one at our house and it was so much fun! The kids have a new game (which I bought for the sole purpose of learning geography in a fun and interesting way) called ‘The Amazing Mammoth Hunt’ which 3 adults and 6 kids played for about 3 hours! We all learnt something but most importantly we did it while having a good time. Yes, we frequently stopped for nibbles and bursts of running around outside, there was even an explore around the garden and a balloon blowing session all thrown in for good measure. In one morning, 6 primary aged kids (and the 3 adults!) learnt more about the world than a lot learn throughout their entire adolescence.
Home Education is pretty awesome. Antonia lee 

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