Happy New Year…or Gott Nytt År!! 2016 has seen a huge amount of change for our not so little family, and lots of adventures. It was about 2 weeks into January when we took the momentous decision to home educate our children. Our daughter was just starting her second term of junior school and we were to hear any day about the twins infant school places for September, when Dadda and I suddenly realised, we don’t have to put our children through this just because that’s what is conventional and what everyone else does! Our mini men were thriving in their forest school environment, learning well (and enjoying it), whereas our little lady was becoming a shadow of herself rather fast. When our 7 year old beautiful, full of life, school loving daughter moved to junior school, we had prepared ourselves for the increase in learning tempo. However, what we were not prepared for was watching our creative, nature loving daughter almost shrivel up with school and begin to dread each school day. She loved to write stories, paint, create, and make, but access to these pleasures was reduced. Well, virtually non-existent. She always worked hard and therefore did well at maths and English, and anything else that was put her way, but there was no place for her own talents, abilities, and interests to be nurtured. Then there are our 2 beautiful twin boys that are always going to be round pegs in square holes with the educational system in the UK, preferring to do most of their learning by any physical means available and preferably outdoors covered in mud! I wasn’t exactly looking forward to having all three in school, but I’d be lying to say after nearly 5 years of looking after twins plus an older one full time (and our boys are fairly intense mainly due to the speed they move at, and my friends can testify they are rather good escape artists!), that I hadn’t been looking forward to a bit of a breather! However, it turns out it was probably the best decision we have ever made as parents. Within weeks, our little lady was back to herself, enjoying playing outdoors, enjoying playing with her toys and using her imagination, doing arts and crafts whenever she felt like it, not exhausted for no apparent reason, her mysterious “spinny heads” had gone, and the icing on the cake….she got to do forest school too!!
Due to now home schooling and having no commitments on a day to day basis, we spent the next 7 months having some amazing adventures….with all 3 little people. We spent most of our time outdoors, in all weathers, and we were able to go with the flow much more, which again suited all three of them. There was no hurrying resistant twins up in the morning, there was no awkward hour between school and supper where all three raged war and were monkeys, life was a lot more settled in general.
Unfortunately, at the end of June we lost out Border Collie, Jack. He was 12.5 years old, and had gone through a lot in his little life…he was very accident prone and his insurance certainly proved its worth! He also went from being our baby, to adjusting to life with one baby, and then a pair of twins! He loved them dearly, followed them around, and generally found his purpose as the under table hoover. He was a gorgeous, very unique, and very loving dog, and I miss him a lot.
Then we made a huge life changing move, by uprooting our whole family to Sweden. It has been a long ambition of Dadda’s and mine to live in Scandinavia, and especially having children made us want to do it all the more. We wanted our children to experience an upbringing based on the outdoors, an education with less emphasis on tests, a society that ensures children get to be children and a lot of emphasis on play, a culture where letting children take risks is normal, and where meatballs are in great supply 😉 !!!!
So, quite a few big changes in 2016, and I am going to leave you with some photos of our highlights 🙂