It is one month since the summer term started without our little lady at her junior school, and time to take stock at how things are working out for us at home (or mainly in the great outdoors!). There is no doubt we have had a lot of fun, all three children are more relaxed and happy, and there are less parent/child stressful moments (we are still normal, the stressful moments are still there, but do not dominate the day like before), and life seems to roll and fit together in a more fluid manner. However, although there are days when you think to yourself, “yes, I’ve definitely got this covered”, there are days and moments too when the sheer enormity of what you are doing can overwhelm you. Rightly or wrongly, the boys are not so much on my radar at the moment, and we continue to dabble with reading and writing, and generally just having fun as it would be with 2 four year olds at home. With our little lady though, who has had nearly four years of formal education, and is a bright inquisitive little number (thank goodness for Google that I take quite a few sneaky peaks at to help find the answers sometimes!), I often doubt my ability that I will be able to stimulate her and learn with her about the world and its strange ways. On these occasions, I try and just focus on the day in hand, and try and shut off the bigger picture in an attempt to get the feeling of being overwhelmed, and not doing the right thing by her, under control. I also definitely feel like I am living in a state of constant chaos too, with glitter, random insects and plant samples all over the kitchen table, as well as having the mess three children 24/7 bring 🙂 Oh and the noise…………well at least it’s happy, interspersed with tuneless hearty singing!
In general things have gone pretty well so far. There have been no regrets from the little lady or voiced wishes about anything school based, from classes, to friends (she misses them but we seem to be doing enough to satisfy her needs), to other activities such as school discos or films. She has thrived being outdoors so much, and her gentle, happy, bossy demeanour is back, which is what I hang on to in moments of panic! I need to get into the habit of getting to the local Home Education monthly meets. These will be good for me (reassurance, tips, and advice), and good for the children (socialisation). However, due to prior booked haircuts and sunny days (which we took advantage of to be out all day as very rare!), we haven’t made them yet. I am reading their Facebook updates and messages every day though, and love knowing there are others close by doing the same things, with similar feelings, and using them for advice.
Today we have had another lovely day, catching up with ourselves at home due to the dodgy weather. Our little lady did some Maths and English first thing, before she wrote a letter to Blue Peter applying for her green badge as she is certainly doing her bit for nature and conservation, as well as enjoying nature. Then after collecting resources on an hour’s dog walk, we spent a relaxed afternoon doing nature art and craft. A tired Mamma heading off to bed, but despite all the noise, chaos, and hard work, TV consumption has dropped to under an hour a week for the boys, and none for our little lady (they have a little at choir and ballet), due to children that can entertain themselves and play a lot better, and being more settled in life generally 🙂