Little Star Homeschool

"Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each." Plato

We went into town today to fetch ink cartridges for the printer. We usually go to to town on Thursday, so Robert kept asking if it was Thursday. He had already established earlier on this morning that it was Saturday because we had already been for our regular Saturday lunchtime drink at our local. All became clear when we got to town, it was much busier and the market was different.

First stop in town was the remainder book shop who had little to offer in the way of new titles, just picked up some gel pens, pencils and paint brushes. We then headed for Ottakers where Robert chose a new Kipper book, Kipper's Monster and then carried the bag himself very carefully until we got on the bus.

After we read Kipper I tried the new pens, jotting down a few words to see if he recognised anything. So far he can read cat, next, his own name, mummy and daddy. I wanted to see if he could read a word on its own without a picture prompt. He can and I'm so proud. He is also much relieved we have ink in the printer again so he can print everything on the CBeebies website...again *sighs*

" We're not trying to do "School at Home." We're trying to do homeschool. These are two entirely different propositions. We're not trying to replicate the time, style or content of the classroom. Rather we're trying to cultivate a lifestyle of learning in which learning takes place from morning until bedtime 7 days each week. The "formal" portion of each teaching day is just the tip of the iceburg. " Steve and Jane Lambert

Makes you think, doesn't it. This sums up where we are coming from rather well.

Being a fan of Steiner I wandered around a few sites and noticed this system being adopted by homeschoolers, the montessori method which I had looked at before is also popular. Before I went any further I realised that adopting established sytems for educating a child defeats the object of homeschooling. My thoughts take me onward to a free-range education, wholly eclectic and completely child-led.

We visited Robert's Nana yesterday, thats my mum. We mentioned homeschooling some time ago, maybe last year and she has of course taken the opposite stance. Now he is nearing school age she is laying on the pressure to send him to school. She says school is great, school is good, Robert will do well etc., she is unable to think outside of the box and because I am a free thinker we have always clashed horribly on the big issues. She cannot understand my concerns about the state of the education system, I think this is a bit rich considering she taught me more at home at the weekends and in the holidays than my teachers could. She often joked she could have been a teacher but she was and never realised it. All parents teach to a greater or lesser degree.
Unfortunately she believes that because Robert is bright he will thrive. However, Robert's step-brother is equally intelligent and found school boring, limiting and far from stimulating. Schools must teach to the average abilities of the class and spend too much time on crowd control thus bright pupils are ignored if not dumbed down.

We are setting out on a new journey, Robert is 3 going on 4 and as bright as any star. We want to home educate him. We believe this is our right as parents and that we are making the only choice in light of recent educational reforms here in the UK. To quickly fill you in in case you are unaware, our schools are introducing drugs testing and resident police officers. Its all league tables and Ofsted, issues and agendas. I gave birth to a child, a person, an individual not a number, statistic nor a victim. We want Robert to succeed and above all to be confident, fulfilled and happy. Can school meet his needs? Robert also has eczema, he is presently unaware of its potential impact on his standing amongst his peers, can any school guarantee he won't be bullied because of it?

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