Monday 25 July 2011

#BritMums Guest Post: Kat from iRant iRave

Hello! I’m Kat, mum to the Wee Man and the Squatter (who’ll be joining us in October) and other half to Moo Boy. I’m originally from Fife and now live in a market town in West Yorkshire. You can normally find an account of our exploits at iRant iRave along with some of my own ramblings on twitter as @katbroon amongst other places. Big thanks to Becky for hosting this post as part of the #BritMumsguestpost and be sure to drop by my blog to read her post about getting children interested in books from the get go.

Right now we’re starting a few new chapters in our lives. We have the arrival of Squatter getting closer and closer and all that entails. And after over a year of reading, research and a lot of soul searching we will be opting to home educate our sons.

We are not so different from you. We go to the supermarket and our local park. We like sweets and lots of things that are bad for us. We eat meat and dairy and have trouble getting our son to eat his five a day. You certainly don’t have to be a crusty hippy type to home educate. Infact more and more people from all walks of life are choosing to educate their family at home and my no means is it a decision that can be taken lightly.

Even with that decision made there are many more to come. Do we prefer the freedom of autonomy or feel that our kids would benefit from the structure of a curriculum? Do we push them hard or support them and follow their lead?

As school pupils neither myself or Moo Boy fulfilled our potential. Bullying, boredom and the inflexibility of the education system pigeonholed us into boxes that didn’t fit and that’s not something we want for our boys. At the same time that makes us entirely responsible for their learning and the opportunities open to them. Scary when I think about it those terms but then I remember instead of being cooped up in a classroom my boys will be able to spend their afternoons at Construction Club (lego and the likes) or learning how to build a fire in the woods safely which is a tad more useful in life than theoretical maths but then again they could do both if they wish.

Right now though the pressure is off. Technically the Wee Man’s official education does not commence until the first term after his fifth birthday. Before then we can plan and explore what will work for us as a family and explore the vast range of HE activities that happen throughout West Yorkshire and beyond.

Until then we carry on as normal. Helping the Wee Man answer the questions that pop into his head (What is blood for? Why do we have a recycling bin?), giving him the opportunity to learn what he wants (this week he’s started doing addition and subtraction in his head) and letting him play with cars, trains, mud, sticks and all the other things that little boys like to do.

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