I’m Jo, my husband Kriss and I have two girls Evie (6) and Clara (4). We’re a British family who moved to Washington state on the West coast of the US in November (terrible timing).
How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?
Neither of the girls have been to school, although Evie did go to pre school for a while. I was a teacher and saw so many things I didn’t like about the education system. It’s something we thought about from when Evie was a baby, but it seemed a bit scary. We wanted freedom of creativity and individuality and we didn’t want the really structured learning that school offers; we properly decided when our eldest was two and we’re really happy we have.
Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?
We’re unschoolers, which can look like a lot of different things, but our weeks are usually a mix of going out to interesting places, meeting friends, lots of playing, reading books, watching TV, playing on the iPad and doing lots of art. None of us like much structure, so we don’t tend to plan too much in advance. At the moment we have a couple of classes they’ve chosen (gymnastics and ballet), and we usually have a home ed trip (this week we have a pretzel making workshop and a zoo trip) booked once a week or every other week, but other than that we usually like our time to be flexible.
What was your highlight of home ed last week?
We saw a play (Charlie and the Chocolate factory) performed by teenagers, at a free home ed day. We got to meet the cast afterwards. That was pretty great, and the resulting singing of the soundtrack for the rest of the week was also wonderful.
What is your favourite thing about home edding your children?
There’s so much I love. I love that they they to learn in a way that suits them; that they get to meet so many different people and make lots of friends; that they are able to be individuals; that they can enjoy being outside as much as they like; that they have lots of time together and I love seeing how much they love each other; the amount of time to play; and that I get to spend so much time with them too.
What do you find most difficult and why?
I think the difficulties are those that all parents feel regardless of how their kids are educated – being tired, trying to be patient, wanting the occasional day off, hoping we’re being enough for them.
What advice would you give to other home educators?
The same thing I have to stop and remind myself regularly – listen to your kids and remember they don’t need to learn everything they need to know today, or tomorrow, or by the time they reach an arbitrary age. There’s time, enjoy it.
You can read more about their home ed adventures here…