My name is Victoria, I am 29 years old. I am wife to the husband who is 38 years old and we have three boys and a baby bump. Our children are Pudge,6 , Bean,4 and Bod, 13 months. They aren’t just the nicknames we use for our blog nearly everyone calls them by their nicknames.
How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?
We have home educated since September 2015 when Pudge would have started school but he didn’t. Goodness there are so many reasons we decided to home ed it would fill a book, so to stop you all getting bored I’ll stick to a few. Firstly Pudge did not settle at nursery. We started him when he was 3. I was very uneasy about it but everyone else was sending their kids at three and I was repeatedly told it would be good for him so we sent him. Every day he cried. Once he was screaming for me with a nursery nurse physically holding him as she told me to go and I did go. I went even though every inch of me felt like it was wrong and when I look back I want to cry I did that. I was repeatedly told he would be fine and it was normal.
In the end he stopped going every day because neither of us could face the heart ache then one day a nursery nurse said to me, “You have to bring him, even if he is upset or he’s won.” Won what? I thought. The right to be with his family where he feels safe? So we took him out.
Then when he was four, again being told by other people it was what was best for him we tried a different nursery. This time Pudge handled the separation better but even after being told about his allergies on the second day the nursery gave him mushrooms then didn’t apologise to me when he got ill. So we took him out of there.
Finally we tried a very highly praised forest school nursery. To be fair it was an excellent nursery but pudge wouldn’t settle and by then through the internet I had started to find out about home ed and I no longer felt like I had to force him into a situation he wasn’t happy with so he went less and less until we stopped going. As soon as I decided what we were going to do and stopped trying to do what other people said I should be doing we were all loads happier.
The other reasons include not wanting to live by someone elses time table, how schools are so controlling and like a dictator ship nowadays, bullying, the fact the husband and I had bad times at school and learn naff all we have needed in adult life, wanting our children to have happy free child hoods, wanting the children to grow up as close as can be and not wanting the government to raise our children and see them more than us etc…
Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?
We are very relaxed as the children are only young. Sometimes we follow a topic, like we just did egyptians and sometimes the children ask to do something. The only thing I make pudge do is reading and maths but I keep it at a level that he is comfortable with, we don’t do nearly as much as he would be at school.
We do lots of crafts, lego, tuff spot messy play, indoor dens, games and baking in winter and we do lots of allotment time, tramping fields, parks, dens, playing outside with friends and riding bikes in the summer. We are mostly autonomous I’d say. Our weeks are very easy, the only thing that keeps us aware of days of the week is the clubs the kids go to and the days the husband works.
On Monday it’s lego club, Tuesday it’s beavers for Pudge, Thursday it’s the childrens centre group, Friday it’s youth club and Sunday it’s Sunday school. As well as that, they have some home ed friends and friends on the street they play with. We find they have lots more friends and interests than me and the husband did at that age at school.
What was your highlight of home ed last week?
When we met my favourite home ed mum and her boys and went for a walk down the local nature reserve. It was the first time we had been out in three days because of waiting for a very unreliable firm to bring my new cooker so we all had cabin fever and were so ready to come out. It was great watching the kids getting covered in mud, playing with sticks and wading through the stream instead of cooped up in a class room. Moments like that reassure me we are doing the right thing. Plus I got to have an actual adult conversation, which was amazing, haha.
What is your favourite thing about home edding your children?
Just the amount of time I get to spend with them. How I get to see every phase and treasure every second. Plus I love seeing how close the kids are, even though they squabble, because share everything and weren’t separated at an early age.
What do you find most difficult and why?
I’m not going to lie, some days are hard. Some days no one listens, they just fight and I get overwhelmed and have to remind myself why I’m doing this and that even if I got a break I’d miss them as soon as they were gone. But the good days out weigh the bad and it doesn’t matter what you are doing there will be crap days and fantastic days.
What advice would you give to other home educators?
Don’t worry about negative people and their opinions, there is a reason you were drawn to home ed and nobody has better intentions for your children then you do. Also go with the flow, enjoy it and don’t compare yourselves to others.
I started a blog because it was reading home ed blogs that really helped me make the decision to home ed. I don’t that have that many people I can talk to about home ed in my every day life and I’ve found the support from it amazing. This is my blog facebook page Home Educating The Mad Lads if anyone would like to connect with me.