We have been a UK homeschool for one year!
It has now been a full year since we sent in our letter asking for Faith to be taken off the school register as we would be homeschooling. Faith was in year six at primary school and just about to turn 11. She is now a couple of weeks away from turning 12. If at school she would be in year seven which is the first year of high school in British schools.
What we’ve been learning
It has been a jam-packed year of learning. We use a topic-based model for our UK homeschool. Over the last year the topics which we covered were; emotions, pets, under the sea, Harry Potter, wildlife (nature), autumn, extreme weather and space.
We have been on trips to Southend aquarium, crabbing on the Suffolk coast, and tried out the loosely based Harry Potter (Harry Putter) mini golf. We visited the Ed Sheeran: made in Suffolk exhibit. The whole family had fun at a corn maze and most recently we visited the London Planetarium. We went to a few home education groups in our local area and have made good use of our local library.
So many activities
We have done a lot of art and craft. Cooked things that we had never tried before like pumpkin pie and zucchini bread. We dissected owl pellets and tried our hands at sewing bandanas for the dogs. Conducted lots of experiments and experimented with our chemistry set. We’ve also watched lots of documentaries and educational YouTube videos.
Faith has enjoyed learning about vlogging and more recently our Spanish lessons. For exercise, we have been swimming and on lots of walks. In the summer her dad would take her out for bike rides too. We have worked on math using workbooks and read lots of books which we have also done written work on such as character profiles, debates and poetry.
How we feel
Writing it all out like this actually makes me feel really proud of what we have accomplished over the last year. It has not always been easy. As a parent, we naturally worry. I remember the first weeks that I started homeschooling. I was constantly questioning everything that I was doing as I was so scared that I may be doing the wrong thing.
There was so much to worry about! I was worried about making sure that Faith was being properly educated, worried about what other people thought, worried if I was good enough and capable enough to do it and worried that I may be making things worse for Faith, rather than better.
It is a lot of work, planning out activities and learning things so that I can then teach them to Faith. It also means that we are surviving off one wage which can be really hard too. Add to this the time it takes to keep this blog going and I am one very busy lady! It is so worth it though. Faith has really come out of her shell over the last year.
The best part
Faith is a very passionate cosplayer and she is so confident in herself now. She is happy to go to places like the supermarket in full cosplay and will start recording Tik Tok videos in the isles! People may think that this is odd but I am so happy as it means that she is mentally balanced enough and happy enough to not care what strangers think. She knows what she loves and just goes out and does it. She feels loved and valued at home and she has many friends in the cosplay community. Friends that she has chosen to be friends with, rather than made to be friends at school as they are in the same class.
We have gotten to know each other so well and have grown so much closer. I love the mini person that she is becoming. She has even gone from not really wanting to learn anything to actually asking for extra work to complete in her free time. This nearly made me faint when she asked me as I never thought that she would get to the point of actually wanting to learn!
It is a privilege
I have heard a lot of people talking about their children really suffering at school with anxiety from the pressure of exams, being bullied by other kids or even teachers! I have heard people talk about how their children are shutting down and becoming despondent and I am so grateful that I have been able to homeschool Faith as I know that it not possible for everyone. We have had to make financial and material sacrifices but it is more than worth it in the long run.
I still sometimes worry that I am not good enough, or am not teaching Faith enough but those days are much less now. My husband who although supported what I was doing, was not fully on board at the start has even apologised as he can not believe the positive changes in Faith over the last year. Therefore, I know that at least for now, I am doing the right thing for Faith and our family.
Are you a UK homeschool family? Or is it something that you have been considering? I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions then please ask away.