(Not) back to school – home education planning with The Range.

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Back to School with The Range

August. Hot days, but cool evenings, time for another camping holiday, and suddenly, all the shops including the Range are full of back to school displays, and parents are wondering where the summer went and how long the queue for shoe fittings is going to be.

But not all children go back to school. Or even to school in the first place. We’ve been home educating, this time around, for 7 years. While Big did choose to go into school age 15 last September, she’s so far the only one to take the plunge, and this year I’ll have Small, Smallest and Tigerboy all at home with me for their education.

The law in the UK requires parents to ensure that their children, once compulsory school age, receive an education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude and any special needs they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. We’re definitely in the otherwise category 😉

We don’t do lesson plans and school around the kitchen table, although I know families who do. We tend more to the child led and interest driven approach, although I do like to ensure that the basic of maths/ english are covered in a fairly formal way. This means that there’s no such thing as a typical day here. I often start with a craft or art activity after breakfast for the younger two – this could be drawing based around a favourite picture book or art manual, or we might go out in the garden with a science experiment, or do some gardening or baking.

There are also plenty of trips out – Colchester Zoo once a month for their free workshops (you do have to pay the normal entry fee , roller skating and softplay down the road, science classes with fellow home educators, or guitar group. Trips to the beach feature quite highly, and of course there are our regular reenactment activities, with camping thrown in for free.

Colchester Zoo penguin

physical education at the beach

kentwell camping

None of this stops me browsing stationery – in fact, we probably go through more notebooks and sketchpads than most, given everything is done at home. Smallest is coming up 7 this time, and she does like a plan, so I’m thinking some slightly more organised project style work this year will go down well, starting with a body project as I can bring Tigerboy in on that on his level as well. (He would start in reception if he were going to school, but he’s not compulsory school age, so not actually technically home educated yet. I don’t mark a formal start to education though, so he’s just been included in everything we do to whatever extent he wants to be.) So I was rather pleased with this Grafix set I picked up from the Range, and yes, I topped up our sketchbook and notebook heap too. (We have the Stabilo early writing set for each of them. I like the way the pens have guide holds on them for right or left handers – Smallest is left handed and has found pencil grips hard.)

body project Grafix from the Range

sketchbooks and left handed pens

And now that I’ve done my bit of orgoplanning, I think I’m really looking forward to September. There’s something about an inviting new pile of stationery that just makes you want to dive in, isn’t there?

Are you looking forward to September/back to school, in whatever form that takes?

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