Homeschooling Harry (a bit)

For a while now, Harry’s been asking to do lots of “schoolwork” at home. Not homework so much (although he’s been fine with doing that), but more things like “Can we learn more about the Vikings?” “Can we learn more about Mary Seacole?” So we’ve visited museums and looked stuff up online and got books out of the library, but there was never really enough time.

I’d been idly thinking about homeschooling for a while – I love the idea of being more flexible, of Harry being able to follow his interests rather than what the (overstuffed) curriculum thinks he should be interested in… My oldest friend, Angela, homeschools her two and they all love it (and the children are brilliant), plus I’ve never forgotten a homeschooling family I met years ago when I worked at Waterstones. They’d come in to buy books about Japan because the kids had seen a film that had piqued their interest in it and they were following it up (I think that was the first time I realised that if you homeschooled you could do what you want, you didn’t have to follow the curriculum).

But, of course, I couldn’t homeschool full time. I’ve got Joe. I’ve got books to write. I’ve got Twitter. Plus Harry absolutely loves school and loves his friends.

Thinking about this one day, I wondered if it was possibly to homeschool part time. Of course I asked Twitter and had my answer within minutes: Flexischool. I read about it and decided it sounded ideal. I talked to David and he liked the idea. I talked to Harry and he loved the idea. I mentioned it to Harry’s teacher expecting her to roll her eyes, but she was immediately enthusiastic. She said she thought it was a brilliant idea, would do Harry the world of good and added “He’s such a little love, I’m not surprised you want him at home more” which made me well up. The next step was getting it past the Head and the LEA and they were also, I was quite surprised to find, supportive.

So today was the first day. Plans were all in place. David was on a late, so we were going to drop Joe at preschool, drop David at work and then me and Harry would go and get to work in a cafe. (I figured for the first day, we’d be better off out of the house.) We drove to preschool only to find it had been broken into last night and so was shut. Best laid plans, eh? We’ve still managed to get stuff done, but it hasn’t been quite as organised as I’d hoped. Roll on next week…

I’m going to try to blog about it here since a few people have already mentioned they’d be interested to know how I get on and it also means I’ll have a record of what we’ve done in case the school or the LEA is ever interested. And Harry’s also going to be keeping his own blog: Stainto School (he’s going to update it tomorrow, he says).

18 thoughts on “Homeschooling Harry (a bit)

  1. This sounds brilliant! I didnt know you could do this. My two boys are only starting (next sept one will be in year 1 and the other in reception, but I am keeping this in mind for the future and will be following your journey with great interest.

  2. Until seeing you mention this on Twitter I never knew you could do a bit of both, I’ve known children who were being home schooled and absolutely thriving on it so I’m really interested to watch your Flexischool journey (and Harry’s account of it too).

  3. I love this idea, I felt like I didn’t get enough time to properly try out homeschooling when we travelled. I couldn’t do it full time, but part time would suit us I think. I shall be very interested to see how you get on.

  4. Good luck, Keris! I’ve heard the phrase flexi-schooling and I’ve gone on a forum (natural mamas) where plenty of members are doing just that, but it’s hard to get a sense of what goes on, how it really works, the stresses and advantages, etc – so I can’t want to see how you guys get on! Will be reading with interest. x

  5. I was home schooled from year 3-6 and loved it -it’s great having freedom to learn and teach yourself what you want. 🙂 good luck, I hope everything goes well and that Harry enjoys it! X

  6. I had no idea you could do this. How do you fit in all the bits of the curriculum Harry misses when he’s not at school? What about SATs? I just think it’s fantastic that, whatever the answers, everyone’s being so supportive, because it sounds instinctively right. I can’t wait to follow your progress online, both of you. I’m sure you’ll have fun. Good luck!

  7. How incredible to find your blog today .. just as I was wondering whether this was possible! We have a Harry too! He is in Y2 and it has been a bit of a diaster as he doesn’t get on with his teacher (nor do I!) tho the school is lovely. We heard yesterday that our daughter has got a place to start at the school in Reception in Sept and then we have our littlest who has just turned 2! Flexischooling Harry would be ideal! He is bright ahead of his age in many areas but held back by delayed fine motor skill development which has meant occupational therapy and some help with phonological processing .. he is catching up physically but I feel he senses he is ‘behind’ in some areas, and is definitely frustrated!

    I’ll be watching with great interest – and chatting to my hubby too … Best of luck with it – and have lots of fun!

  8. I am so intrigued by this and how it all goes. I have never heard of homeschooling in the UK before. Do you have to show the school what you do with your time?

  9. We homeschool and love it. This is our 7th year now. I wish our district would do flexi-schooling so my DD could take advantage of a few courses, but they don’t. Overall, the public school system has been a let-down.

    I am sure you and Harry will have a splendid time together…Harry’s enthusiasm is a huge plus.

    I found this free e-book about homeschooling. It was written by homeschooling families for new homeschooling families. It is comprehensive without being overwhelming.

    Best wishes,
    My Attempt at Blogging
    Quaint Scribbles and 3 D Learners

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