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.

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