Thursday, 3 September 2009


"Do you have a special room where you do all your schooling?"

First of all, we don't do schooling. We home educate.

The problem with the term "Home Education" is that it does give people this idea that it all happens at home. Of course this isn't the case. As I said in yesterday's post it can happen in the car, on a bus, walking along the street. So no, we don't have a special room, it takes over the entire house and extends out into the rest of the world!

We've found that our children get an awful lot out of what would, in school terms I suppose, be termed *field trips*. The other week, somehow or other, we had a conversation about the Brontes. We're lucky enough to live quite near to the Parsonage so we decided to pay it a visit whilst the interest was still fresh in their minds.

A few months ago we took part in a couple of stop pic animation workshops. This really sparked their imagination and the interest was brought back home, where they kept on creating short animations, culminating in The Bad Man - more than two weeks worth of blood, sweat and tears, but so worth it.

I've lost count of how many times we've been to the theatre this year - we often go with other home educators and get the schools concession, which makes it much more affordable.

We take part in the Film Education Week along with schools, which means we get to go and see several films for free, which is always good!

We go to museums - often they are happy to run free, or at least cheap, workshops for home educators. Most of them have free entry and generally really good, hands on displays, although we also really enjoy the dusty old places that haven't made it into the 21st century yet. One of the greatest museum experiences we had was when we were taken into the stores of the Leeds Museum. It was incredible - we learnt so much about how the various artifacts are kept in tip top condition; what sorts of things were considered collectable through the ages; how customs and excise confiscate animal trophies; and then there was the story of the Yak - the taxidermists of the day had no idea what it was supposed to look like, so just did their own thing, and created a rather interesting looking creature!

We go geocaching - that in itself is an education, indeed there are books which help teachers relate many of their school subjects to geocaching, so if these are things that concern you, it's considered a valid educational pursuit.

Archery, fencing, living history events, brownies, swimming, walks in the countryside, forest school, going shopping, playing out with friends, going to the library, visiting elderly relatives, chatting to the neighbours, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, holidays, train rides, tradesfolk, firestations, magistrates courts, ambulance stations, police stations, the list really is endless.

Educational opportunities are all around you, sometimes you have to hunt them out, sometimes they just happen by chance, some can be planned for, some just... happen by chance. Education is not something that just happens in one room or indeed a few rooms, it is something alive that happens everywhere at anytime, if you are willing to look - isn't that a truly exciting thought?


  1. I agree. We learn more being out and about then we ever do sat at a table:)

  2. Fantastic post, we may have to try geocaching whatever it is!

  3. high tech treasure hunting :)

  4. The sad part is--even the government knows kids learn best outside the classroom--they have a whole programme dedicated to it!