So here's a post I've been meaning to write up for a while.  I know I like my fashion related posts but I actually do have other things going in on my life too.  Amongst all other things, is homeschooling.  We just started homeschooling in February this year and although it was difficult to begin with, we soon settled in.  I thing we were kind of thrown in at the deep end, you could say.  Because we had never really looked into it before or done any research, it was like we were heading into the unknown.  And to be honest, we were!

K's school closed down in February, and so like everyone else, we applied for another school.  Whilst we waited to find out if she would be accepted or not, I decided to teach K at home so that she was ready for school once she was accepted.  The waiting time was almost 2 months and for me that was too long to be out of education, in the middle of the year!  Little did we know that there was going to be no space for K.  So, we sent in our appeal, but unfortunately we lost.  Although, I've rang the council again several times for other schools in the area, they're all full which means K is on the waiting list.  It's difficult living in limbo, not knowing what's happening and at the same time you're responsible for making sure your child gets the education they need and so much more.

I'm the type of person that likes to research everything, so I'll look into it from all angles.  But with not much time to do that, I just had to get on with it.  I felt like I wasn't prepared, even though I was teaching K.  I felt a bit lost.  I just needed more time to look into what books I needed and what was out there, but I just didn't have that luxury.  I didn't want K to miss out, so I carried on doing my best and all the while, I continued to do my research using the internet, speaking to teachers, watching youtube videos, talking to other homeschool parents, visiting forums, speaking to the council, Instagram, reading blogs and more!  Basically, anywhere I could find information, I was there.

Believe me when I say I spent a lot of late nights just looking through books online and picking out what we would need for Year 4.  I really didn't want to feel lost in Year 4 as well, so we continued with what I found for Year 3 and we soon found our feet.  We've had our ups and downs, but along the way we found some true gems and some amazing help online.  There's so much out there for you to homeschool your children no matter what age they are.  I guess, in some ways I'm lucky because I've worked at a school before and did a little teaching too, so I have some experience and knowledge in lesson planning and looking through curriculum frameworks etc.

Homeschooling isn't just a stay at home, wake up late, do whatever you want kind of thing.  No!  It takes determination, courage and a whole lot of discipline to make sure your homeschool runs smoothly, on time and to plan.  Yes, there's always space and time for us to chop and change or spend a little extra on topics K enjoys, but we take our homeschool very seriously.  I guess if you don't then you're heading in the wrong direction.  It's ok to have a day off if you need it, but after that it's always best to get back on track because I see it as precious time for learning.

I've had to learn to plan my time wisely too because teaching can take up a lot of time.  In the beginning it felt like there was no time in the day for anything else.  But after planning everything for Year 4 and being super organised, my evenings are no longer filled with marking, planning or printing.  I can honestly say that our first week back at school has been such an enjoyable experience and very relaxing too.  It's so important to be able to plan my day and manage my time so that I can continue to balance my work and home life without too much disruption.

Although, homeschooling wasn't something we actively chose to do and we probably wouldn't have gone down this route if K's school hadn't closed down, it's something that's now part of our life and so we're going to do the best we can.  Are we going to homeschool K until she finishes primary education?  Well, the answer to that question is that I've always said that I'd send her to a school if a place opened up for her.  But recently, I've been thinking about homeschool a lot more seriously and I can already see so many benefits so why give up something that's working great?  In all honesty, I really don't think a place is going to open up for her any time soon and the stress of calling the council if there's anything for her, filling out application forms and being rejected, then appealing is just too much.  It's not getting us anywhere and I know she's not missing out, so maybe we'll continue to homeschool her until Primary education is over.  As for Secondary education, I don't know yet.  But if you know me by now, I've done my research, just in case.

I have to say that like many other homeschool parents told me, the first year is the hardest, and although it's true, looking back the experience has taught me so much about education and teaching.  I never thought I'd know enough to be able to share it with you too.  But I'm so glad that I can finally put all my thoughts, advice and experience into words and do just that.

I hope you enjoy my Educating K series as much as I've enjoyed putting it all together for you.  Keep an eye out for the rest of the posts this week cos there's 6 more!