OK, so we’re not exactly NEW to the blogging scene and chances are you’ve come here because you’ve already been following one of our blogs (most likely Hands in Portugal) but, for the sake of background, a brief intro.
Since moving back from Portugal in December 2014, our lives have flip-turned upside down (as the Fresh Prince would say!).
We’ve gone from having 2 boys in school while we worked to having EVERYTHING under one roof.
School; work; play; everything.
The decision to home educate Jake (who was 17 in December 2016), in the first instance, was done for health reasons and, we believe, was most definitely the right thing to do. After much research and grappling our way around the home-ed resources on the world wide web, Jake studied a tutor-led course for iGCSE English Language and a self-taught course for GCSE Maths, both exams which he took at a local school in summer 2016.
We aimed for passes in both (well, we aimed for GOOD passes in both!) so he could do a college course from September because he wanted to become an electrician!
He worked hard (as well as holding down a part-time job) in the run up to his exams and scored good passes in both: a C in the higher maths paper and a B in English Language. We were thrilled!
The decision to home educate Eliot (who was 11 at the time, in May 2015), on the other hand, was a whole other thing. It was a choice based on abilities rather than not coping with school. Eliot actually liked school but we knew with absolute certainty that, due to his lack of knowledge from being 5 years in a Portuguese school (and learning, quite frankly, not much at all!) he was destined not to do well and was so far behind with little hope of catching up in a classroom environment.
His maths skills, for example, were non-existent. He couldn’t add two 2-digit numbers… or subtract… and multiplication and division? Not a chance!
After a lot of research, Maths Whizz and Maths and English work books right back from KS1 have been our relief! He’s learning fast. In fact, he progressed nearly 2 years in his “maths age” within 9 months, which was incredible. We can SEE how much he has learned and, perhaps most importantly, HE can see it too!
He learned so much maths and English and that’s what we’ve been concentrating on really. Other stuff is learned through life (and YouTube, it seems! Honestly, the things he comes out with that he’s learned on YouTube! Some very obscure knowledge!)
This year, we made the equally tricky decision that he will start back at school in September 2017, where he will enter year 10. This is so that he can take his GCSEs in a school environment as I really do NOT feel able to get El through these. He’s not an easy student. Let the school tackle that one!
So, home educating. That was one part of the “Everything” that home is.
Apart from that, Nik and I run our own motorcycle parts and accessories mail order business, Jesters Trick Bits so that takes up large amounts of our time also. It’s our sole source of income so it’s also good for our children to see. They often travel about with us to shows and suppliers etc.
So work is very much another part of home’s “Everything”.
And that’s all on top of everything that “home” already is, of course!