A bit of background to The Gallivanters
All of our trio were born at home with independent midwifes. All three were breastfed until considerably older than the UK average. We have never used any kind of school or nursery - We decided on a path of home education back in 2005 and started attending our local home ed groups that summer. Ten years ago now.
I was a leader with La Leche League, the breastfeeding support group from 2006 until 2013. I hope these things kind of qualify me to write a guest post for the Attachment Mummy blog. Her blog is professional whilst I have been blogging our adventures daily since early 2011 - our family blog is called The Gallivanters - mine is much more of a scrawl started out for my own benefit really that has landed up connecting me to others following a similar path and proving a useful resource for many others.
TMO (43) a long time ago now I was an economist working in the city but for the past 10 years I have been a SAHM to
First Sapphire - the baby who never went in her car seat without screaming and really turned us into attachment parents. S is now 10 and a reader. Her body is the vehicle that moves her brain around. She likes the authors Eoin Cowlfer, Natasha Farrant, Cathy Cassidy, Jaqueline Wilson as well as Minecraft, Doctor Who and making soaps and lip balms.
Then, in 2006 came Etienne, now 8, if E was a school I am 97.8 % certain he would be on medication and almost certainly have a statement - his main things atm are guns and Minecraft.
In 2009 we added Orin. He likes to jump.
And there's TD - Which stands for The Daddy - Originally it was TDO - The Daddy One - as S would name her Fisher Price little people as the Mummy One, The Daddy One, The Baby One etc and recently it has followed a similar graduation as happens from Daddy to Dad.
Our shared family threads are: our allotment, lego and (sort of) our beach hut except it doesn't have WiFi which ranks up there with water in our hierarchy of needs.
Keeping Children Connected As They Grow
In this guest post I thought it might be handy to write a little about how meeting our children's needs when they were younger evolves when needs and wants diverge and staying connected as your children grow.
In my mind I was going to be that mum whose kids didn't have guns and only played with wooden toys whilst watching an hour of TV per day - It hasn't worked out like that at all. We are a pretty happy high speed hi-tech household now.
One of the first books I read on this subject was "Hold On To Your Kids - Why Parents Need To Matter More than Peers" - and whilst the author stops short of recommending home education, I think he was trying to appeal to a wider audience, the central message of the book is really important. Humans have a need to belong and if your children don't feel they belong in their family they will find that connection elsewhere. New research on the brain development of teens confirms this.
This being the 21st century one of the key areas of connection has to be technology. A phrase that makes me cringe "I don't know what they do up there!" - We've tried hard to position the tech in our house in a way that it is not cut off from the rhythm of our home all isolated and embrace it as an extension of the learning through play that has always happened here.
A phrase that often appears on my blog goes something like "I never expected to have this much fun with Barbies / guns / Doctor Who" The key thing I have learnt during our home educating journey is that had I tried to overlay my own values our experiences would have been a lot more limited. By leaving my own predefined ideals at the door it has strengthened the relationship. We've embraced projects and pursued interests together.
Not everything we do together is technology related - Both TD and I read aloud to the trio every night often for an hour or more and we have a family movie night on a Friday - well I guess that's kind of tech and that hilights the point really - if you try and make boxes for things it doesn't really work. Once you see all learning and information sources through a deschooled prism all those definitions sort of melt away. Stay attached to the YouTube generation, they absorb on demand not on schedule! Bit like breastfeeding really!
Thank you Katie, an interesting comment on how to keep children and their needs and wants in line with family life as kids grow. Unschooling technology is a particular issue for me, so I am very interested to hear your perspective on it. I wonder what everyone else's take is? Do your children have full access to technology, or do you restrict it at all? How else do you keep your teens and tweens close?
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