Monday, October 23, 2017

Half Term Happiness

Here in the UK, the school year is split into three terms. Each term lasts twelve weeks, with a one week break halfway through each one. This is called half term, and I'm often asked, "What are you doing for half term?" The answer is usually much more boring than for families who have children in school. Because we spent a week on holiday early this month, we continue on with our usual curriculum routine. E is learning to read, and Z is progressing with maths, and it would seem silly to not do it when we're in our groove. Plus, we have more time for study in half term, and we can do it in a more relaxed way.

Let me explain.

While we do workshops and go to some regular meet ups with other home educators, most of the activities that Z and E are involved in are open to all children, and thus the scheduling tends to align with the term dates. Additionally, most places we meet with other home educators will have special half term activities, and so those spaces are not available to us. Half term becomes a week that we have nothing in particular to do. And I love it.

For the first time since we returned from Nice, I am caught up on washing the laundry and the dishes. Not having to drop everything to prepare a child for a class or lesson meant that I worked straight through the day, adding school readings into the rhythm of the day between the first loads of laundry and dishes and the remaining ones. Not only that, but I didn't even have to take time out to get dressed. It was all pajamas, all the time. Fantastic!

Tomorrow we'll make a leisurely trip to the library. The days after that, who knows? Perhaps I'll finally organise the homeschool group art supplies. Perhaps the children will set up a Lego city in the dining room. We can do what we like, with no schedule to keep, and it's grand.


  1. My question is, after Z did her sleepaway camp, did that impact her feelings on school at all? Did it make her hungry for more socialization or was it just a one-off?

    1. Z loved camp but remains happy with homeschool. She is a true introvert and prefers to have a few deep friendships to socializing with loads of people in a more shallow way. We see good friends regularly, so for her the socialization balance we are able to achieve with homeschool is just right. E is my extravert, and it's more challenging for her to spend a day at home. But I think both girls need to learn how to handle themselves in situations in which they are not 100% comfortable. So camp was really good for Z to build her skills at managing her discomfort while in a large group of people for two full weeks, and it is good for E to be at home sometimes to figure out what to do when no one is available to play with her. I'm going to make a note to write a post about what we do to balance the girls' different socialization needs, as I think it deserves more attention than I can give it in a comment, and it also extends beyond just whether the girls are homeschooled or in a traditional school setting.


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