My name is Sarah, and I live in the South of England with my husband Sean and our home educated children, an 11 year old daughter ‘L’ and soon to be 10 year old son, ‘T’.
This is a blog about home education and also education in general. It’s purpose is to provide a creative resource bank of tried and tested ideas often using the arts as a ‘way in’. The resources will centre around the acquisition of literacy because that is my main interest, but there will also be links and suggestions for many other areas of learning. I am a great believer in a consent based approach to education, and so the ideas and resources contained in this blog are meant as ‘jumping off’ points for your children to explore. They are never put forward to follow in a rigid style or setting.
If it all sounds rather formal and serious, I can assure you, I am not like that in person. If you met me in person today I wouldn’t be telling you any of this stuff about me, I’d probably be blabbering on about the weather, or telling you random information about my dog, whilst tripping over my own feet………or worse, your feet.
In my life before children, I taught for 10 years in primary schools as a class teacher. I later became the school SENco and after training with The Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, specialised in teaching children with specific learning difficulties (SPLD dyslexia). However I have learnt more about education from being a parent and watching my children grow and I have had to loosen the shackles of my own schooling and teaching days in order to home educate.
I am passionate about holistic, experiential, child-led education which meets the developmental needs of an individual child, rather than a particular age or stage. My aim for my own children is that they develop a life-long love of learning through following their own interests, whilst also being offered a range of activities to broaden their outlook and deepen their understanding of the world and their place in it.
If it sounds like I dislike schools or teachers, rest assured that is not true. Teachers are my heroes, they try their best in a broken system. As for schools, well some families need schools and lots of children enjoy school and succeed. However our schooling system desperately needs reforming. I would like to see schools run on Human Scale principles, where children’s rights are fully realised.
For now though I feel we are lucky in the UK to have choice about education and educational freedom is what I really stand for, rather than against anything or anyone.
I was raised in the grounds of a boy’s boarding school. My Dad, a single parent, was Head of English and a housemaster. I went into teaching myself and I loved it mostly, but if you’d searched me out in my classroom, you would have found me painting old chairs with little groups of kids with behaviour difficulties, chatting to them, trying to find out what made them tick or maybe you would have found me in the Senior Management Team meeting, quietly chipping in my thoughts on homework and how it erodes family time and free play.
Aside from writing and home educating, I love to swim, particularly open water when the chance arises. Over the last 3 years I have swam in charity open water events: Southend Great Pier swim, Padstow to Rock and Bournemouth Pier to Pier. My future challenge is to swim the Solent, and then Loch Ness, but for now those are my little pipe dreams. I also love to draw and paint, and am currently trying to find more time to pursue this interest. I love travel too, and before children I was lucky enough to travel all over the world. Right now though I am content enough with day trips and the odd overnighters in the UK, but soon I would like to take the kids on a longer trip somewhere, preferably in a beaten up campervan. I am fascinated with anything to do with roadschooling, I’ve just got to work out how to make it happen………………….