Tag Archives: home educating

Building a home library…. and using the local library….

It is important for children to own some books of their own and also for you to build up your own home library. Children will always have a book or several that become treasured possessions. Often these are then passed on to their own babies in years to come. There is certainly a tradition of that in our little family 🙂 Books are available for burchase in numerous places. Bookshops, on-line, charity shops, supermarkets, toyshops, garages, at discounted rates from book clubs, newsagents even and libraries sometimes have book sales (we have bought many acheap book from out local library)…. Obviously make the most of your local library whilst it is still there to borrow books too. Also – libraries aren’t how they used to be. They are a lot more family friendly now and even run toddler sessions, holiday sessions (check out what your local library has on offer) and it is OK to be a little noisy there now. Children are never too young to join the library and it is good for children to learn how to look after books, leaving them in good condition for other children to borrow and enjoy too. However – libraries do understand that sometimes accidents happen so don’t worry if a book gets damaged in some way. It will be fine, just fess up when returning teh book to the library….

Libraries lose a quarter of staff as hundreds close
10 things you need to know about library closures/campaigns
Closing libraries is a fine way to keep the poor powerless

Books truly do make wonderful gifts – they don’t just provide a few minutes pleasure, they ofen become a childs favourite pass time and will be used over and over again.

Enjoying books is the most important part of learning to read. Any amount of time sharing a book with your child is time well spent ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Taking books out and about

Books are lovely and fun. They can help your child learn lots of new skills and words. There’s no need to save them just for bedtime, take them out with you on journeys. Make time to share stories and sing songs and rhymes throughout the day. You can take books with you in the car. Obviously you won’t be reading them whilst driving, 😉  but your child can leaf trhough the pages and may start talking about the story. If you are both familiar with this story, try and and get your littlie to re-tell the story with prompts from you. If you have other children, they can read stories in the back together. It’s a great way to make the time pass for impatient little travelers, and also keeps them brain cells nourished for all involved. You could also make up new stories for your favourite characters. Or stories with your own made up characters. I loved making up stories for our now almost 11 year old. She still loves listening to them – and now our 2 and a half year old also enjoys these stories….. Take CDs / tapes (if you still have a tape player) with nursery rhymes, Audiobooks and favourite music. Sing along and enjoy these wonderful moments with your child(ren). The amount of times I used to have to put a certain nursery song or songs in general on repeat….. I wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂

Audiotapes/ Audio CDs are also nice to listen to together at home, anytime of day, whenever your child fancies it. We have a tape player and CD player. Even to this day we pick up audiotapes in charity shops for really cheap. A good place to go audiotape hunting 🙂 We also have a tape player in the car.

If you are using public transport, books are always a good thing  to take along and you can do teh same as above, but you can actually look at teh book(s) together. Books are also good when going to a cafe, restaurant, shopping etc.


Using books to help toddlers learn to express themselves
Ideas on book sharing with your children
Extending Children’s Vocabulary with Picture Books and Stories
Remembering and joining in with stories
Helping to develop your childs speech and vocabulary


Remembering and joining in with stories

Remembering stories or events, no matter how minute or big, or how small and insignificant these may seem to us, are an important way for children to build a sense of there own identity and of how they fit into their family and environment. Books can help them understand where they fit into the world. Use the stories your read together with your child to relate to your own experiences…

” Look at this dog – does she look like Grandmas Shadow? Shadow is such a good dog and we love having him over for the day sometimes when Grandma goes to work and we go out for long walks in the woods or beach”

Point to a picture of a girl :

” Look at the little girl – she looks a bit like ….. (insert older sisters name if they have one) doesn’t she? Doing cartwheels like that.”


” Look at that boy! He’s playing football just like ….. (insert older brothers namehere, or if no older brother you could say just say like daddy/grandad used to when they were little).”


” Look! It’s farm animals like the farm we visited today/last week etc”

Sometimes children like to add to the story or make up their own. You could ask them

” I wonder what will happen next.” or “What do you think will happen next?”

or point to a character and say

” What do you think about him/her?”

This will give them the chance to come up with their own ideas, or prompt them to voice ideas that had already been forming and use their imagination. Wait an appropriate amount of time to give them time to answer. If they don’t come up with anything, that is OK too. Next time 🙂 ALSO – it DOESN’T matter if they interrupt the  story with their own ideas. It’s all part of the fun and shows they are not only using their imagination, they are also gaining confidence in themselves and their ability to join in. With our eldest I used to write down her made up stories and do little illustrations. They are so sweet to read now 🙂

One last thing – don’t forget to praise their efforts.  Marvel in your childs development 🙂


Ideas on book sharing with your children
Using books to help toddlers learn to express themselves
Extending Children’s Vocabulary with Picture Books and Stories
Helping to develop your childs speech and vocabulary
Taking books out and about


Using books to help toddlers learn to express themselves

As well as building a vocabulary that names objects and living things such as chair, table, dog, cat etc, it is important for children to eventually know words that allow them to express their feelings. A good starting point is always love, happy and sad. As they get bigger and their understanding grows, add more words.

Books are especially useful in getting your child to talk about things that may be on their mind – such as a picture of a cat may prompt the response ‘I don’t like cats’ and will give you the opportunity to talk to them about why. Just recently with our 2 and a half year old BB, I was leafing through some old Mr Men books that had been boxed up for years. He leafed through a separate pile he kinda chose by being attracted to particular colours and images on the front as I briefly looked through the whole stack going ‘oh, i remember reading that with Inks, your sister. oh and that one. And that one was her favourite. This one was mine…’ Eventually he got captivated by a page he kept turning back and forth in a particular book before saying ‘Mummy, she’s sleeping. She’s awake’. – when I looked on one page the character had her eyes shut and on the other they were open. He then went back to the sleeping page and said ‘She tired’. Yet in another book there was someone portrayed with an upside down smile and BB said ‘She’s sad’.

You can also talk about your feelings:

” I love you soooo much” (obviosuly at teh top of the list 😉 )
” I’m excited”
” I’m so happy”
” I was worried because…”
” It was a bit scary….”

As well as ask questions:

” Are you happy? ”
” Are you tired? ”
” Do you like XXX or YYYY better?”
” Did you enjoy yourself today? “

Remember – DON’T rush them or get frustrated if they don’t ‘get it’ straight away – repetition is the key and being able to relate to a situation or emotion. A nod or shake of teh head indicates they understand. Words will come later 🙂


Ideas on book sharing with your children

Extending Children’s Vocabulary with Picture Books and Stories

Taking books out and about
Reading with toddlers and children
Remembering and joining in with stories
Helping to develop your childs speech and vocabulary

Helping to develop your child’s speech and vocabulary

The first five years in our lives are the prime time for learning to talk. Most of a child’s language comes from the adults around them. The more time that is spent talking with our children, the more we enable them to develop the listening, concentration and talking skills they need. Toddlers often start off talking in their own little way and only you and those closest to them can understand them. (Personally I LOVE, TOTALLY AND UTTERLY ADORE IN FACT, THIS STAGE. We’ve been going through it with our youngest who is just 2 and a half. Ahhh, soooo cute and adorable  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ) Suddenly, they progress to saying the odd word clearly and it snowballs from there….

Reading to and with your child is a really useful, easy, enjoyable tool in helping your child’s vocabulary. At first children repeat words without really understanding their meaning. They are just making sounds, but this is good fun for them and helps the process of learning to talk. They are exercising their vocal cords and strengthening them all the time…. As your child grows, they will be understanding new words and phrases more. This will make reading more and more fun for all involved. Listening and talking go hand in hand – the more your child listens to you read and talk, the more they will try to reply and join in. It may also take longer to read each book, as you/they may want to go over your/their favourite bits again, or have another look if something is not fully understood.

Show your child that you enjoy reading too whether it be a book, a magazine or a newspaper – you are their role model and now is the time to help guide them to their full potential. It is good for children to see that book and reading are used on a daily basis and valued and appreciated in their home. Of course, there will always be some children who just don’t like books and reading naturally. It can’t be forced or they will lose interest even more. If this is the case, don’t push it. Our 2 and a half year old is currently NOT interested in being read to at all, compared to his almost 11 year old sister who could never get enough of being read to and is now a totally dedicated ‘bookworm’ 🙂 He does occasionally ask me to read to him and brings a book over (he has access to heaps of toddler friendly books, a lot of them I kept from his sister), but as soon as I start reading he asks me to stop within a few sentences lol.

Children build up their vocabulary over time and then start joining words up to make little phrases – before long you will be having a conversation. Well, a very ‘little’ conversation at the very least….

Ideas on book sharing with your children
Using books to help toddlers learn to express themselves
Extending Children’s Vocabulary with Picture Books and Stories
Taking books out and about
Reading with toddlers and children
Remembering and joining in with stories

The freedom to home educate

The moment I held our new born daughter Inky in my arms, I already knew we were going to Home Educate. It was never a choice for me, I somehow just knew; call it my motherly instinct! A natural progression of parenting. Inky is almost 11, and we have not had any regrets, nor looked back since. When Inky was 8 she did ask to go to school and in the nature of our child led home ed journey, we let her go. 6 weeks later she realised the grass WASN’T greener and asked to come back out again. She found school extremely boring and it just didn’t suit her. We took her back out the moment she asked. Our family lives on the coast in West Sussex, and we are fortunate to have a large network of home educators in our area with whom we have regular contact and share concepts and ideas with.

Here in the UK, HE (Home Educating) is 100% legal. There is no legal obligation to send your child to school, but you must notify the school in writing if your child is registered at school or they will be marked down as unauthorised absences. You as a parent, have the right to withdraw your child from school anytime that you see fit. This is a simple process which involves sending a de-registration letter to the school, and your child’s name MUST be removed from the school register within a few days by LAW. No one knows the exact amount of children being home educated children in the UK, but estimates vary between 50-80,000. Many families choose NOT to register their child with the LEA (Local Education Authority), especially if they have never been in the system, as there is no obligation to do so, so the actual number of home schooled children in the UK is undoubtedly higher.

The reasons parents may decide to HE their child are varied. Sometimes they choose, like me, right from the start not to send their child to school. Or they may feel their child is not getting enough out of the national curriculum, or they were unable to get their child into the school of their choice, a child may be bullied at school, they may travel a lot, or a parent has a child with a learning disability that requires more personal attention than what public schooling would be able to offer, their child may have become unhappy at school, ask not to go to school, dislike learning since going to school, not seem ready for school… These are only some of the possible reasons parents may have chosen to HE, and in the end each of us must choose what we believe is best for our children.

To obtain more information on the legalities of HE in England and Wales, there is a great resource called Education Otherwise, you can visit their website at www.education-otherwise.org. You can find de-registration template letters here too, home ed groups in your area and the legal requirements.

Why are more people choosing to home educate

Reasons and Benefits for Home Schooling


No Place Like Home

By Ken Connor
Christian Post Guest Columnist
Sat, Jul. 12 2008 09:45 AM EDT

When it comes to getting a good education, apparently, there’s no place like home.

When homeschooling first came into prominence in the late 1980’s many viewed it with skepticism, but it has proved itself over and over the past two decades.

Whether the average homeschooled student is getting as good an education as the average public school student is no longer a question. The verdict is in. The results of numerous studies show the average homeschooler is receiving a better education than the average public or private school student.

In a 1997 study, Strengths of Their Own, Dr. Brian Ray examined a sample of over 5,402 homeschooled students. On average, they scored 30 to 37 percentile points higher than the average public school student in all subjects.

A separate test done in 1991 by the Home School Legal Defense Association in conjunction with the Psychological Corporation found that a sampling of 5,124 homeschooled students across all grades scored 18 to 28 percentile points higher on the Stanford Achievement Test than the average public school student.

Finally, the 7,858 students who declared themselves to be homeschooled on the 2004 ACT scored an average of 1.7 points higher, on a scale of 1-32, than the national average.

To read the full article click HERE

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16 part IV

As if 2 birthdays within 5 days weren’t enough, Wednesday 18th of May was my nephew Billys 6th Birthday. (My sisters little big boy) We spent the morning starting a project on Romans, sparked by our recent visit to Bignor Roman Villa. Inky also started her own project on Egypt. I spent a couple of hours reading and printing things off from this VERY valuable pdf file ANCIENT ROME. I’ve had it saved for a while after coming across it on one of my home ed groups and it is finally being used. It’s Grade 4-8 whatever that is, but we don’t go by the age of stuff anyway. Just whether its appropriate for what Inky is currently studying and that its not too ‘young’ for her. Even after 2 hours of looking through it, it wasn’t enough. I ordered a second hand Usborne book about Rome on Amazon to add to our collection of books we already have on Rome. Most of these we found in charity shops. From around 1430 – 1700 we looked after Mums doggy and done some more work on Romans/Egyptians. Then when Mum picked Shadow up, she also picked us up to take us to my sisters for Billys birthday party with just family there. He has another football themed birthday party this Saturday which Inky will be going to. It was a lovely afternoon and Sam my man came there straight from work for a few hours before we all headed off home.

On Thursday 19th May the children and I went for a long walk in our gorgeous local woods. The weather was beautiful and we only needed light cardigans on, which we all eventually took off. We all love to explore the less beaten track (especially our dalmation, Shadow!) and wound our way through the trees. Perfect. On our way back home we stopped at a local organic farm shop and bought a couple of bits before heading home for lunch. After lunch Bri had a long nap and Ink and I continued with our Roman project.

ink shad

Friday 20th March Inky didn’t fancy walking but I really did so she stayed with my Grandma, Oma, (obviosuly her great Grandma) for a couple hours and I got some alone time with my Mum and Bri. Inky ended up going to a local street market with Oma and Omas partner from where we had to collect her after our walk. The rest of the day was pretty much the same as yesterday…. which brings us to the last day of this particular diary entry…

Saturday 21st May. In the morning Inky and I had chiropractor appointments – Inkys gets aches in her neck sometimes, since she started back at gymnastics in September last year and this would be her 3rd session. 1 more to go and she will be ‘fixed’. Me on the other hand, I have more aches and pains which need ‘fixing’. Especially since my MY ECTOPIC EXPERIENCE. We came straight home after and Inky had just about enough time to get ready before my sister and her partner picked her up to take her to B’s 6th Birthday football party. Mum and I went to pick Inky up from the party when it had finished.  She had an amazing time, even if it was a 6 year olds party :p she was happy that she got to spend the time with her cousins, Aunt and Uncle. And that Mummy wasn’t there to regulate the sweet intake. As it was Saturday night, Inky stayed at Mums after to watch Britains Got Talent, their little thing they like to watch together.  What a ‘social’ life our home educated children have. Oh, and they learn along the way too for those who only care about the ‘fact’ (NOT TRUE) that home educated children don’t socialise… not just ‘book’ stuff, but also real wordl stuff through interacting with family, friends, strangers, tutors, trampolining/gym coaches… they definitely aren’t ‘hidden’ and right now i feel a bit like saying nah nah nah nah nah (sticks out tongue 😉 )

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16