Having Faith in the Process of Learning

When your children don’t attend nursery, it can be a bit over whelming knowing if they are on the right path; are they doing as well as they *should* be. If Mr D was in nursery or pre-school, we would. by now, have had a parents evening where we meet with his teacher(s) to see how things are. They would be concerned with how he is doing in line with the goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and would be, by now, talking about things like school readiness and the transition from nursery to school.

Instead, we have opted to stay away from that path. Not because nurseries are terrible places; they’re not. But because, when we visited some, we weren’t convinced they could offer more than what the children get already. I struggle with the notion of early years education and all that it brings. I see the evidence around what we know about how children best learn and I see the policies in place. I see the conversations in facebook groups of nurseries and reception teachers concerned about children making a mess, not gripping the pencil correctly, not being ready for a ‘pen licence’ and the utterly soul destroying comments of ‘they just won’t play with things properly’.

Whilst the children aren’t in a formal learning environment, they are constantly learning and so it’s my job (and Damian’s) to facilitate that learning in the best ways that we can. It’s often done in snippets and sometimes it can be frustrating when you don’t think something is going in or making sense, but then, you have a breakthrough and you realise that all those things you’ve been quietly doing behind the scenes have stuck in somewhere.

encouraging early reading skills

Mr D is slowly beginning to develop his reading skills. We have always read and we read each day with the children. We have been working through reading eggs and other bits and pieces but just the past week or so he has demonstrated that he is beginning to be able to read some words independently. I had printed this ice cream cone number and word matching activity off and left it out for the children. Mr D proceeded to match up the words and numbers with no input from me. I could hear him saying the various numbers and sounding out the sounds he could hear and from there he was able to match them. I was so impressed.

We may not have sung the jolly phonics of other phonics schemes but our mixture of online games, regular reading and just general games have seen him grow in confidence.

It can seem like a lonely place sometimes when you don’t follow the ‘normal’ routes or paths. You can have the best of days, but then days that remind you that you are responsible completely; there is no ‘passing the buck’ when things don’t go right.

This week has been a week of thigns going right. Mr D is showing ever more interest in writing and he is able to begin to spell some simpe words himself. He is more engaged in drawing and confidently writes his own name. He is enjoying making friends with those we are seeing more and more regularly as we join more and more home education groups and outings and both he and Miss E are developing their imaginative play.

In the next six weeks or so we have some key decisions to make. In truth I can see the pros and cons for both reverting to the norm and opting for school and staying on the path we are on. However, for now I will enjoy the little victories for our approach to early education. I will enjoy the impromptu breakfast table maths lesson using wooden numbers and craft sticks and the excitement when the children independently write and draw something for me. Our approach is working for us, and despite the pressure to conform and the endless answering of questions it’s the right choice for us.

breakfast table maths lesson

I am glad that, despite how hard it can be sometimes, and how overwhelming it can sometimes feel, we have left them with a few years of childhood. We have been keen to set out to let our children be small and enjoy those early years. Enjoy them free from the stresses and worries of the wider world. To be free to learn and discover at their own pace in their own way and in a manner that works best for them.

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12 Comments

  1. 16th March 2017 / 06:56

    Thank for writing such a good piece of work . This is truly my message which i would like to dedicate to all parents. I am bookmarking your website for new content. 🙂

  2. 16th March 2017 / 11:28

    A great post! Teaching our children is so important and something us parents should do more of at home to prepare them for school and beyond.

  3. 16th March 2017 / 11:48

    It sounds like he is doing brilliantly and that’s credit to your hard work. It’s our jobs as parents to act as teachers to out children whether they attend mainstream school or whether they are educated at home. Do what you feel is right for your family!

  4. PAT
    16th March 2017 / 12:49

    That’s lovely Sarah. You’re doing a brilliant job. You have three happy children x

  5. 16th March 2017 / 17:36

    Lovely post. Once you are all happy, and it works fine for you, that is all that really matters.

  6. 16th March 2017 / 19:42

    I agree with everything you said. We home school and our children are doing exceptionally well. It works for us so everybody is happy. Plus the one to one learning enables the kiddies to learn to their full potential x

  7. 16th March 2017 / 20:03

    I am an ex Nursery Nurse and although I loved my Job, but as they years went by more and more focus was put on paperwork. I would love to have the patience to keep my boys at home x

  8. 16th March 2017 / 20:06

    What a beautiful post, I agree with you. I wish i could homeschool my daughter, but unfortunately work has to keep me away. But we do read most nights, but seeing every day x

  9. 16th March 2017 / 20:45

    Sounds like you are doing brilliantly. I think the best thing a child can have it’s lots of unstructured play. Learn as they play!

  10. 17th March 2017 / 12:10

    I am in awe of you being able to look after and educate three children all the time, I would have loved to home educate but I know I don’t have the patience! You are doing a great job, it sounds like D is developing brilliantly.

  11. 18th March 2017 / 23:02

    It sounds like he is doing really well. That’s great that he has an interest in reading and writing. My daughter loves to be read to but struggles to read herself

  12. 19th March 2017 / 21:08

    Hi, very good Article.
    Thanks for sharing keep up the good work.

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