April 2020 Home Education Resource

Free Home Education resource covering a variety of topics and incorporating STEM and ART into day to day learning. With activities and topics for all age groups and abilities there is something for everyone in each issue. You can download the past issues for free.

August 2019 Home Education Resource

Free Printables and worksheets included in each resource. Download for free.

Page 3 Key dates and observances for August
Page 4-9 Water Quality Month
Page 10-11 Summon the Book Dragon
Page 12-15 Whirly Weather
Page 16-17 Weather crafts and activities
Page 18-19 Shout outs and achievements
Page 20-21 August Birthdays
Page 22-25 Challenge Corner
Page 26-28 Recipes
Page 29 National Smile Week Poem
Page 30 Reader submission– Poster– Save the Tigers
Page 31 Home Ed Looks Like This Camp
Page 32– 37 National Aviation day
Page 38– 39 Frankenstein day
Page 40-47 A Month in Pictures
Page 48-51 Reader Submission– Story
Page 52 Save the Bees Poster– Reader submission
Page 53 Guinea Bissau Shoebox Appeal
Page 54 Contact details

July 2019 Resource

Calendar Dates 3
What is Independence Day? 4-9
Shout Outs and Achievements 10
Scarecrow Day 11-13
Chocolate Day and the history of chocolate 14-25
Enter the Book Dragon (Book Club) 26-27
Recipes 28-29
Cow Appreciation Day 30-37
A month in pictures 38-45
Mind Mapping 46-55
World Snake Day 56-59
NYC Body Paint Festival 60-61
Guinea Bissau Appeal 62
STEM Experiment 63
Contact Details and Social Media 64

June 2019 Resource

Special dates in June Pg 2
#30dayswild Pg 3
The Heimlich Manoeuvre Pg 5
World Bicycle Day Pg 8
World environment Day pg10
A Month in Pictures (your Photos) Pg 20
Entrepreneur of the Month Pg 27
D-Day Pg 28
World Oceans Day Pg 34
Anne Frank Pg 36
Recipes Pg 38
World Blood Donor Day Pg 40
Father’s Day messages Pg 49
Summon the Book Dragon– Book Club Pg 50
Home Education Shoebox Appeal Pg 53
World Go Fishing Day Pg 54
International Day for the Fight against Illega
l, unregulated Fishing
Pg55
Pages Planters Pg 56
Lovelies by Holly Refugee Charity Pg 57

May 2019 Home Ed’ resource

Calendar and observational dates 3
International Midwives Day 4
National Astronauts Day 8
Achievement Shout Outs 11
Ramadam 4
A month in Photo’s 5
World Bee Day 22
Birthdays 31
Ehlers Danos Syndrome 36
Guinea Bissau 38
Eco Bricks 45
Recipes 46
Come Dine With H.E 49
M.E Awareness 50
Enter the book dragon 52
G.C.S.E Tips 55
Morse Code Day 58
Monthly Game Review 62
Crafts/  STEM 63

THE FAILING SCHOOL SYSTEM- Issue 8, March 2019.

Article printed in the home ed looks like this magazine issue 8, March 2019.

(You can download full magazine here to access all our articles and educational resources) 

THE FAILING SCHOOL SYSTEM

In 2013 Prince Charles openly chastised the UK schooling system for failing to teach not just valuable but crucial life skills, whilst many parents incorrectly assume that the education their children receives is going to provide them with the necessary skills for adulthood. The Prince of Wales told business contacts that he felt ‘Children are not being taught the character they need in life’. Despite it hitting the front page of most newspapers and resulting in some public outcry, it died down pretty quickly and therefore nothing was ever done to improve on those issues or even respond to them. the education authority stayed rather quiet on the matter.

The Prince gave the speech after visiting a project in North London aimed at helping unemployed young people turn their lives around and access the workplace. “Most school leavers are not even taught how to look people in the eye” he said, “and alongside their academic studies they need to learn how to cope outside of education if they hope to find work”.

Speaking at a lunch at St James’ Palace the heir to the throne said: “Life skills, which consist of developing self esteem, self-confidence…- all these things are not taught in schools or hardly at all.

What it seems we’re lacking is that element in educational process of character, character education alongside all the other bits and pieces which are of course important but, if at the end of the day you can’t actually cope with the world out there, the kind of interaction that’s required of people, it is impossible it seems to me to manage, let alone to be employable.”

“Formal learning can teach you a great deal, but many of the essential skills in life are the ones you have to develop on your own.”

Lee Iacocca

The importance of an education is irrefutable. However, there are many life skills that adults tend to  feel they didn’t learn enough about in school. Once you open that dialogue you quickly realise that most adults reel off the exact same topics. When compared to the educational system in other countries, such as Finland and even some aspects of the American system, the UK is left straggling behind, and it shows.

We have generations of young adults without any life skills such as money management, budgeting, taxes, politics, voting, banking– various accounts and an understanding of the jargon, stocks, negotiation and debating skills, human rights, the pro’s and con’s of loans/credit and the legal/application processes including the credit scoring system, mortgages and all the associated jargon, insurance, wills and probate, well-being and mental health support and understanding, how to look after your own well-being and coping mechanisms for stress, household maintenance D.I.Y skills, cooking skills (many schools dropped this several years ago due to funding cuts), sewing/ dressmaking (again funding cuts), time management, outdoor safety/ bush craft, first aid, navigation skills and how to cope with failure.

Will Smith stated “You have to fail early, you have to fail often, and you have to fail forward” . There’s an interview with Will Smith I watched briefly where he talks about how “fear kills creativity.” I witnessed this myself with my eldest son. As soon as he felt isolated, alone and scared in school his grades and interest in learning began to rapidly decline and not enough strategies, skills, and programs are implemented in our schools to teach our youth about failure being a part of life, how to react when it happens, and how to build on our failures.  You can watch his interview on YouTube.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

~ Michael Jordan~

“Accountability systems” – Ofsted inspections, government tables and targets – have all created a “culture of fear” in schools when it comes to mistakes and failure, according to a recent report (pdf) by the National Association of Head Teachers union. It highlights the pressure on headteachers to get good results on pain of being forced out, and how the emphasis on test results has narrowed the curriculum and made “drilling” for exams common. The curriculum skims over so many topics in the hopes the children will recall this basic information for their exams, however, for many children it has the opposite effect as skimming doesn’t allow them to follow their natural thought process and doesn’t ignite their passion to learn, instead they become disillusioned and many even hate the idea of learning. We need to refocus our curriculum and develop one that caters to the many not the few. We need a curriculum that sets their passions alive and has them excited to learn. Educationalists call this ‘teaching to the test’. It’s the process in the school system where the curriculum is delivered so that only or largely what is necessary to pass the test is taught. The intention behind the process of testing, to determine whether the child has understood the curriculum in its totality, is lost.

Unlike schools home education is able to meet their academic needs whilst ensuring our children receive the life learning  necessary to become confident and capable adults.

School also doesn’t tend to teach adequate researching skills or even critical and analytical thinking, the latter can even appear somewhat frowned upon. It has grown into an archaic system at best that no longer works for the majority of children. Yet repeatedly the people with the ability to do something about it choose to ignore these issues and deflect the attention and blame elsewhere.

League tables and budget cuts have stifled creativity and critical thinking in schools. Its about hitting targets and not the individual child. Problems arise when the governments try to micromanage the child’s best interests as governments necessarily balance the best interests of the child within a context of what they feel society needs that child to grow into. Economics, national security, business, and other issues all compete for a place in the school system and the governments aims of what education should be and the true needs of the individual children are lost. They also have to base their judgement’s on the average child, what children on average need ‘in their best interests’ to become active members of society and good employees that possess the basic skills businesses require in their workforce. In doing that however they end up failing the majority of children who are not that ‘average child’. One size never fits all and as we have seen in countries that have changed their approach, such as Norway and their ‘Phenomenal learning’, they are able to cater to more learning preferences, therefore engaging more children and keeping their passions alive. Meanwhile OFSTED expects all children to excel at everything offered, regardless of preference and regardless of ability, aptitude or Special need whilst continually increasing the pressures they face.

Much of the public is misinformed about home education and the benefits it can provide whilst Critics of home education dismiss it as a hippy option that disadvantages children socially and educationally for the rest of their lives.

The methods employed by parents vary, some choose to home educate from day one, others remove their children due to the failings of the school system, amongst a variety of other reasons. There are various philosophies within home education and no two home educators will have the same style. This may be viewed as a negative by those looking in from the outside, however its actually a positive because it ensures the philosophy/learning styles adopted at home are personalized to that individual child’s needs, strengths and weaknesses. It is a completely bespoke learning experience.

A book published by academics at the Institute of Education, University of London, argues that home education is a viable alternative to school up to the age of 14.

Alan Thomas, from the institute’s department of psychology and human development, and Harriet Pattison, a research associate, conclude that informal learning at home is an “astonishingly efficient way to learn, as good if not better than school for many children”.

The book called How Children learn at home states “The ease, naturalness and immense intellectual potential of informal learning up to the age of middle secondary school means they can learn certainly as much if not more”.

They liken the method of informal learning to the process that leads to scientific breakthroughs, the early stages of crafting a novel, coming up with a solution to a technical problem, or the act of composing music.

“In some ways, it may be an advantage because, rather than presenting knowledge in neat packages, the informal curriculum forces learners to become actively engaged with their information – to work with it, move it around, juggle ideas and resolve contradictions… It is not a static thing contained in a series of educational folders. It is alive and dynamic.”

“Home education is just an extension of good parenting”, Thomas and Pattison argue. “School itself necessarily curtails such parental contribution.” Why, they ask, do we as a society assume that formal learning needs to take over beyond the age of five? There is no developmental or educational logic behind the radical change in pedagogy from informal to formal when children start school”.

Contrary to expectations, the home-educated children had no difficulty entering formal education, the authors state. The informal curriculum is “as good a preparation as any for college, university or academic correspondence courses”, they say. “The young people had the personal skills to make the transition with apparent ease.”

The government is now seeking to tighten and change the regulations for home education. Proposals include a mandatory register of home-educated children, along with increased monitoring from local authorities.

The government doesn’t want to admit the reason that home-education numbers are rising is not to do with radicalisation,” says Chris McGovern, a retired headteacher and chairman of the Campaign for Real Education. “That is a concern, but it is a far greater problem in state schools than in home-schooling. It’s because schools are failing ever greater numbers of children.”

New research (PDF) by the charity, Personalised Education Now, failed to find any evidence of radicalisation in the home education community. The research, conducted over a protracted period, included sending FOI’s to the UK Government and Local Government, Interpol’s database and searching new agency reports and the internet generally. Not one method found any evidence supporting the claim that radicalisation had occurred within the home education community, thus exposing the fallacy that home education is a risk to national security.

There are currently several attempts being made by the government to regulate home education. These are variously based on the idea that parents cannot offer an education that is the equivalent of a school. The Children’s Commissioner has even gone so far as to say that however bad school is, home education is not the answer. The current dialogue from the government and regulatory bodies (DfE, Children’s Commissioner and Lord Solely) is that all children should be in school, seen by a professional and an assessment made of their education in the same way as school children are assessed, regardless of their mental, physical and emotional needs.

It is proposed that home educated children, who suffered trauma whilst in school leading to mental health concerns, are to be visited by the very institutions which enabled the harm in the first place with the intention of assessing their parent’s ability to educate them. The irony of this has not escaped our community and we refuse to be scapegoats for the failings of an archaic school system.

Flexible home education that allows the child to take responsibility for their learning with the support and facilitation of their loving family, often recover from school and go on to highly successful futures. Statistics prove that home educated children perform better in FE and the workplace than their schooled peers.

With the Children’s commissioner’s pronouncement that school is always better than home it is clear to see that she has totally ignored all the cries for help from desperate parents. Children considering extreme actions that would devastate any parent in response to the extreme violence and bullying that is rife within schools, the desperate parents reaching out for help for their child’s SENs waiting years for a diagnosis and their cries falling on deaf ears, yet at the same time budgeting cuts to funding means the support they do manage to get in place is then shared between multiple children with SEN instead of being the one on one support they were promised. Parents of children with chronic medical conditions being persecuted for poor attendance despite having an open dialogue with the school and making them aware of the child’s needs before they registered them.

Sadly this is not just a fight for home educating parents. It isn’t just a home education bill, the Lord Solely bill is the bill for the entire educational system and implements several changes to our parental rights. The rights of all parents will be affected not just home educators, we are just the scape goats the government are using to incite fear and concern amongst the public so they willingly line up to give away their rights. In addition there are several other bills and changes to our legal system that each have amendments to our parental rights, when added up, our children will effectively be children of the state in our care, until they deem otherwise. The current law in place is not only adequate but when implemented by the LEA works effectively.

We are yet to receive an answer as to how they will justify breaching our basic human rights under article 3- the right to be free from degradation, article 6– the right to a fair trial, which includes innocent until proven guilty, article 8– the right to enjoyment of private and family life, article 9– the right to freedom of religion and belief, which includes philosophical beliefs, and finally article 14– freedom from discrimination. I suppose the plan to scrap our human rights completely will navigate around these loopholes perfectly.

The police for example need a warrant to enter a known/suspected criminals home, yet thousands of law abiding home educators are expected to open their homes to intrusive unwarranted visits from the state. The proposals put forward are based on false assumptions, lack evidence, misinterpretations of data and could not be implemented without a massive breach of our human rights and those of our children. Those monitoring are unlikely to understand each child’s situation, needs, learning preferences, strengths and weaknesses. How are they planning on assessing this? What is the protocol they will use? Will it take health and wellbeing into account? Will involve rigorous testing thusly turning the safe home environment that is conducive to that child’s learning effectively into a state school at home?

Louise Engels released this statement in response to the Dispatches Episode on Skipping School

“Having watched the skipping school documentary I have my suspicions as to why Dispatches didn’t want me to contact the media directly. I feel we were manipulated and put in a very vulnerable position. Anne didn’t tell our whole story but it felt like she used us for her own agenda. Her conclusions even contradict her own report into how well elective home educators provide for their children and how badly the education system lets far too many children down.

It was good to meet with Anne and for the boys to be able to share their experiences and opinions with her. However Anne seemed to come across as patronising, at times rude to my children, undermining me as a mum. Anne was asked by a 9 year old boy not to show the part where she invaded his space and upset him. He has PTSD from school and she triggered that live on tv.

Dispatches and the media can edit stories however they like– but the truth is the truth. You can’t control that. Through social media and decent other media outlets, the truth can always be told. I will ensure that I get my right to reply.

I have fought to defend my family from abuse by a head teacher, social services and now Anne Longfield. I expected better from the Children’s Commissioner and Dispatches. This could have been such a good documentary and used to pave the way for real change. Our NOT FINE in school children are always being let down and no one seems willing to ask why and to ensure they hace their SEND and health needs met so they can access education and achieve their potential. Perhaps it was too much to cover in one programme.

Why is Anne insisting that school is the best place for a boy with school trauma– a place where he was neglected and abused? He was off rolled from the same South Leicestershire Primary School that his brothers had attended. A school that now has a huge proportion of mid term transfers. Anne seemed to miss the point that prior to being home educated Leo was not fit for school for more than an hour a day and was so traumatized he was not able to process information, not able to make eye contact nor communicate with adults and was referred by his Rheumatologist for an Autism assessment.

The evidence of the power of home education was caught on film. Leo is now healthy, happy and gradually had become more able to learn. Anne calls for monitoring and then disputed report of our lovely LA local home education officer who monitored us the week before her visit. Does she believe her own opinions are more valid than the experience trained home ed officer, Leo’s consultants, dyslexia assessor and his play therapist?

Anne said that children are safer in school even though she knew school caused my middle sons health to decline too. He is still at mainstream school with an EHCP that I had to fight to get and still needs appealing. The education system is still failing him.

Sadly Anne then refused to address the issue of the highest performing academy in Leicestershire pushing my brilliant, intelligent eldest son out by refusing to follow government policy for ill children. She told him he has a bright future ahead of him– despite being denied an education beyond GCSE’s. It’s a shame she is not investing the schools failing my boys.

Do you think social Services helped to protect my boys? Schools? Or the local education authority who have been stripped of all powers to monitor schools. What is Anne actually proposing to make schools accountable?

Our only real support has come from kind, helpful, well educated, informative members of the local and national home ed community who took us in and taught us a kinder way to educate. Parents who love, nurture and educate their lovely articulate children became my mentors and friends. We have now chosen to follow a gentler approach to education than schools ever can and for us this is throughout the day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year with a mixture of formal and informal learning across a broad curriculum. Now the whole community are at risk of harm from the level of monitoring being proposed, by those, like Anne, who may not see the big picture of how successful home education and alternative provision can be.

Baileys mum is providing an education to her son despite the lack of support. She’s doing an amazing job under difficult circumstances. You could of highlighted that instead of focussing on her difficulties. Lilly is bright and articulate despite schools failing her.

I add my complaint to the many others from parents of children who struggle to attend school and home educators who deserve better than this”.

Louise Engels.

 

Anne makes the assumption that examinations are more important than a child’s well-being. You can catch up on GCSE’s at any time but regaining positive mental and emotional well-being, as we have found, is much more difficult. A child who is in a loving and secure environment will always find it conducive to learning and will naturally seek out varied experiences. We are an inquisitive species with an innate thirst for knowledge, in the right environment, and for many that is home, that thirst intensified, whereas whilst at school these children felt disillusioned and began to resent all learning experiences.

When I first started home educating the first thing that surprised me most was the fact that I wasn’t the only teacher. In our home ed community (a large city) there’s a huge percentage of teachers choosing to home educate due to the failings of the school system. Personally, we would never have opted for home education had the school not let us down so tragically and failed to safeguard my child. Under the current OFSTED regime schools are not conducive learning environments, the focus is no longer on quality of learning and absorption of information. I was dedicated to my learners, I went above and beyond, I lived and breathed SEN having an autistic child myself, yet even in my classroom with my experience, it was impossible to cater to every single learner. Staff rooms were filled with teachers complaining about the lack of resources, the overwhelming class sizes and most importantly how they focus on the A star students as they were the ones they felt were worth the extra effort. No one is more dedicated to their child’s success than a loving parent.  We have such a high statistic of children with mental, emotional and physical needs these days yet the school system hasn’t evolved to cater for them.

Bravo for noticing a problem however your attention is focused in the wrong direction. These children are the victims and the cause is the archaic not fit for purpose educational system.

The 1996 education act places a legal duty on parents to ensure their children receive an education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, taking into account any SEN they may have, through school or otherwise.

This implies that if the schools available to the family have continually failed over a period of years to provide an education fit for purpose that caters to the child’s ability, aptitude and or needs, then there is still a legal duty for the parent to provide it instead, and their only other option is ‘otherwise’, i.e.– home education. Parents are doing exactly what the law requires of them by removing their children from a failing school system to ensure their needs are met.

 

John Stevens.

Proud Home Educator of 4 children.

 

April 2019 Home Education Magazine/ Resource

April 2019

April 2019 Home Education Magazine
Free resource for the home education/ schooling community written by home educated teens.

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Topics this month- Autism Awareness day and the puzzle logo/ Titanic remembrance day/ Easter/ your submissions/ STEM Activities/ Arts and Crafts/ Educational study units/ Book Club/ Recipes/ Come Dine with H.E/ Spring/ Animal Cruelty and national Pet Day/ Holocaust Remembrance Day/ Chernobyl Remembrance Day/ Fridays for Future plus interview with March organizers/ World book day photos/ starting a Nature journal/ Interview with adults who were home educated/ Month in pictures/ Super hero day and much more!

We hope you all enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy creating it, we are grateful for all the support and submissions we receive each month. I am so proud of all our writers this month as they have done amazing!

 

Home Ed Looks Like This

Liz, Tyler, Freya, Jenna, Willow, William, Max and Anthony

Calendar and  observations 2
Pancake Art 4
April fools day 6
Shout Outs 7
Fridays for Future 8
We are Insight 17
Autism Awareness 18
Month in Pictures 24
Animal Cruelty Month 28
National Pet Day 30
Meet our Journalists 31
Apprenticeship– your article submissions 32
Game Review 33
National Ferret Day 34
Meet Melandra– successful & was H.E 36
Poetry Challenge 40
Nature Journaling 42
STEM Activities– Germination, Bouncy Egg, Osmosis Egg 49
Dolphin Day 52
Minecraft 54
Titanic                  Remembrance Day 56
World Book Day Photos 60
Summon the Book Dragon/ Library Week 62
EASTER  & Crafts 69
Faberge– Make your own 73
Superhero Day 86
Holocaust Remembrance 90
Chernobyl Remembrance 92
Come Dine with H.E 94
Monthly Dedication 96

 

tyler nature