{Daughter Diaries} #67

Daughter Diaries 67 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, the truth is this, I don’t home educate you because I want to do school with you, I home educate you because I want to do life with you! I’ve had seven splendid years with you now and you know what? I still don’t wanna miss a thing! The days can be long (especially during lockdown!) but the years are so very, very short and I feel that now, seven years in to this motherhood gig, I’m now beginning to really understand that. Dear Bubbles, your enthusiasm for phonics is to be applauded and your sponge like brain is truly impressive. You do realise though that despite being homeschoolers we don’t actually have to do school work every day of the week!? Mama does likes to have a break some times, you know, especially when she is 36 weeks pregnant and supposedly on maternity leave! Dearest Daughters, I will be forever grateful for the extra time I have gained with you by being the Mummy Teacher, how blessed I am to live the life I lead.

What blessings are you discovering during lockdown?

 

Blossom Turns Seven!

Blossom Turns Seven! | The Open Home

I love writing and drawing, telling stories, reading books, baking cakes and eating cakes, poetry, singing and classical music, history, nature, baby goats, walking through Candie Gardens, eating chips on the beach, swimming and rock pooling, going to Rainbows, cuddles, cuddles and more cuddles, Granny’s stories and daughter dates.

My favourite toys are my bunny Boo, my matchbox mouse Fred and toy animals.

My favourite books are Milly-Molly-Mandy, The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse, The Enormous Crocodile and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

My favourite movies are Ice Age, FrozenArthur Christmas and the TinkerBell movies.

My favourite foods are raspberries, strawberries, macaroni cheese, ice-cream, chocolate, cake, chocolate cake, chips and Granny’s yorkshire puddings!

When I grow up I want to own a sweet shop!

——

For more birthday posts about our sweet Blossom, click {HERE}.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart! Mama loves you.

{April Gratitudes}

Gratitudes April 2020 | The Open Home
For fresh air and freedom and bumping into old friends.
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For dirty hands and marvellous worms.
Gratitudes April 2020 | The Open Home
For the sweet whimsy of learning from home.
Gratitudes April 2020 | The Open Home
For simple celebrations and successful Easter treats.
Gratitudes April 2020 | The Open Home
For the simple pleasure of a dandy puff.
Gratitudes April 2020 | The Open Home
For urban surprises and nature that finds a way.
Gratitudes April 2020 | The Open Home
For the sound of the postman’s knock and the joy of a simple letter.
Gratitudes April 2020 | The Open Home
For beauty in the small things and the splendour of spring.

 

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal during April, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?

{Home Ed} Introducing Charlotte

Introducing Charlotte | The Open Home

Since we started home educating Blossom two and a half years ago, six families have been in contact with me directly to discuss the possibility of home educating their little one(s) at home on this island, not to mention the countless others I have spoken with online via a Facebook group for home educators in Guernsey.

They usually start by asking me what do we do and are then very eager to know what we use to do it.

This line of thought often has people bogged down in the “how to” of home educating, most often before they have even given much thought as to the “why” of home educating.

I personally feel it’s important to understand why you want to home educate your kids before you start planning how to home educate them and unfortunately, I’m often not much help when it comes to the “how to” of home educating, especially not when someone is after a curriculum suggestion, as we do not follow the national curriculum nor a box set of curriculum.

What I do follow however, is an educational philosophy.

Introducing Charlotte | The Open Home

Now if a curriculum is the “how to” of an education then an educational philosophy is the “why”. It’s the guiding principle that keeps the big picture in mind and the reference point for all learning.

This is why when prospective home educators are seeking advice on how to home educate their kids I like to encourage them to first take some time to think about why they want to home educate their kids. I find researching the various educational philosophies can really help with this, enabling you to identify the educational values and methods that aren’t always used in schools, but are important to you.

Now there are many educational philosophies out there and not everyone that home educates chooses to follow one and many even glean ideas from a few. Waldorf Steiner, Montessori, Classical, Charlotte Mason and Un-schooling seem to be the most popular ones, but there are others and I’m not going to go into the details of all of these here as I do not follow them all.

Instead today I would just like to introduce you to Charlotte Mason, the creator of the one educational philosophy that I do follow.

Introducing Charlotte | The Open Home

Now Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. As a child she was mostly educated at home by her parents and then as an adult went on to become a teacher, lecturer and educator who authored many books on the topic of educational theory. She also co-founded an organisation, the Parents Educational Union later renamed the Parents National Education Union, or the PNEU for short which offered support and resources to parents who were educating their children at home.

As her theory of education became popular the first school based on her principles was opened in 1890 and there are still a few PNEU private schools operating in the UK today, not to mention thousands of home educators worldwide choosing to educate their children the Charlotte Mason way.

Now I won’t go into all the principles of a Charlotte Mason education here nor will I share in detail about all of her wonderful methods, which appeal to so many. I will save that for a later post as this one is already getting rather long. Today I just wanted to briefly introduce you to Charlotte, to put her on your radar and then in my later home ed posts I can unpack the philosophy a little more.

Personally I have found following an educational philosophy, particularly the Charlotte Mason philosophy to be very grounding and affirming in my journey as a home educator. It’s enabled me to better understand my educational values, to keep focused on what I’m trying to achieve in our homeschool and it gives me greater freedom when making decisions as I have some guiding principles to come back to.

So in conclusion today I would just like to briefly sum up, in my own words what the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education looks like. I’m sure that other home educators would explain it very differently, as different aspects of the philosophy may appeal to them more, but for those who are unsure of some of the traits of a Charlotte Mason education then these are the elements that drew me to the philosophy.

Here we go:

“The Charlotte Mason philosophy of education is also known as the gentle art of learning. It provides an education rich in the liberal arts offering a wide variety of subjects that educate the whole child, not just his mind. There is a focus on forming good habits, gaining life skills, spending time outdoors and using quality children’s literature, with short formal lessons being delayed until a child is around 6 years old.”

Introducing Charlotte | The Open Home

So in my next Charlotte Mason post I’ll share more about how we implement the Charlotte Mason philosophy in our homeschool, mentioning some of the main methods she used that have now become some of the key characteristics of a Charlotte Mason homeschool education.

So tell me, what are your questions about a Charlotte Mason education?

{Daughter Diaries} #66

Daughter Diaries 66 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, I love your sweet anticipation as you await the arrival of your new baby brother or sister. There is no jealousy or rivalry within you, just sheer joy that there will soon be a baby in our home to love and cuddle and squidge and kiss. You’d fill our home with many more babies if you had your way and your open heart and generous spirit truly bless me. You give me courage and confidence for the days that are to come and I’m so grateful for that. Dear Bubbles, your name suggestions for baby have been interesting to say the least, but unfortunately Daddy is not up for calling the baby Buttercup, Pirate Pants or Barnacle, but I do think that last one really did have a good ring to it. Thanks for being willing to pass on that baby of the family position to another and thanks for “patiently” waiting outside the bathroom door whilst I have my relaxing bath time, just so you’re ready to help with rubbing cream into my baby bump. What would I do without you? Dearest Daughters, always remember that no matter how old you get, no matter how many children I have, you are and will always be my precious baby girls.

What funny name suggestions have you heard children come up with?

{Wild Challenge} Feed the Birds

Wild Challenge | Feed the Birds | The Open Home

The girls have ticked off their first help nature activity as part of their RSPB Wild Challenge bronze award, meaning we’re now half way to achieving it! This time they got their hands sticky in an attempt to feed the birds.

We stocked up on nuts, bird seed, suet bites and meal worms and mixed it all together with some grated cheese, raisins and lard. We were able to create 7 yogurt pot sized bird feeders for hanging around the garden as well as a bird food cake to put in our ground feeder.

Our resident robin in particular is especially appreciating their efforts and the girls feel pleased they are helping nature right in their own back yard.

Here is the photo evidence:

The Open Home 1465Wild Challenge | Feed the Birds | The Open HomeThe Open Home 1455The Open Home 1457The Open Home 1456The Open Home 1458The Open Home 1459The Open Home 1464The Open Home 1461The Open Home 1463Wild Challenge | Feed the Birds | The Open Home

When was the last time you fed the birds?

{March Gratitudes}

Gratitudes March 2020 | The Open Home
For the respite that is nature.
Gratitudes March 2020 | The Open Home
For the artist that is within.
Gratitudes March 2020 | The Open Home
For life amidst chaos.
Gratitudes March 2020 | The Open Home
For the spring that comes after the winter.
Gratitudes March 2020 | The Open Home
For the art of celebration.
Gratitudes March 2020 | The Open Home
For the strength to carry on.
Gratitudes March 2020 | The Open Home
For our lifestyle of learning.

 

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal during March, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?