My favourite thing about home education is the slow pace of life. There is no need to rush around anymore, no screaming and stressing to just get dressed and get out of the house. No snapping at each other in the evenings because we are tired and have a billion jobs to do. We can savour each and every moment and take the time to truly find joy.

I have become a YES mum. Can we paint? YES, Can we run around the garden? YES, Can we have a tea party? YES, Can we stay up late and have a sleepover in each other’s rooms? YES. Home education allows us to pretty much do as we please, to choose the joy in life.
Even though I have a rough plan of what I would like us to achieve by the end of each week/term/year. We aren’t restricted by the 9 am – 3 pm school day. Learning is happening all of the time for us.

This leaves us all room to have days where we just choose joy all day!

A perfect example of this was last week. The girls asked if they could go for a bike ride as the sun was out. They were gifted brand spanking new shiny bikes from Father Christmas, but as our weather has been rubbish they haven’t really used them. I could have said NO, we have too much ‘stuff” to do. But would the girls have been engaged in the ‘stuff’ I had planned, or would they have been sat staring out of the window all day yearning to be outside? So I said YES! We packed up, got out the bikes and headed off on our merry way.

Little Bean started off very emotional, struggling to pedal and becoming angry and upset. Big Bean had mastered her new bike and was flying ahead. I could have become stressed out with Little Bean and suggested we head home. But I encouraged her to let go of her fears, promised to ride by her side, and persuaded her to persevere. Well that more than paid off halfway through the ride when she said to me “I’m going to stop worrying about falling off mummy, as I think that the worry is stopping me from riding properly”, wise words indeed. I could have cried when a few minutes later she pedaled past me shouting “I’m doing it, mummy, I’m doing it!” Atta Girl Baby!
We rode to a local free museum and spent the afternoon playing holiday. I was a pilot, taxi driver, concierge, chef and tour guide. Some people may argue that this is spoiling children, that children need the structure, boundaries, and rules that schools force upon them. Days spent like today are wasted or we have achieved nothing. Well, I argue that we have achieved a damn lot! Little Bean learned the important lesson of perseverance and patience when trying to learn a new skill. Big Bean improved her road safety and helped guide us across busy roads. They paid for their own hot chocolates. We stopped many, many times on our way to look at snails, plants, architecture. We talked about history and engineering, we helped an elderly lady carry her tray and discussed respecting and helping others. And when we got home the girls offered to help me with some chores around the house, then voluntarily did some maths work.

But the most important lesson that I think I am teaching my children by saying YES, by choosing JOY, by allowing them a slow fulfilled childhood is that this is their lives, and while yes all of the boring stuff still needs to be done, they essentially get to choose how to spend each day, they get to choose what knowledge they wish to gain.

And if the sun just happens to be shining, why on earth shouldn’t we be out there enjoying it, relishing in each sweet second of it. Because tomorrow it may just rain again.

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