Monday, 25 April 2016

Updates for Home Educators

One of the things that I have missed most since leaving medicine is the professional development: the conferences, grand rounds and departmental meetings. These times are for learning, not just of facts, but for discussion and inspiration. Educating children at home is also a professional work and to do this well, we need to keep learning.

Like medicine, to educate well and happily, we, home educating Mums, need opportunities to talk about the best way to educate our children. Over the years, I have found that these opportunities are there and this is a short list of what I have found most helpful. Please feel free to add your own sources of professional development for home educating mothers.

One of the reasons that I started blogging was to have a discussion with other home educators much as I would have presented a case in a medical meeting and then had a discussion.

Some of the blogs that I have found most useful for information and discussion are
Angellicscalliwags-Claire is from the UK and manages to fit so much into her day. I often refer to her blog for ideas.
Se7en is a South African blogger who has been homeschooling for many years. Again, there are helpful lists and ideas. 
Every Bed of Roses is the blog of Chareen from Australia. Chareen is a particular expert at resources lists.
An Island Family by Grace posts once a week, meaty posts full of lists of ideas.
Teatime with Annie Kate. Annie Kate is an experienced home educator and originally a physicist who writes helpful reviews.
Education is a Life is a Charlotte Mason style home education blog based on Prince Edward Island. 

I'm quite a newcomer to podcasts, partly, because I don't always find concentrating easy without something to see but they have become my companion while cooking and doing housework. My favourites are

Dawn at Lady Dusk has a series about podcasts around home education called Podcast Addicted.
Social media forums
These can become overwhelming and I find there needs to be a balance between usefulness and time taken. However, these are great for asking questions. We have had great success with educational games from list suggestions and a discussion helped me refine my ideas about a science curriculum. Currently, I find three Facebook groups helpful
  • Christian Home Educators UK
  • Charlotte Mason Conversations UK
  • Well Trained Mind.
Yes, that is classical and Charlotte Mason. We are eclectic home educators! I am finding that Charlotte Mason's ideas fit one of my children particularly well.

These are all closed groups.

One of my friends has arranged a couple of meetings for local home educators to meet and show their favourite books/curriculum/ideas. Meeting with other home educators, both informally, and at groups has often been a time for exchanging ideas and for enthusing me to look out or at a book or curriculum. 
As iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27 verse 17

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  1. Thank you for mentioning my blog, Sarah :-) I agree with all of your points, particularly meeting with other home educators, which is really encouraging. I also try to read at least a couple of HE-related books each year. I have just ordered The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola, so I will need to get back into the way of reading, as it is quite a long book!

    1. Yes, I tend to have a list of books to read. I've recently downloaded on of the Charlotte Mason volumes although I haven't got very far yet.