A week in the life of our home educating family (KJ)

A week in the life of our home educating family

Kirsty James

Three of my children are now at university, so home ed looks very different for my remaining teen, Rosa (15). There’s no more traipsing around after her siblings, the whole week is planned around her activities. Our style is eclectic, and ranges from academic classes to days of nothing much. We discuss the KLAs at the start of each semester and Rosa chooses what to do for each, and we discuss any areas where she or I feel particular attention is needed. As we near the end of our HE journey, the focus is on preparing for further study and work, including exploring career options. 


Co-op is a great motivation to get going on Mondays. We meet every other week at a local hall for activities, and, on the alternate weeks, we have excursions. We have missed so many sessions due to Covid, so it’s great to be back together. Today we had an archery session, followed by an informal game of beach cricket. Monday evenings are busy with lyra class at the local circus school, followed by volleyball training. 


Normally I teach French on Tuesdays to Rosa and one of her friends, but today there’s an excursion to a hair and makeup day in the city. Unsure what to expect, we both had a fantastic day. Rosa mastered braiding, and learnt about daytime and evening makeup looks, as well as enjoying spending time with old and new friends. The evening saw me back in my role as chauffeur, first a general circus class and then Venturer Scouts – geocaching at a local park. 


A quick trip to the chiropractor this morning led to a possible work experience opportunity for Rosa – helping our chiropractor in her other role as a disability support worker. We made it to the Riding for the Disabled centre just in time. Rosa groomed and prepared the horses before children from the local special school arrived. She helps by walking beside the riders, in case there was a problem. In the afternoon, she had a clarinet lesson, working on music for the next AMEB grade, as well as learning more busking pieces. Volunteering again in the evening, helping with science experiments at Joey Scouts. 


It’s the only quiet day this week, so we started late. Rosa did maths (probability), French homework, clarinet practice, some typing (Touch Type to Read and Spell) and watched a couple of episodes of Crash Course. She’s considering working in allied health, so science this year is all biology and psychology. Volleyball is on again this evening. 


Rosa was fortunate to be offered a job on her fifteenth birthday, and has been working at a local farm gate for seven months. Sometimes she packs orders, but today she’s doing retail: laying out the produce (in a vintage train carriage), serving customers, answering the phone, then clearing up at the end. 


Rosa had a volleyball match this morning, and spent the rest of the day relaxing at home and doing a few chores. In the evening her friends invited her to join their youth group for indoor rock climbing. 


Tired but excited we headed to Pakenham for a Khanacross competition. Competitors follow a set course, trying to get the fastest time with the fewest penalties (for hitting flags or breaking rules). It was Rosa’s first competition, so other club members gave her plenty of advice and support, and she was pleased with her final time. 

It’s been a very physical week but after the disappointment of missing so many activities last year, we attend as many excursions and one off events as possible. I love that no two weeks look alike, and I’m grateful that we have the freedom to fit in work experience, life skills, and social opportunities as they arise. Rosa’s education is completely different to that of my other children in their teen years, because it’s her’s. 

Otherways 169 (August 2021)

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