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

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


I’ve been a home educating parent for almost nine years. We’ve always had a bit of an eclectic style, I prompt and strew a few activities, but the kids (now 12 and 14) have always been mostly self- directed learners as they have many interests to keep them engaged. 

The best thing about home education is the ability to take advantage of opportunities as they arise and to shape our life to suit our intellectual, emotional, and developmental needs. This means every year and every term look a bit different. 

This year has looked different to our previous ones. Many people I know feel like we’re going through a bit of a ‘lockdown hangover’, and still dipping our toes cautiously in life as we get used to returning to normal. For us, it’s meant lots of catch-ups with friends and more spontaneous activities. So, our typical week looked a bit like this: 


Probably our favourite day of the week! The kids’ friends come to ours for a small 12-15-year-old group we run. It’s mainly a space for them to connect and strengthen their friendship, have a bit of fun, and try out a few hands-on activities which might be trickier in a bigger group. We start the session with games (cards, board games, a bit of dress up or improv), have a healthy lunch, spend some time outdoors, then we all get to work on creating something, such as an art project or baking/cooking something new. The day ends with some screen time (watching a movie or TV series, playing video games together etc.) to unwind before everyone goes home. It’s a long day (5-6 hours) but it means we can tackle lengthier projects and feel like we’ve completed everything we wanted to. 

Today we made rocky road. Everyone chose their own ingredients (we had nuts, raspberry lollies, dried fruit, coconut, marshmallows) and mixed them with either melted white or milk chocolate, refrigerated them for a couple of hours, and made more than enough to take home to the families. It was an easy activity but so much fun, the best part was sitting at the table chopping and chatting and hearing what wonderfully interesting things come out of the brains of teens! 


A quiet day of home ed busy-ness. Our home days start with a Morning Activity, this used to be play- based when they were little but is now mainly a drawing/writing activity. They both love storytelling and have done lots of creative writing over the years. This year we’re doing a bit more work on essays and non-fictional writing, so I’ve created sheets with prompts about all sorts of topics for them to write about. 

Wednesday & Thursday 

With home ed families spread out far and wide, the kids are very lucky to have some of their best friends live nearby. It means they can organise quick meet-ups with short notice. My kids and their friends check in with each other via messages, and if anyone is doing a non-exclusive activity, you can be sure a couple extra friends will join in. 

We originally had no plans on Wednesday but found out that two friends were meeting up in a town near us to run errands (the beauty of teens gaining more independence and catching buses by themselves!), which meant my kids wanted to tag along too! After helping their friends with the shopping, they spent a long time at the playground, chatting, and enjoying each other’s company. 

On Thursday, I had planned a trip to stock up on a few home ed supplies to use at our Monday group, so after the kids’ morning check-in with friends, we had an extra child join us for what would’ve otherwise been quite a mundane outing. 


Another favourite day! We went to our weekly Nature Play group, run at a friend’s beautiful property in the Dandenongs. There are children of all ages and quite a few different activities on offer every week. Today we played UNO and ping-pong, baked biscuits and had cuddles with baby chickens. 

One of our friends from Nature Play came home with us afterwards. I’m good friends with his mum so when she came to pick him up, we had a lovely chat over coffee and cupcakes we had just baked. 


After such a busy week, today we had a ‘do what you want day’ which for my 14-year-old meant doing some digital artwork on her iPad, while the 12-year-old wanted to practice decorating some cupcakes with fondant we made yesterday. For the rest of the day, lots of online gaming with friends. 


Sunday is my day off! Today worked out well in that the kids wanted to go to a local market with their best friends, followed by a movie. 

As children grow, us parents also have much to learn about letting them grow without us. One year ago, they wouldn’t have felt confident enough to go out and about without adults, now they’re all practicing their independence as a friend group, supporting, and helping each other as they learn new life skills. This is exactly what I was hoping for in their teen years when we started home educating. Seeing them happy is all the confirmation I need that we chose the right path for them. 

Otherways 172 (May 2022)

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