The Beginning of the End

Today.  Just another rainy day in August.  Too much to do and yet nothing to do.  I’m lacking motivation today.  Tobias is at football – the first of four sports days with his new school.  I hope he’s having fun even though he will be getting very wet and muddy.  It’s not the official start of term but it feels like it.  And ever since we took him out of school five and a half years ago, this day has been a shadow in the background.  Hardly visible most of the time but always there.  The beginning of the end of our home educating life.  In some ways it’s just a bend in the road and there’s likely to be a lot of home educating going on here for years to come.  But today it feels more like an end than a beginning.

There’s a lot to be positive about.  I’m proud of my biggest boy and I love watching him grow and gain independence.  He has chosen this next step himself, worked hard to get where his is now and is (most of the time) looking forward to this new experience.  I have loved having him at home with me for so much of his childhood and I am so glad I didn’t blink and miss it.  But I have always said it is his choice and now he is ready to move on.

I’m happy for him but I’m a little bit sad too.  Suddenly our freedom to go where we like when we like is gone, and all the children will be affected by that.  But more than that, I’m sad that Tobias’ time will be so structured.  I know there will be lots that he will enjoy at school but I don’t want him to miss out.  I wish he could have the benefits of school without giving up so much time.  Time to learn what he wants to learn and study things in depth.  Time to read a whole novel in a day.  Time to relax with friends.  Time to cook meals for the whole family.  Time to play with his baby brother.

I saw this on facebook yesterday and it summed up a lot of the things I’ve been feeling recently.

school

I hope we will be able to find a way to work round the edges of school, to live our lives and learn and grow, to keep school in its place as a resource, a part of the education we want our children to have but by no means all of it.

Over the years I’ve often been asked why I’m home educating.  There are many ways to answer that question but the simplest answer is this – I want them to love learning.  I’m proud of Tobias and everything he has achieved throughout his primary school years at home.  But most of all I’m proud and happy that he loves to learn and now I think he is mature enough that school, even though it isn’t perfect, won’t ever be able to take that away from him.  So that’s why I know he is ready to go.

And as I’m writing this he’s just walked through the door – wet, muddy and happy, so I think the first day was a success.  This is it – the beginning of the end.  But I’m hopeful it’s the beginning of something good too.

Tobias (I know you will read this!) – I am praying for you, that you will enjoy your time at school, have lots of fun and make new friends.  I hope and expect you will do well at school, but I want you to remember what’s really important.  Just be yourself – trustworthy and reliable; kind and generous; enthusiastic and open-minded – and then you will be able to make the most of the new challenges and opportunities that school will bring.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

 

 

 

Baby Boy: some photos

I’m still trying to find a way to unblock the blogging block and I think getting some more photos of baby boy on here will help.  I wish I had managed to blog about the early weeks and months, but life got in the way.  So I’m going to start by publishing this with a few photos and just add to it when I have time.  Apologies for the baby spam – probably only of interest to me but I want them here to look back on!

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Me and My Girl

Yesterday I went out with my girl. We went to the hairdresser’s together and had a lovely time.

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My beautiful girl.

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Afterwards we went shopping. You can never have too many shoes!  And then we had lunch.

me and my girl 3 three

It was the perfect morning.

Sleeping Like a Baby

Dear Baby Boy

You are nearly five and a half months old and you are not sleeping through the night yet – let’s talk about that.  You are now two weeks older than any of your older siblings were when they slept through.  And that’s ok – if there’s one thing I’d like you to learn in life, it’s this.  It’s good to be different.  It’s good to be you.

When you were very new I remember tweeting that you were sleeping like a baby – only when you felt like it, for about twenty minutes at a time and right in the middle of the bed!  And looking back on those first few weeks, I was very happy.  Co-sleeping and breastfeeding made it easy, I loved having time just with you and I didn’t care how tired I was.  I didn’t try to do too much else because I knew those early days go too fast.

But somehow it has crept up on me.  The gaps between feeds are getting a bit longer, I’m not quite as tired, and so I’ve started taking on too much.  And I know it’s not right because I’m losing my joy and I’m feeling dragged down.  So I’m glad, my beautiful boy, that you are still waking me up in the night and reminding me of what’s important.  I love your little squeaks and snuffles and wriggles that are your way of telling me what you want.  I love having you right next to me so that you can latch on without even having to open your eyes and you almost never have to cry – well not in the night, at least.  The day times are when you sometimes have to wait, but the night times are all yours.  I love the warmth of you and the weight of you and your milky smiles and the peace that you bring to me.  And after a feed it’s sometimes hard to take my eyes off you because I love watching you sleep.  Other times I’m already asleep myself before you’ve finished!

sleep

I’ve started to make some changes, to make life more manageable, so that you and your brothers and sister can have more of my attention.  I haven’t got it all worked out but I will get there.  So don’t start sleeping through the night baby boy, not just yet.  I need you to keep reminding me to slow down and focus on the things that really matter.

I love you.

Mummy

Baby Boy

I can’t sleep and I need something positive to think about so I’m going to indulge in looking back at photos of baby boy.  I need to remind myself how lucky I am.

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Birthday Interview with the boy who is 5 years old (2015)

I’ve forgotten the birthday interview again, so just squeaking it in at the end of the birthday month!

birthday boy 5

What would you like to be when you grow up?

A train driver

What’s your favourite colour?

Red

What’s your favourite flower? (An extra question he suggested himself!)

The red ones – what are they called?  Poppies!

What’s your favourite book?

A pirate book

What’s your favourite film?

Thomas

What are your favourite toys?

Cars

What is your favourite food?

Fish and chips

What is your favourite thing to wear?

Shirts

What do you like doing with mummy?

Cuddling

What do you like doing with daddy?

Helping him cook supper

What makes you happy?

Cuddling with my soft toys

Tell me a joke

Why did the doctor go to the doctor’s?  Because he was hurt!

 

Baby Boy’s first day

This is how tired I am.  I few days ago I felt a great sense of achievement at finally having made photo collages of baby boy’s first 24 hours and I published them here.  Today I look in my drafts and find out I had already done it but not published it some time ago.  So here is an ever so slightly different and yet basically the same set of pictures… sigh.

baby boy first day 1

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Baby boy: the first 24 hours

So, this post was going to be entitled Baby Boy: the first three months, but as it’s taken me about a month to organise photo collages of his first day I think I’d better publish it now and hope to do better with the rest another time.  I don’t know how serious baby bloggers do it – I have barely managed to open my laptop in the last four months, but I will try to add some more photo posts over the next few weeks.  I was recently reminded that when I wrote baby boy’s birth story I promised a follow-up post about the rest of our hospital stay.  Too much time has passed now and I can’t think of anything intelligent to say about it, so the pictures will have to do.  Pure self-indulgent baby spam, but I want them here on the blog to look back on.

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Birthday Interview with the girl who is 7 years old (2015)

It’s been a while since her birthday, but we suddenly realised we hadn’t done it, and it is still her birthday month!

beautiful girl

What would you like to be when you grow up?

An inventor

What’s your favourite colour?

Blue

What’s your favourite book?

Frozen

What’s your favourite film?

Frozen

What’s your favourite song?

Let it Go

What are your favourite toys?

Frozen toys

What is your favourite food?

Prawn curry, fish and chips, mint choc chip ice cream, chocolate cake and Frozen cupcakes

What is your favourite thing to wear?

Elsa dress, Anna dress, Frozen pyjamas and Frozen T-shirt

What do you like doing with mummy?

Reading, knitting and shopping

What do you like doing with daddy?

Cuddling and talking

What makes you happy?

Frozen

Tell me a joke

What’s brown and sticky?  A stick

Birthday Interview with the boy who is 9 Years Old (2015)

The title of this post is deliberately missing the blog name of the child who doesn’t like his blog name any more.  Need to rethink the nicknames or else use their real names and I’m not sure which yet.  So for now the birthday boy is He Who Must Not Be Named and he is nine years old today!

nat nine years old

What would you like to be when you grow up?

A Lego designer.

What’s your favourite colour?

Yellow.

What’s your favourite book?

The Beano.

What are your favourite toys?

My Minecraft figures.

What is your favourite food?

Haribos.

What is your favourite thing to wear?

Swimming shorts, but only when I’m in the swimming pool or on the way to it.

What do you like doing with mummy?

Reading Harry Potter.

What do you like doing with daddy?

Stuff.

What makes you happy?

Today.

Tell me a joke

What’s made of chocolate and found on the seabed?  An oyster egg.