I don’t know how you do it…

If you are home educating and have little ones, you’ll have heard this a few times…  “I don’t know how you manage to home educate at the same time as looking after your baby/ toddler/ pre-schooler.”  There are so many ways to answer this, that I never know where to begin.  So every time someone says it to me, my reply is probably something different, but may include the following:

  • I’m quite good at multi-tasking – I’ve been doing it non-stop since my first child was born nearly 8 years ago
  • I remember vividly the stressful (to put it mildly) experience of having a child in school, a pre-schooler and a toddler, and being pregnant… that was much much harder than home educating
  • Home educating 4 children is no harder than parenting 4 children (of course you may be one of those people who say “I don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t cope with 4 children” – I don’t know how to answer that one either.  What can I say?  I’m not you… you might find it impossible to cope with, but to me it’s rewarding and fun and I think I’m the luckiest mum in the world)
  • I’ve been a teacher with a class of 35, so a one to four ratio is easy
  • The gap in ability between children in the same year group can be so great that complex differentiation is always required when planning lessons…in some ways it’s easier, or certainly no harder, to plan home ed activities for ages 2 to 8
  • My toddler sleeps for two hours in the morning, and my pre-schooler spends four mornings a week at pre-school
  • My older children teach the younger ones/play with them/ read to them often without being asked (yesterday Rabbit went through a whole vehicles poster with Tiddler, asking him “can you say car?  can you say fire engine?” … and he solemnly repeated every one!)
  • I have brilliant friends, including other home educators as well as friends who send their children to school, and my parents and my mother-in-law, who help with childcare and education in many different ways

If you asked me that question today, my answer would be the last one on the list.  Today my two oldest boys enjoyed a brilliant educational and fun experience, visiting the British Museum with me and a very good friend, while another lovely family looked after my little two and took them on a wonderful walk through a National Trust park to a farm.  I will blog the Museum visit later, but for now I just wanted to say how lucky I am to have great friends who made this lovely day possible.

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