>new beginnings - LOU McGILL
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>new beginnings

>new beginnings

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frozen in time

It feels like we are coming out of hibernation…

So much has happened that I don’t have time to do write it all down, but I think we’re coming back to the blogging and soon to the home education…

laurie is due to start secondary school this year and it has focussed our thoughts for a long time. I have spent hours looking for a school small enough to replicate his current small primary school in Govan. Shame we can’t replicate the head teacher and her staff because he is still doing fantastically well at that school.

We are just not prepared to set him up to fail in a large secondary school where people have no concept of him and his needs. The fact that he is so high functioning means that people just do not see how differently his brain does work. He has also got much better at masking things (like when he doesn’t understand the instructions, etc.) He just works it out himself eventually and quietly and then completes the task. He is desperate to start learning ‘real’ things. He wants academic challenge.

So I am going to do this with him. We will be interpreting the term home education broadly to encompass a wide range of activities, both academic and practical. We will be doing solitary and social learning and sometimes it will be well structured (because he likes that) and other times we’ll let our hair down a bit. Our home education won’t just be happening in the home but it may include rearing chickens and growing some of our own food.

I can’t wait….

We contemplated us both giving up our jobs and moving to Orkney (yes a bit drastic but very nearly happened last September but didn’t work out). The plan is now for me to finish work in time to start the secondary education phase while Tim stays in his job. We’ll sell the grand flat in Glasgow and downsize. We ‘re planning to move to the country (maybe in Argyll & Bute)…

I am going to try to make some money with a bit of elearning consultancy and my photography. I’ve been working on a new website and not had any time for flickr or the blogging. Maybe I can start to catch up again with my non work life!

the new photography website…

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5 Comments
  • Joker The Lurcher
    Posted at 04:56h, 16 February Reply

    >it sounds like you folks have been making some big changes! we too are downsizing, and now its all under way it feels really good. hope it works out for you – the very best of luck. and i will be picking your brains about moodle…

  • Navi
    Posted at 12:46h, 17 February Reply

    >well, this sounds like good news, though its sad you couldn’t find a good school.

    I’m a bit scared of middle school for Lola as well (in the States, Elementary is typically Kindergarden through 5th grade, and then they start middle school with 6 grade, when they are 11 or 12).

    Lola’s already having challenges as the last 2 years of elementary school are more performance based than ability based, to prepare for future schooling. Her report card (which is Montessori, and doesn’t use grades, but instead uses things like ‘needs attention’) wasn’t quite so pretty as it was in the past. I actually need to talk to them about it. You can’t excel in fractions if you need to work on addition & subtraction… and she already gets extra time on standardized testing so the time it takes her to do it is irrelevant – I discussed this with her, as while math is her weakest subject, she’s still very good at it, and the only thing she could figure is that she does poorly during the timed activities (all the papers that get sent home show she answered everything correctly). I’m pretty sure if it was timed on a computer she’d do tons better. I’m seriously considering they put that she is to work on a computer whenever possible in her IEP… I know they can do it, as it was in my husband’s…

    Unfortunately we lack the patience or organization to home school, I think she’d flourish if it was done correctly.

    Luckily Lola is in a school district that acknowledges both her issues and her abilities, and her IEP (educational plan, which this district actually tailors to her needs) will follow her.

  • Lou
    Posted at 08:40h, 24 February Reply

    >Hi both

    nice to see you…

    Navi – Laurie definitely has problems with timing with his work because he always tries to make it perfect and he has had lots of complaints from the teacher about what she describes as ‘taking too long’.

    Laurie always gets all his maths questions right but takes longer to understand her instructions and then to write his answers perfectly. I agree that using a computer would make a difference to him too.

    Lou

  • Navi
    Posted at 14:50h, 24 February Reply

    >So with math, they pretty much have the same problems 🙂

    I’ve also noticed with Lola, she doesn’t tend to hear all of the instructions. which is also where she gets into trouble. I’m beginning to see it at home, so I’ll have to point it out at school. she can’t follow directions properly if she didn’t catch everything… I’ve been trying to get her to slow down and pay attention, she has trouble concentrating, though, I think.

  • the purpose of education | loumcgill
    Posted at 10:04h, 03 February Reply

    […] most families we encounter informal learning opportunities every day. However we decided not to participate in the formal education offered by the state. We learn at home, in our community, in the wider […]

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