Saturday, 11 January 2014


Recently we were given some workbooks, but they were different to workbooks we had used before. These ones come complete with a CD and a licence to edit and print off as many of the worksheets as you need. I can see the potential in this for use in a home education group or co-op and even for us as a family it means we can tweak the activities to suit us and print off a selection of worksheets and activities for Small to choose from.

Today Small chose two of the pages I had printed out and (in a huge leap forward for a little boy who has had little interest and some difficulty with using a pen) he wrote the answers himself.

In case you were wondering, yes unschoolers can use workbooks! The essence of unschooling is the flexibility to provide a range of resources and follow your child's lead, so if they find worksheets interesting then get printing.

If you want to look at the workbooks, you can find them at.            Books From Sharon.  We used three of the maths workbooks but they are available in a range of subjects and ages. Go and take a look :-)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Public meltdowns

When you see a child in full-on meltdown mode, how do you react?

Small had a doctor's appointment today and a packed-to-the-rafters waiting room, TV playing, bing-bonging notification screen and just four hours sleep meant he was struggling as soon as we walked in.

Big took him back to the car and we hoped that, as the appointment was about existing problems, we could get away with just me talking to the doctor. Despite my explanation as to why Small was not present the doctor insisted on seeing him and we had to carry him, kicking and screaming, through the waiting room, past a group of old ladies in the corridor and into the doctor's room. After twenty seconds she said Big could take Small out again so they were paraded back through the surgery.

I stayed to finish up with the doctor but when I left the ladies waiting in the corridor could not meet my eyes. They may have been embarrassed, shy or unsure. They may have been tutting at the badly behaved child. I don't know, but at that point a quick smile or sympathetic glance would have been really appreciated.

An hour later, Small was still producing those heartbreaking juddery sighs that children do and three hours later he has fallen asleep.

It is hard to find the energy and emotional reserves to take your child somewhere that you know will be excruciatingly difficult for them. It is hard to see them in such a state and to know that even the people who aren't staring are probably watching out of the corners of of their eyes. We don't want pity but empathy is appreciated.