Planning a gap year?


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But feeling a little daunted?

Not sure which way to turn?

Wondering where you'll end up

And what might happen along the way?

Fear not!!

We have loads of tips and advice to share with you

From our own amazing Family Gap Year!

Home Schooling - Comparisons

"The only way of catching a train I ever discovered is to miss the train before." G.K. Chesterton

My sisters both have daughters the same age as mine and, despite our efforts not to do this, there has always been an element of my daughter is doing better, is more advanced, is cleverer, is smarter than yours.

And of course both sisters had something to say about the trip, part envy, part doubt, part worry mixed with a huge big dose of affectionate encouragement.

While I was away I would talk regularly with them both and would hear that Zara had got an A in Art and merits in writing, that Nicky had got distinction in music, A's in Drama and Languages...

It was very hard when I heard these things as I immediately wondered if I was doing the right thing and felt depressed. Then my youngest daughter would sit me down and explain square roots and long division to me so I could teach it to my elder daughter. Then my older daughter would do some complex computer art or speak to some other travellers in German and I realised that there were no comparisons here. The children were themselves and I simply had to make the most of our adventures.

I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent article by Valerie Delp.

Deschooling: The Fallacy of Comparing Children - by Valerie Delp

One of the boldest arguments that I've ever heard against homeschooling is to compare children. When my son did not know how to write his letters or the sounds of the letters by age 4, people around us were up in arms about our home schooling practices. One particular acquaintance pointed out that her son was in an all day preschool program and he could write all of his letters and numbers and knew most of their sounds. Perhaps it was time to admit that I'm not so good at this home schooling thing after all.

Meanwhile, my poor illiterate son was designing experiments to explain inertia, learning about plants and cross-pollination, and explaining trajectory in action while we drove through a tornado. He actually remained "illiterate" until just recently when he learned the sounds of his letters, as well as their names, as well as how to combine them to make three letter words. . .in just a few days. So technically, if we were comparing students, I could tell my friend that what it took her son a whole year to learn, mine picked up in a week! But we're not supposed to compare, right?

What Your Well Meaning Friends Don't Realize

When did your child start walking? At 9 months? At 14 months? Or somewhere in between? Any one of those three answers are within the range of what is considered normal. Likewise, reading is a developmental process. While it is normal to begin reading at four, it is also normal to begin reading as late as 9 or 10. Even research shows that kids who learn to read late, casting aside those blessed phonics to learn about nature or geography, learn to read more quickly, and with less frustration than kids who learned to read earlier. That same research also shows that kids who learn to read later do better in academic subjects because they're able to bring a greater wealth of experience and thus a deeper comprehension for what they're reading. But I doubt your friend (or mine) has read this study.

For the rest of this great article please click here

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