Home Education, Being Free to Learn and Explore Love of Nature by Bláthnaid 

Hey everyone, I hope the seemingly incessant yet unpredictable rain isn’t driving you all insane! I’m back to school and finding it difficult to get into a rhythm which lets me work hard and pursue my own interests. My mum decided that my sister Bláthnaid would really benefit from home education so I’m a little envious that she can learn and pursue her interests in tandem! Personally for me, I don’t think I could now work the same way at home as I do in school. I really like the structure and in my school there are ways which all the ummmm ‘geeky nerds’ can connect: and we do! It’s my favourite part of every day and I can without fear of retribution, talk about my interests and passions. Most of us are on the ‘spectrum’ so there just seems to be a great atmosphere among us and crazily we all get along – in our own ‘way’ ????

I love seeing what my sister has learned each day because it’s so interesting! Now, when I was in primary school I think I would’ve begged to be educated at home full time (mum took me ‘out’ when necessary) ; if I had thought it was an option! My mum though is in a different place now that she’s all better from illness and even though she has given up her job, she doesn’t see it as a sacrifice in any way. Actually the whole atmosphere in our house  changed!!! Bláthnaid was diagnosed with Autism in the summer so we are now the trinity of spectrum kids. Yep, I feel for our parents!!! 

My mum doesn’t follow a curriculum but instead follows B’s passions and interests – as she has done with all of us all through our lives! Obviously there is lots and lots of nature study. Mum has always been obsessed with the ideas of Charlotte Mason  and loves her perspective that children really benefit from time, learning and connection with nature. She doesn’t go too deep with the morality (well Mason was writing over a hundred years ago) but does recognise virtue and sense of self  though. I asked Bláthnaid to share with you some of the things she’s learned and why. I love that she is so happy now!

HomeBee by Bláthnaid 

Hello everyone, this is Bláthnaid. I’m still 7, the same age as I was when we did 30 Days Wild. Did you know that we actually won the junior bloggers award for that? Yay! I am so happy that I’m learning at home now, it is so good. There are no bullies, no noise and there’s more time to learn slower and deeper. I can now focus, concentrate and learn really well – I couldn’t do that at school. I have been learning about how space, the sun and the universe got made. I have been keeping a nature journal and best of all, I have been learning how to read really well and playing outside a lot! These are some of the things I’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks! 

That’s only a small amount of what I’ve been doing! 

A lot of people are frightened of home school and they’re probably afraid of people who are home schooled because they are doing something different. I say whatever makes you happy in life, if you can do what makes you happy then what’s to be scared of?! I am really proud of my home school, its full of things I love to read about. We have books all over our house but we just put a small amount on the home learning shelf so I don’t get too distracted. 

I can sing and dance if I want to, I can move around, I can go outside and kick the leaves and collect things and study them and feel the love of learning in my own way. I can go at my own time in my own way and for those of you who think that’s nonsense and I should learn to do whatever everyone else does, well, you try doing something that makes you scared and miserable every day and see how it makes you feel. I love to work, I love to be myself, I love to be a part of this world – I just happen to do it at home and then, I get to spend time with my friends in a nicer way too. 

I get to spend a lot of time in nature and explore outside every single day, even if it’s raining! I feel free!! 

I hope you enjoyed reading a little about home learning and maybe I might write another blog and tell you some more about what I’ve been doing! 
Bláthnaid aged 7 

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23 Responses

  1. Hi Bláthnaid. I loved reading your blog and seeing what you have achieved already. The Happy In Home Boys used to go to school, too. Now we enjoy learning together in a similar way to you. We think singing, moving around and exploring outside is very important. You can eat when you feel hungry, drink when you are thirsty, laugh when you are happy. Dara, I can really tell how proud you are of your little sister. She will have her own blog next 😉 HappyInHome Mum

    1. Happyinhome, thank you – I am really proud and relieved that Bláthnaid doesn’t have to go through what I went through in primary school – we are very similar personalities. Yes, all of the things you mentioned are amazing for her! I tell mum she should set up a blog with B!

      Dara ????

      1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy primary school and glad for you that you are happy now at secondary. You are doing so well, we are looking forward to watching you on TV! I think B would be a wonderful blogger! 🙂

  2. Hi Bláthnaid, I just wanted to say how much I love your painting of the Gold Crest and your Peregrine Falcon drawing. The birds have real character and they are beautifully rendered.
    The very best of wishes to you

  3. Thank you all for this. I’m really inspired and encouraged by the way you brothers and sister rejoice in one another’s adventures. I am one of three, and my sisters know and support me like no one else. And it’s the same with my own three children. Best wishes to you all.

  4. Great to hear of your ongoing adventures and see the treasures you are collecting up, both outside and within yourselves. Glad the joy is growing and expanding too, just like the sun in your picture. I look forward to more insights into your home schooling life as the journey continues… and autumn is the very best season for joyful outdoor play, fires, woodsmoke, leaf crunching, mud hopping, rain splashing and warm, homely armchair snuggling. Positive beams to you all x

  5. Hi Dara and Bláthnaid,

    You have written a beautiful blog together. It’s lovely to read about the things that go on in your mind and to see the photos.

    Keep up the great work, both of you!
    Emmi (from the Netherlands)

  6. Your enjoyment of learning shines through your words, Bláthnaid, and you have inspiring teachers in your Mum and family. Please keep blogging when you can!

  7. Hi Bláthnaid, I loved to read about what you are learning, and all the pictures. Is that a solar flare on your sun picture? I love learning about nature and space, too, but also about many other things. I think I would have enjoyed being home schooled, but neither myself nor my parents thought of it as an option. This was a long time ago anyway, and it might not have been possible then. I hope you will continue to enjoy your learning!

  8. Bláthnaid and Dara, another great blog! I have always been a fan of home-schooling and one of my 3 children was home-schooled for a while. How I would have loved to learn that way myself when I was a child! Carry on enjoying your learning in your respective ways 🙂 And congratulations to both of you and to Lorcan on your junior blogging award.

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