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Especially of the 6-7 age group?

I feel like I am always sitting on the fence of HE and school especially as the school term starts and I really don’t want ds to go back even though I know, at the moment he enjoys it. We have really enjoyed the summer holidays but I think I can be a bit lazy in doing things with ds and I know it isn’t all about getting books out and going places every minute of the day but unless it is art stuff that I am passionate about I just don’t do it.

So in my usual ponderings at this time of the year, what is your child, especially 6-7 year olds doing for the next 6 weeks or so?

Also I have been thinking about Purplecaving cat and wondering how her first year has gone.

Well, my daughter is 7 and our diary is already full for September and October!  We have Not Back to School picnics, two of them, a visit to Pizza Express, Trampolining classes, home ed groups, two visits to a WW2 museum and workshops,art classes, book club,  an orienteering and animal care workshop, a visit to a Buddhist centre, and soft play.  Plus play dates and project work to somehow fit it.  We are doing project-based work, and DD has come up with lots of ideas she wants to follow up, so I am keeping two days per week ideally open so we can pursue them, with research and visits.  Also we are trying a group based project work idea that one of ur friends has come up with.  September tends to bring a flurry of new groups and members to our groups, January does too.  The summer school holiday period has been filled up with visits from and to friends, and days out.  Exhausting, but fun smile


That sounds wonderful. I love the idea of project based learning and I think it would work best with ds but then he just refuses to do anything but climb trees and paint.

Sorry if I sound stupid but what do you decide is appropriate level for a 6 year old when doing project work. When I have been in school I am amazed at how advanced the work they give them is, not necessarily reading, writing etc just things like photosynthesis and electric circuits. I think that is what concerns me, I will still be doing work based on a 3 year olds ability :p ds also has this amazing ability to look uninterested in everything so it isn’t like I can take his lead.

What I would say is follow his lead- I know you said that might not work but already you also said he loves to paint and climb trees, so there is a start-off point. I would also say have fun and he will find the right level naturally, ie if he is interested in dinosaurs and you go to the library together for books, he will pick some he can read or try to read, and you will suggest some that you know might be a bit of a challenge.  And any writing we do around the project for eg, she will want it to look good so she will ask if I can check it and maybe even rewrite it so it looks good for the lapbook/scrapbook or whatever.  I did used to check out the National Curriculum now and then to see if we were on track but I now don’t bother as I have found that home ed learning is a different “shape” to school and she will know a lot on one subject and less on another but say a year on she will have droppped the first one and caught up with the other.  My Dd asctually likes doing a couple of 20 minute work book sessions a week for maths/english, so that is a basic skills thing that we do.


I have a nearly 6yo, 7yo and nearly 3yo. Our next 6 weeks is pretty booked up too smile We radically unschool so no formal work, but in my diary I have - a few days away at Legoland, a trip to Alton Towers, a day at Trentham Gardens, a trip to Thomasland, a session on evolution and natural selection at Erasmus Darwin house, a weekly HE group, play dates with friends, a trip to Wonderland, a day at a big reservoir with crazy golf, a day at Tamworth Castle, swimming, cycling, a fossil walk and a day at a farm smile

Beck xxx

Radically unschooling mama to three gorgeous pickles Alfie (April 06) and Holly (Nov 07), Amber (Nov 2010)

Wow! You are all amazing, we are just recovering from the summer madness here! Just play dates in the diary at the moment…..I’m looking forward to a quiet week (for once!) before planning anything more for my 5 yo, but we don’t do anything formal yet anyway so it will just be fun things xxxx

Unschooling Mama to River (7), Rain (4) and Blossom (2) xx

We had a very minor dalliance with formal last year when she turned 6 but quickly dropped it.  Project based, unschooling really, as it’s all self directed, is how we work best.  I am learning to relax and go with it, and it does help seeing all the home edded teen older siblings of DD’s friends actually, they all seem to be doing just fine and that helps with the inevitable wobbly moments.


I have a 6 year old and 17 month old. The summer holidays have been crazy with activities and meeting friends who are usually at school - so I’m hoping for a semi-quiet week to start!

Monday we have the whole day free - so I plan to spend the entire day with the children. Leo is interested in animals at the moment and wants to do a project on that. He is particularly in to sea-life so I’ve got him a new Sharks book. He will probably enjoy drawing lots of pictures of sea-life and may write a few sentences. We will visit the local aquariam too. I have got him a new Songbirds reading book too so hopefully he will like that too. Oh and I will show him the Usbourne Number puzzle cards I’ve got him too.

The rest of the week gets busier - a playdate on Tues, Not back to school outing to Kensington gardens on Wed, Swimming on Thurs and Leo will be starting Beavers on Fri!

During the next few weeks we will have some Home-ed group meet-ups, Book club, Harvest festival, a trip to a zoo, a butterfly farm and a horticultural centre…as, well as the usual drawing, crafting, playing, stories, playgrounds, cooking, dressing up, bike rides etc!

Charlotte x

Home-Edding, BFing, Co-sleeping, Carrying & Cloth-nappying Gentle Mama to Lovely Leo (Apr 07) and Beautiful Ella (Mar 12)

just v quick but wanted to flag up there’s ‘doing photosynthesis’ and ‘doing photosynthesis’ - don’t be concerned about doing things at a hard enough level-give a 7yold and a 3y old identical pictures to colour and they won’t be done to the same level iyswim??

We don’t have any plans, this is the first year as radical unschoolers that I have had literally no urge to plan themes and book trips in that “back to non-school” excitement. I’m looking forwards to: Autumnal crafts, usual library and museum day trips, planning to visit Ash now she’s settled in Lincoln, and having a car again so we can make a list of favourite places to explore. smile

I’m also expecting to do some more human-body type projects because that has recently been interesting to the two biggest ones (9 and 6) and the six year old also gets through maths topics at a crazy rate so I know for sure we’ll carry right on with the fun things she’s already doing. She is playing with fractions, multiplication, and building solid shapes, but I’m guessing we’ll be moving towards different ways to work on longer multiplication and division projects. It really depends on what fascinates her, what questions she asks and what materials I find to aid her explorations. smile  I know that on Jenna’s list is to get hold of a DVD of Les Miserables and to finish the three or more graphic novels she’s reading concurrently right now (old Japanese manga, an abridged Hobbit, some Star Wars).

(We mostly don’t have actual *lists* - except of family trips and sometimes seasonal crafts - the children just have ideas that they’ve mentioned and I’ve taken mental notes of.) There are not really definite projects going on here, but the summer has been full of lots of outdoor play and I’m looking forwards to more of the same. Also foraging, and using up our meagre harvest in baking, and other Autumnal fun, Sukkot planning, etc. September for us this year isn’t feeling like a milestone, another year of unschooling etc, it’s just feeling like the start of our Autumn season. I like the difference.

Living, loving, learning, laughing, growing, with
8yo Jenna (August 04)
6yo Morgan (December 06)
4yo Rowan (April 09)
and toddling baby Talia (December 11)

GP LETS number 17

Hello! Our first year was (mostly) fab! We certainly have no plans for school on the horizon. It’s taken a whole year for J to deschool, and have done little in that time really other than follow his interest - there’s been lots of walks, tree climbing and an obsessional amount of dinosaurs wink Even now he is reluctant to go near a pen or pencil, so I am trying to persuade DH that this is OK, and to just let him be.

R should be starting school this term, but he is adamant that he is never ever going near the place. He is far more interested (than J) in more formal type learning - he is expressing an interest in learning to write for example. The difference between having never gone to school and having come out after 2 years is huge.

So this term we have a few things in the pipes. We are getting to know a lovely local paleontologist who seems to enjoy the boys enthusiasm and so I have booked her to run some sessions for the local HE groups, but she is also taking us on some private fossil hunting trips (I’ve traded skills with her to keep the costs down). I am in the process of organising a CSI style day with an ex police officer. We will be going to the odd home ed group meet up, spending far too much time watching BBC documentaries, and loads and loads of time in the woods, climbing trees! We do Trapeze once every two weeks now and have also just started Parkour/Freerunning sessions, again once a fortnight. The last regular thing we do right now is the home ed group I run that meets in the woods. Then I guess we will go with wherever their interest takes us….

If this sounds like a lot - we did far far less ‘stuff’ last year, but as we find our feet we are slowly finding out what works for us. Last year the boys mostly made and played with their new friends, and learning seemed to be a definite second place. We were travelling crazy millage to HE groups and friends houses. Slowly though we are finding a style and pace that suits us - less traveling, fewer classic HE groups, more other stuff and more time at home or out in the woods. But I guess this will change yet again as they do!

Erm…no idea! I can tell you what next week looks like though!

Tomorrow - cabbaging on the sofa as we got back from WEHEC a couple of hours ago. Making birthday cards for…
Tuesday - a little housemate’s 5th birthday party
Wednesday - a friend visiting
Thursday - museum (as it will be nice and quiet again!)
Friday - not back to school picnic.

Our week generally has a similar shape, with swimming and visiting at the weekends, then in the week - two HE groups, a play date and either a day outside somewhere or doing a museum/gallery trip. Len is starting capoeira next week, but doesn’t want to do any other classes. Fliss wants to find a dance class and is going to swimming lessons. I can’t actually believe Fliss would be starting school!

It has worked so far, while sat in the field this week Len read me a far more difficult book than she ever has before and last night she sang in front of about 150 people!

Hippy-anarchist-feminist-eco-crafty Mama of

Helena July 06
Felicity March 09
Miranda December 11 - home!

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