Incredible Eggs is privileged to work with many parents who have chosen to take full responsibility for educating their children themselves. The decision to homeschool is increasing here in the UK and we wanted to find out more.
Dana of Blossom Schoolhouse is mum to two girls aged 7 and 9, who have always been homeschooled. We hope Dana’s words not only give food for thought in general, but also provide an informed starting point to any parents considering taking this life-changing journey with their own children.
The video and all photographs included in this blog are shared with Dana’s kind permission.
Q – Your video below is amazing! You’ve brilliantly captured the wonder and beauty of the hatching kit experience. Can you share with us what you think your children gained from hatching ducklings?
A – Wow, where to start!? It was one of the most incredible experiences our whole family has ever had and one that’s stayed with us ever since. To witness life burst out of those little eggs was truly remarkable. My youngest, who has been duck obsessed since she was a toddler, cried the moment the first duckling hatched and it was such a beautiful, precious thing to see.
I also asked my 9 year old daughter this question and she replied – “Responsibility! Learning to take care of the ducklings, feed them and love them”. I definitely agree that responsibility was a big one for them too and they both really embraced it with open arms. It’s something we’ll never, ever forget!
Q – What made you decide to homeschool your children?
A – My husband and I actually decided we wanted to home educate before our first child was even born! I had wanted to be a mum for as long as I could remember and I just wanted to be a part of their WHOLE childhood. I didn’t want to miss any of it! I’m not a qualified teacher and didn’t do very well at school myself so there were lots of doubts and fears but eventually I realised that homeschooling is an opportunity for me to learn alongside my children and that also gives them the chance to see me get excited about learning something new too and that always encourages them.
Freedom is also something we treasure as a family. It’s amazing to be able to offer our children freedom to learn at their own pace how ever fast or slow that may be, the freedom to linger longer on something that piques their interest or needs more time to be understood, and the freedom to learn outside of four walls and out in the big wide world.
Q – What would you say are the highs and lows of homeschooling?
A – I’ll start with some highs, although there are too many to name here! Firstly, getting to witness my two children learn is something that will never get old. That moment it clicks and they can read, solve the math equation, spell the word they’ve been working on or discover something new about an animal is so rewarding! The quality of relationships is also a huge high for us, especially in the sibling bonds. Spending all their time together can have challenges but mostly it has created a beautiful, strong bond that grows with each year.
The lows can be difficult to navigate sometimes, like time management- this is always a biggie for me but with every year I learn more about balancing the education of my children and the maintaining of our home whilst still finding time for myself. I also discover more each year that learning is happening all the time, even when I’m not aware of it.
The doubts can also be heavy, like worrying that my children might be ‘behind’ or not learning EXACTLY what the public school kids are learning at these ages BUT I remind myself that we aren’t attending or replicating public school, we are opting out and choosing a different path, so of course there are things that they might not have learned yet that some public school children have already covered – but there are SO MANY skills that my children have learned from living and learning at home with me that many children at school won’t have gained yet. Some of those skills include first-hand life-learning and experiences, looking after the home, grocery shopping, lots of cooking and baking, communicating with people of all ages young AND old in all different roles of life, and so many more that I believe are equipping them to be kind and capable adults one day.
Burnout is also a common low. Lots of us homeschooling mamas experience burnout so it’s important to know when to pause and take break. Taking the day or even a week to reassess the method and approaches you’re using, as often as you need to, is so vital to moving forward in a fruitful way.
Q – Which qualities do you think a successful home educator needs to possess?
A – Patience, grace and direction. For ourselves as the parents as well as the children.
Q – Are you part of a homeschooling community?
A – I am part of a big online homeschooling community that has been a massive blessing to me and that’s on Instagram. I realise there can be a lot of comparison on there which can be harmful and detrimental but if I’ve learned anything along the way, in our homeschooling journey and online, it’s this – every family is different and does things differently, and raises their children differently, so of course their method of homeschool will often look different to mine and the next persons too and that’s okay!
Q – Can you recommend any links for parents interested in finding out more about homeschooling in the UK and the legalities they need to be aware of?
A – YouTube is a great platform for finding out information about home education and one I utilised myself when researching homeschooling resources, methods and tips. I came to find there was an abundance of American YouTubers sharing their wisdom and resources but such a lack of U.K. based homeschoolers sharing on there which is what motivated me to create my own channel and share whatever I could.
I also found various pieces of information about the laws in the U.K. surrounding home education, as well as helpful resources that we used in the early years, on The School Run. I was so relieved to find out that it wasn’t all as complicated as I thought it was: https://www.theschoolrun.
Q – Are there any online educational resources for home educators that you have found particularly useful?
A – Yes, ‘Reading Eggs’ has been a great supplement to our homeschool from the beginning and has given me peace of mind for me by building Math and English skills. It’s so fun and they have learned a ton! I’ve always found it especially useful if I need to work with one of my children one to one and want to occupy the other. It’s also great for having them work independently (for the most part) while I manage laundry or housework. I also utilise printable educational downloads, and even create some of my own on Etsy.
Q – Can you share links to where parents and teachers can follow your journey?
A – Instagram is where I tend to share lots of day to day homeschool life:
And YouTube is where I share more detailed videos of curriculum, routines, resources and general tips and encouragement:
The community online has been such a great source of encouragement and reassurance for me so I am passionate about giving back to it through YouTube and Instagram. I plan to continue sharing as much as I can and hope that parents will find some of what I post and upload helpful, motivating and emboldening.
Dana – Blossom Schoolhouse
Dana’s passion and dedication to her children’s education is truly inspirational – we’d like to say a huge thank you to both Dana and her daughters for giving us this fascinating insight into their lives.
If you are a home educator and would like to find out more about hatching at home, please click here.