Sunday, 28 July 2013

Travels with my Aunt- and Son and Daughter's friend.

I waved off my eldest as he set off for Austria on Friday with Explorer scouts. They were off to London before taking Eurostar to Paris and were then going by train to Stuttgart, before taking another to Salzburg and the final leg to Zellhof by bus. I felt very jealous.Last time I visited Austria was before he was born and he is now sixteen. I love the Lakes and Mountains and I'm sure that this trip  will be a challenge and an adventure. Before he left school my son had the chance to do the Government Citizenship scheme but as he said,

"It's a bit sad when they teach you life skills in three weeks, after your school education has ceased!"

This will be my son's third major trip now. Over the last three years they have got progressively more challenging - from a week travelling round Cumbria, to a round Britain trip last year taking in Ireland and now a chance to visit Europe. He even has the chance to spend summer in Australia next year if he decides he wants to do it.

That's why I love home education. It's about seizing new opportunities and meeting new people. Only a few weeks ago my son escorted some Irish scouts round our local town which is the birth place of Stan Laurel. He met them last year in Ireland when they took him to the Orange parade. 'An awesome experience' and one which I as his mother would have been terrified about had I known.

Meanwhile my daughter has had a  school  friend to stay over.She used to live in the Canary Islands and speaks fluent Spanish- my daughter spent the entire journey in the car learning rude Spanish words!
"I wish we learned Spanish instead of French at school" she said " Can you teach me some?" 

Her friend will be spending the Summer holidays in Fuerventura and has promised to send us photos of where she stays and tell us about real Spanish life. It will also form part of my Autistic son's education.

This type of education is real and relevant - children learn because they want to and what's more the language sinks in and doesn't get forgotten.My daughter has spent the entire weekend asking the dogs if they want to go into the garden for a wee and poo IN SPANISH!

And education is not just about 'taking' either, my daughter's friend spent a day living with us and our Autistic son- she was intuitive and non judgemental and he sensed that.By the end of the stay he was laughing and giggling with her on the trampoline and he invited her back again. Praise indeed!

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