Well, you might have gathered, I did it. I deregistered Francesca from school and this was her first day of not the new term.
It went brilliantly and I loved every moment of it. Except the tantrum at the end, but that was, technically, after school, so it doesn't count. Hmmm.
Anyway, we took Elizabeth to playgroup for her first ever session. We all joined in for the first half an hour and then left her to it, looking a little worried but hugging a teddy that she'd found who was "going to look after me."
Francesca, Sebastian and I headed for the library. We stopped on the way to get a takeaway coffee and some snacks to sustain us til lunchtime. I really should bake my own flapjacks for future such outings. Anyway.
It occurred to me, as we had our coffee break in the sunshine, that being at school wouldn't be anywhere near as pleasant.
So, we returned our old library books - those that we could find, in haste, this morning - and had fun choosing some more. Armloads more, actually.
Sebastian loved the mirrored tunnels, cosy corners and climbable book tower. Sorry I didn't take any photos!
The photo moments happened when it was all much calmer. I had put down my arm load of books and Francesca had chosen a spot to do some work. She did about half an hour of her English book.
While Sebastian ate flapjack and did some reading of his own. This was a particularly good bit:
Here's the scene:
It was a lovely, happy, tranquil morning, with a spot of work and LOTS of enthusiasm for books and reading.
We had to leave too soon, to collect Elizabeth, who had had a great time.
"Did you miss me?"
And home for lunch. In the garden.
The girls asked if they could have a picnic so I made up a plate of bread, cheese, salami, tomatoes etc and let them nibble while they played out in the sunshine. Got to make the most of this September sun. Couldn't do that if you were at school.
And during lunch a big frog hopped by, which made my day and was, evidently, quite fascinating for the girls too:
After lunch, Elizabeth played out, Sebastian failed to nap and Francesca brought library book after library book to read with me. I particularly liked the one about 'feelings' - PHSE, you see - in which we got to have a great chat about anger and jealousy and sadness and what makes Francesca happy. It was a really valuable conversation that we wouldn't ordinarily have got to have.
A friend (sorry not to name you but I don't want to presume that you want your name on the internet) took Elizabeth out for a walk to the park, to get an ice lolly and have a play (which she stated as her 'best' thing of the day, by the way!) so Francesca and I benefited from some quiet time together - even though Sebastian was out of his cot by then, playing quietly nearby.
It was so nice to be out in the sunshine, sharing books and chatting. A far cry from the fighting, shouting times we often had at the beginning and end of the tiring school day.
Lots of people saw us today and wondered why Francesca was not at school. I received an overwhelmingly positive response, thank goodness, and I'm feeling more confident about my decision.
A friend came to play after school, which was great but resulted in Francesca saying '"I wish I went to school! Can I go back?" I said not for at least a term, but in reality I don't think she meant it. She has had a lovely day and has been very excited and pleased about being home schooled.
Then she got to watch a tiny bit of tv and we were slightly late with tea - all of which culminated in a big tantrum and tears. I suppose she might be feeling a bit unsettled about not having gone back to school but more likely she was just low on blood sugar having had cookies at snack time and then eating late.
So, we did it.
We survived the curious 'public' and we had an enjoyable, productive day.
I'm going to make a spreadsheet of the schoolish things we did.
Literacy - using the library, reading and listening to stories, reading non-fiction books, using an index (that was the task in her English workbook)
PE(?) - exercise and fresh air, walking to and from the playgroup and library, playing swingball
General well-being - lessons al fresco in the sunshine, quality time to talk with mummy
Biology - seeing a frog, reading about adaptation
PHSE - learning and talking about feelings
History - reading about the origin of the Olympics
Social skills - helping to settle Elizabeth into playgroup, chatting to friends out and about, playing with her best friend after school
It's not planned progression, but it's all good stuff.