Friday, 24 October 2014


We have been enjoying meeting up with people over the last few months. It is so good to see people and catch up. Although we have been in touch and kept updated online  with many friends and family it is not the same as seeing someone and letting the conversation flow. With people that we have known for many years and stayed in touch with it feels very natural to carry on as if we saw them just a few weeks ago. It is however different for the children, they are sometimes slightly hesitant at first and understandably so if it is someone they do not actually know that well and have not seen for 3 years – for the youngest that is nearly half his life!

Re-visiting old haunts -
Portishead, North Somerset

Some parts of settling back have been harder to arrange than others. It is 6 months now since we arrived back and contrary to popular belief, money is not just handed out to anyone who steps over the border into Britain. We are still waiting for child benefit (a universal benefit given to all parents to help with costs of raising a child) to be re-instated despite having previously been in the system.

Re-visiting old haunts
Wedmore, Somerset
One of the biggest adjustments for the whole family was the children’s education. All parents worry about schooling. You worry about whether you are doing the right thing, have you covered too much, not enough, the right things. We worried about how they would settle back in. The enthusiasm they have approached school with and the energy they are putting into joining in with all the opportunities available has been wonderful to see. They seem to be learning a mixture of new stuff and things which we have covered. There was also not only getting used to a new school but for the youngest who had never been to school lots of new things to learn about; assembly, registration, a bell to signal time and sitting cross legged on the carpet. My message for all of you who think about returning to real life and are concerned is yes, it is possible for boat kids to return to school, fit in, enjoy themselves and make friends.

Times table tiles
Possibly the question of most interest to those who are home educating is what do I have to teach? What are the important bits in hind sight? I would personally suggest that the best gifts to give any child are a love of reading and a love of learning. On a more practical note, if you intend re-entering formal education at any point then for any child the basic building blocks will make any further learning much simpler: correct letter shape formation, an understanding of phonics and knowledge of the times tables. With those firmly under your belt anything is possible.


Wishing you all a nice half term.

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