Home education diary, 2001

I didn't really keep any records of our home education during the year 2001, other than filling in the cards and other details required by the ACE curriculum, which will lead, eventually, to the boys' NCSC (National Christian Schools' Certificate) qualifications.  

By the start of the year we had got used to the ACE style of working; we knew when it was useful to fill in blanks to ensure comprehension, and when it was better to move directly to the checkups. I kept extensive records of which PACEs (workbooks) we had already, and which score-keys, and approximately how often I needed to make a new order.  In the summer, I gathered together the tests for the few completed modules, and sent them into the NCSC board for spot-checking. 

Some of the topics covered were reasonably interesting, some were not. We quickly got used to American spellings (while using British ones ourselves), and tried to ignore the overtly right-wing political stance! We got into a reasonble routine whereby the boys spent an hour or two each day on their ACE work, and did their own thing the rest of the time. Time flew past. We felt like established home educators, with a balance between structure and autonomous learning which worked - pretty much - for our family. 

The island-wide home education group met nearly every month.  There were usually about four or five families represented, either at our house, or at our friends in Limassol. We camped together in the Troodos mountains for a few days in the summer, and had a science weekend in Kritou Terra at the Environmental Centre.  We enjoyed the social aspects of these gatherings as much as anything, but others wanted more of a purpose to our get-togethers.  In 2001, we seemed to get the balance about right. 

Our family spent a significant part of the summer on a once-in-a-lifetime trip: driving through Europe to the UK and back. The boys had said, many times, that they would like to visit places like Paris and Rome; this year, for various reasons, we decided to do this. Daniel was 14, Tim was 12; so they were old enough to appreciate the places we visited, and also to cope with lengthy periods in the car. We stayed at Youth Hostels, which have four-person family rooms available, and visited as many places of interest as we could. More detail of this can be found on the main diary pages of this site - see June 2001, July 2001 and August 2001 in the 'Cyprus' section.

When we were in the UK, for a few weeks in the middle of this epic journey (with our own car available to us) we did more travelling than usual around the UK, visiting various friends and relatives. We were particularly pleased to meet several British home educators, whom I had previously known only from email lists. We counted up afterwards, and realised we had met twelve different home educating families. We loved meeting them all, and found good rapport and friendship with them.  That was just a tiny percentage of home educators in the UK.  That made us feel part of a bigger community in a way we can't in Cyprus, where there are only about twelve home educating families in all! 

A summary of 2001 - including mention the boys' other activities - can be found in our Christmas 2001 newsletter, also on this site.

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