I asked Calvin what his best bits were. He said “writing essays about his favorite musicals/films; doing maths with smarties; trying to play badminton; designing a breakfast menu and planning and organizing a music event.”
Tips to help you with home-schooling:
- 1: Don’t feel you have to keep to school hours,find a routine that fits your family. We chose 11am-4pm as this worked best especially as I was often working late nights.
- 2: You don’t have to stick to the curriculum, I used it as a guide but Calvin also studied other subjects and many other skills.
- 3: Adapt lessons around your child‘s interest. I mentioned earlier that Calvin planned a music event, this involved, market research, researching costings, writing up publicity and press releases, time planning, sound and lighting considerations and researching venues. For the record Calvin put this event on at 14 years old and actually raised £650 for Autism Wessex. As a few of you may know he has put on one or two events since!
- 4: Encourage your children to learn new skills- Calvin learnt guitar purely from you tube videos, he still hasn’t had proper guitar lessons to this day
- 5: Include lessons or projects that are related to your work, children love being involved with your world and feeling grown up. In our case Calvin designed and costed a breakfast menu for us. He also helped me to prepare food hygiene training for our staff. (although ever since he has refused to eat in any establishment with less than a five star food hygiene rating)
- 6: Don’t be afraid to let your children spend time safely on the computer. encourage them to create their own games or own social media blogs/platforms, under supervision. Also games like roblox are a fairly safe platform for children to communicate with each other. Calvin set up his own private chatroom for him and some other children from his autism group to communicate safely.
- 7: Exercise is important. Itss amazing how much exercise can be done within the house or the garden with a little thought or creativity.
- 8: Watch educational documentaries together and discuss them.
- 9: Play to your skills, if one member of your family is better at maths than you then get them to teach your child maths, I am really not that great at maths but Calvin’s brother did maths tutoring with him over the phone.
- 10: Promote looking after mental health, use the Five Ways to Wellbeing as a guide.
- 11: Most importantly have fun with your children and make memories.
I think its fair to say that Calvin hasn’t turned out too bad. He did pass all his GCSE’s with A’s, B’s and a couple of C’s, and finished a B-Tec with a triple distinction. Calvin is now studying at the London Conservatoire of Music. It didn’t affect his education too much.