WHO WE ARE
Welcome to our Happy Learners. We hope you find it helpful and enjoyable! This is not school, we are home educators that have created a fun, nurturing learning environment for children.
Happy Learners are a group of children who meet together to learn in a social fun environment with other home-educated children with great facilitators.
The children love learning in a social group with lots of fun, laughter and learning through hands on creative projects and discussions.
HISTORY OF HAPPY LEARNERS
Happy Learners was started by two Home Educating mothers (Khush and Sue) in September 2012. Sue is a fully qualified teacher with years of experience of teaching in schools and out side of schools. Sue has also home educated her three children, the youngest who is now at University and the older two, out in the world following their passions in their careers. Khush, who did the behind the scene stuff, was new to home education 6 years ago has always had a fascinating interest in children’s well being and education is a huge part of any child's well being.
Happy Learners was not initially planned with a long term goal, if anything quite the opposite. We are really just ‘going with the flow’, so to speak. There is a long answer to this and I will try my best to keep it short. There were two main reasons why Happy Learners was started….
When one knows of a fantastic facilitator, who knows children, education, and has been through the journey successfully herself then why not set up a group with her (her meaning Sue McCormick)? Well that was and is the one of the main reasons…second reason…
When I started home educating, my children were crying out for social learning with other children in a fun, creative, respectful environment with other children. They enjoy learning in a group with other children but they also prefer the consistency of a regular group. So Happy Learners was born.
If you however you want to read a little more as to why?…. do continue…..
Before starting Happy Learners we had looked around and searched for group learning settings with inspiring facilitators who are not only understand children but who have been through the home education journey themselves. We found several groups that involved meet ups in halls with hired tutors for various subjects for different key stage learning, however we were looking for more non-curricular based sessions as the boys wanted the more fun creative learning that they were used to with hands on real life experience without the restrictions of a ‘curriculum’. Some tutors we looked at were brilliant at teaching their specialised subjects but they were used to ‘box ticking’ with little experience of home education. Also my children have no interest in the national curriculum, if anything they just wanted to have fun and learn at the same time with other children without me.
Then there were group meets with parents teaching which was great for a while but then the older children just got dis-heartened as the groups tended to get younger and younger and the older children dropped out. Don’t get us wrong, we are all for mixed-age learning and that is what Happy Learner’s sessions are…mixed age sessions. However, it generally does not work when you have a 5 year old and an 12 year old in the same session. More on our sessions on another page.
My children also found that in other groups the noise and various activities that went on simultaneously in one big hall to be disruptive and in some cases rather chaotic. Interestingly more parents had mentioned this as we went to various different groups for a year before setting up Happy Learners. They desired group learning but in more smaller social settings with fun based hands-on projects with facilitators that are inspiring, nurturing and ‘get learning’. When I asked some home ed parents ‘well why not start up such a group?’ the answer was usually ‘it is a lot of work and I do not have the time’. Now this is totally understandable as organising such a group takes time, determination and passion.
My children as well as other home-educated children also missed building long lasting relationships within the home education community. Some of the home education sessions we tried out over a period of time we realised that children would leave here and there and this varied from week to week. The lack of consistency was an issue. For Happy Learners we were looking for consistent facilitators, consistent children and consistent good quality creative fun!
Happy Learners is now in it's sixth year (Sept 2017) and we have grown organically, as some famous psychologist says ‘when you are in the flow, it just happens’ and ‘we are in the flow’ at Happy Learners.