Autumn is whole mood – especially when you home educate.
September always feels so exciting to me. It’s not just the ‘back to school’ memories of new pencil cases and shiny school shoes (and later, settling into a new bedroom at uni and picking up my timetable for the term) the month evokes, though these are still strong. It’s also the cooler air, the gradually darkening evenings, the feeling of returning energy after the slower, lazier pace of the summer months and the draw towards a stronger rhythm with a little more structure and fewer empty days. I’ve always found it fitting that Jewish and Islamic new years are both celebrated in the autumn, along with Diwali which marks new year for the Marwari and Gujarati communities in North India.
The year seems to me to have a rhythm of breathing in and out. I think of summer and winter as the slower, more inward-facing seasons – a period of breathing in, or rest – whilst autumn and spring feel full of life, plans, and fresh starts, a breathing out, if you will.
However, with the energy of these transitional seasons I’ve found that I can get a bit over-enthusiastic, putting in grand plans and overly complex rhythms (with overly optimistic expectations of both myself and my daughter!) only to find these come fizzling out – or crashing down! – after a few weeks because the plans weren’t realistic. And with the inevitable crash can come the guilt of plans abandoned and resources gathering dust.
So this autumn, I’m not aiming for too many grand plans. Instead, I’m focusing on building and nourishing a sustainable, solid, and joyful rhythm, which meets our goals without having us yo-yo between too much structure and not enough. This is where The Autumn Reset comes in.
The Autumn Reset is the second in a series of four seasonal workshops for home educators. Over the course of an evening, you’ll have the time, space, and support to check in with how home education is currently going for your family, and make (realistic!) plans for the future which support and connect with your child(ren)’s hopes, needs, and goals. Having quarterly workshops also provides accountability and ongoing support, in a way which still feels relaxed and can fit into your busy life.
Offering you the chance to reflect on the past season and gently plan for the next, in community with fellow home educators, this short workshop will help you make the most of the Autumn months. I’ll be talking you through my reflection and planning process, and going through it live alongside all of you! Whether you’re home educating this year for the first time or you’re an old-timer, whether you unschool or you’re a Charlotte Mason fan, whether you have one child or four, this workshop will give you the time and space you need.
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, don’t panic! I can send you a Spring pack instead, just drop me an email to let me know you need one. The content and reflections will work equally for Spring as Autumn; I think both seasons have many similarities, which I will discuss!
How is the workshop run?
The workshop will run on Sunday 10th September between 6-8:30 pm (UK time)
A replay will be sent out shortly after the workshop runs, so if you have to join late / duck out early / can’t make it, you won’t be missing out.
This is the second of four seasonal workshops for home educators, though all of the workshops can be enjoyed as standalone sessions.
The workshop will take place on Zoom*, and will be split roughly into four sections:
- Introduction and short talk from Eloise
- Looking back: We’ll be reflecting back on the last season, looking at what’s been working well, what’s not been working so well, tracking some progress, and thinking about what you might want to change up. If you took part in the Summer Reset workshop, you will be going back over some of your notes and learning from these (but if you didn’t manage to take part, don’t worry! I’ll give you a different exercise to do).
- Looking forward: A season of learning at home. We’ll be looking both at how you want the autumn months to feel, keeping things realistic and practical, and doing some big picture planning. We’re also going to be discussing habits, organisation, and consistency (something a lot of home educators struggle with, myself included!) sharing tips and research, and embracing how our unique brains work (even – especially! – when we struggle with executive functioning tasks!).
- Q&A / group discussion We may finish earlier but I want to leave plenty of time for questions and discussion in case it’s needed!
Before the workshop starts, you’ll be sent a PDF with different sections and space for notes, reflection, and information to guide you through. It can be helpful to print this off and have it with you for the session, or keep it up in a different tab to use with a notebook. The PDF includes a section to do alongside your child(ren) at another time.
Feel free to keep your camera off, turn up in your PJs, and set up with some snacks or a glass of wine – the idea is for this evening to be a relaxing space where you can take time to reflect on your summer, and think about your plans for the coming months!
*Live captions are available on Zoom for anyone who needs them.
How do I book?
The Autumn workshop costs just £15.
Please note that spaces are limited; the last workshop sold out.
Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link.
Then, a week or two before the workshop begins, you will receive a link to the workbook for you to download, as well as a suggestion for a simple piece of prep I’d like you to do – nothing difficult or time consuming I promise.
Shortly after the workshop has ended, you will receive a final email with a recording of the workshop.
Any questions or need help? Just email us email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help.
Eloise Rickman is an author and experienced parent educator, who works with clients around the world through online courses and coaching. Her work focuses on challenging adultism (the discrimination children face based on their age), championing rights-based parenting and alternative education, and helping parents and caregivers rethink how they see children.
Her first book about parenting and home education, Extraordinary Parenting, was published in 2020 by Scribe. Her next book, which focuses on children’s rights and the idea of children’s liberation, will be published in Spring 2024.
Eloise is currently studying for an MA in the Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights at UCL. She has a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, where she first became interested in how childhood and family practices shape society. Eloise believes that parenting can be a hopeful and radical act, and that changing the way we treat children has the potential to shape and change society for the better (as well as making the world a better place for children here and now).
She lives in London in a sunny little house full of books with her husband and daughter and their big ginger cat. Their daughter is home educated and has never been to school. When she’s not writing or studying or thinking or talking about all things education and childhood, you can find Eloise reading, cooking, swimming, and making the most of London’s art galleries.