We started officially home educating in March 2021, when I decided to deregister Hayden from school after the third lockdown. I did not have a clue what I was doing. Just trying my best to get by day to day, week to week. I signed up for way too many subscriptions in the hope that something would stick.
I had saw Little Crafters mentioned on another page and followed them for a month or so before trialling them in January 2022 with the Coding Through Play challenge. The children really enjoyed it so after taking part, I could not resist signing up for the new release of the Computational Thinking 1010. Two months later with the release of Very Little Crafters, again, I could see my little one would love this, so signed her up. A month or so later, realising Hayden was taking an interest in her projects, I signed him up for the Deluxe Box. At this point we were still using other subscriptions and unsuccessfully trying to be part structured.
Then, Radha announced the introduction of the AQA Awards! These looked amazing, and again after looking at the practice ones, decided to sign up! With so many learning opportunities with the projects and the Unit Awards, I decided that we would now base our learning primarily on Little Crafters Boxes (which should be 'Little Crafters Education', because they are so much more than their wonderful boxes).
Amongst this, Hayden was being assessed for Autism. Radha, having history with SEN, eased my anxiety with this and really helped me accept that the way Hayden approached learning wasn't typical, but was not wrong either. He has since been diagnosed with Autism and potential ADHD (This was a shock as I did not think he had ADHD, I had a stereotypical view of what this *should* look like).
Every month the children's faces light up whenever they see a package with Hartley on! They know it is something for them inside and cannot wait to open them! Each month, Gwenydd cannot wait to get stuck in and wants to do her projects at once! She has a unique style and makes them however she wants. Hayden, on the other hand, is more of a slow starter, he is hesitant at first. His anxiety of getting things wrong kicks in. He'll get stumped and feel it is too hard, or too complex. Once he realises that it is OK to feel those things, he is more willing to give them a go! Both are always super proud of whatever it is they create!
Leading up to Christmas, Hayden participated in the Little Crafters Young Enterprise Project, which he has written a lovely Blog about. Not long ago, he received his first batch of AQA Unit Award Certificates and the pride in his face of this acknowledgment of all his hard work - which before would have gone undocumented - was amazing to see.
Little Crafters Boxes are more than a company. They are kind, helpful and human! Since last year, they are our whole educational journey. They, along with the Facebook community, are the Little Crafters Family; we are very excited to be meeting some of them in person very soon, and looking forward to meeting more in the future!