Not back to school!

This is always a strange time for us, when the school children go back in, the parks empty and popping out for a coffee and some shopping always gets the same questions.

  1. ‘Not feeling well today?’
  2. ‘Are you still on holiday? Lucky lady!’
  3. ‘How come you aren’t in school today?’

If I am being honest here, the first time I had these questions was just the week after we had taken the HE plunge. I was in shop and when asked questions no. 3 I blushed, I blushed so hard I went purple. I muttered that she was HE and shuffled out the shop sharpish.

I wasn’t feeling like I had done the right thing, I was in a state of panic. I was lost. I felt terrible.

We carried on, I’m nothing if not bone headed and let us face this – pigheaded.

Then it happened. The young shop assistant that changed me. She changed Eldest. We’ve never looked back.

I nipped into the local Rymans for some supplies. We don’t have funding so we have to stay on top of craft materials, writing materials, ink and everything else. So there we were, Moshi Monster note pad, new pens and pencils in hand at the till, which up until this point had been my scary place. It’s the place you get the questions.

The young girl smiled ‘How come you aren’t in school today little lady?’
Eldest ‘My Mummy is my teacher now, school didn’t work out so now I’m home schoolered.’

I took a deep breath, it’s hard to find people who just understand and accept.

Young girl ‘Ooooohhh me too! I didn’t get on so well at school when I was little like you, my mummy did was my teacher too! Isn’t that funny!’

Well Eldests was beside herself, her face was beaming with pride, her chest was puffy and she was just over joyed. Me too.

She went on to say she had just been accepted at University and wished us lots of luck in the HE journey.

That young girl was the one who gave me the confidence to believe that we can do this. It’s not the easy or lazy choice, there is no few hours where you drop the kids off and can get everything done. Not in my house. If I need to get some shopping, it’s an outing. If I need to get to an appointment – it’s works around us now.

Why did we start HE anyway?!

Well, that is really a very simple answer. Eldest had a few issues in school, after a few meetings I didn’t feel that she was getting the support she obviously needed to integrate into school life from the staff there. She’d been bitten, scratched, throw in boxes and had her coat ripped by some bigger kids and frankly we’d had enough of being called in to hear another tale of out little girl being hurt. I said to the teacher that I felt as if perhaps they needed to help a little more, there is only so much we could do at home. She replied that – She is very boisterous and loud girl so this was to be expected.
I refused to believe that she turned into such a different person that she was uncontrollable and evil.
I took her out the next week and that was it.

How do we do it?

Pour water into a glass, you’ll see some of it splash out, some dribbles down the side but most of it goes in and that is okay. That is my take on it. I try to make sure she has a rounded and full education. I do believe in education. I don’t expect it to go perfectly, I don’t expect her to suddenly become a genius either. We just try everyday to make sure she has something new to hear, do and see.

What would I say to people who want to but don’t?

I’d say that if you really wanted to, you would. You don’t have to have a qualification to be a home educator – I bet it helps, but I don’t have one. The money isn’t as big of an issue as you might think. If you want to go down the bookwork route than you may be spending out frequently, but you can pick up some quality exercise books in Poundland. Your children probably have lots of boxes of craft stuff, you’ll just maybe have more focus when it gets pulled out on to the table. Bookshelf? There are your reading materials. 

If you can’t do math, science, history or geography- don’t worry because nor can I. But it doesn’t mean I can’t find out where Nicaragua is, try and find out how you can bend numbers to make math make sense to a 6yr old or indeed find out that bearded men had to pay a tax in the 16th century. Home Education is often of discovery. Self being highest on the list. 

The thing is, really, even now – I have days where I wonder what the hell I am doing. It isn’t about being brave enough to do it, or strong enough or smart enough. If you want to, you just will. It doesn’t suit everyone, some people do eventually put their children back in to a school. Does that mean they failed? In my opinion if you try something, even once you cannot fail. You can only fail if you do not try.

If you really think HE is for you, check out some HE blogs, see forums contact your local Education Welfare Officer, do some research.

Our future HE plans and expectations?

As we come in to another year of HE my plans for this year will focus heavily on the environment, recycling, sustainability and that will be tied in to every other subject.
As for in years to come? I have no idea, we take it as it comes. My expectations? Well, after having a very successful meeting with the HE Officer I hope we can continue in the same brilliant way.

Eldest flourishing, surpassing expectations and even being told she is the ‘perfect example of when HE works’

One line that sums up HE for us?

It’s an adventure that we get to share everyday. Some days that adventure is watching Disney movies…

… Or being Spiderman.


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