Deciding on Home Education.
“You are so brave”. This is something I’m hearing a lot at the moment. Today our daughter walks out of her school for the very last time as a pupil. She has been unhappy for a long time, since she started on and off, but each year she had settled in the end and loved it. Up until year two. It got to the point where she was worrying on a Friday about Monday, never getting any down time on the weekend as she was fretting so much about school the following week.I think sending our second child to school really hit home for me how different it could/should be and highlighted just how difficult it’s been for her to settle.
And it’s not the school, they have been brilliant at trying to help in fact, her teacher is the kindest, most caring lady and she will miss her the most. She’s not been bullied either, but she finds it too big, too busy and the playground overwhelming. She is a perfectionist and is driving herself crazy trying to get her work the best it can be. The idea of SATs is a step too far for all of us. Despite the best efforts to the contrary, she knows they are doing them and that it’s a test, she can read the practise papers for a start, and for her, the pressure to perform well is just too much. I know she is bright and intelligent, I have no worries on that count but I also think she needs more fresh air and freedom then a conventional school is allowed to give her.
A model student at school, she couldn’t hold it together anymore at home and the anxious meltdowns have been taking their toll on the entire family. The daily battle to get her in has become so draining. Most of all, my child is miserable. I can’t take another day of seeing her pale, pinched, drawn face, nails bitten to the quick, and so, after much decision and more then a few tears, we have made a radical decision.
There is so much in the news about it at the moment with Stacey Solomon’s announcement that she is doing it with her boys, and the statistics are overwhelming. Home schooling figures are at an all time high and climbing rapidly year after year, there has been a 97% increase in UK home educated children since 2011. This means that there are now so many provisions for home schooling families available, I was actually shocked at the wealth of things there are out there to do, forest school, language clubs, science groups, days out, meet ups, groups of parents clubbing together to hire halls and put on plays, it sounds amazing! In fact, we are struggling to narrow down all the classes and groups as we can’t fit it all in to a week!
Other bonuses are trips to museums and galleries when they aren’t overcrowded, meaning you get to see more. You can also take holidays out of season, saving so much money, although with our son still at school we won’t be able to take advantage of that. A popular misconception is that you need to be at a desk all day, every day doing work. Home education is so much more then that, you really can learn anywhere!
We’re in the extremely privileged position that we can do this. I already work from home and I can move my work hours to the evenings and weekends. I can also tailor the blog to a more home schooling slant and document some of the things we get up to and the highs (and lows!) that the next few months have in store. I have amazing support from my husband, my family and some wonderful friends, including my lovely blogger friend Jenny who has made me crave the lovely outdoor life she lives with her two boys home educating and been such a wonderful source of advice and inspiration.
We haven’t ruled out a return to a school one day, I have no idea what the reality of having my child home again full time will do to me, maybe I’ll find it too much, maybe she will. But for now I’m really really looking forward to getting my daughter back and seeing her smile again.