So, we had made the decision to home educate (easy for us because the kids were seriously losing their marbles), we had handed in the de-registration letter and legged it into the night (fun and frightening all at the same time) and then reality kicked in.
I had spent about 18 months ranting about the education system and how it was failing our kids. I would witter on about this subject to just about anyone who would listen. I even tried to draw the teachers at the school into the conversation. I could tell they wanted to say more but they were very professional. They have to toe the line even if they know it is all a load of bollocks. Excusez mon francais but you know…..
Anyway, once we handed in the letter I was quite shocked. Nothing happened. The school weren’t phoning or asking for our reasons, neighbours weren’t questioning why the kids were at home in term time, family didn’t kick up a fuss. There was no fanfare or confetti. I was quite ready to deal with the fall-out but it never came. So there we were with two kids who did not have to attend school but needed educating. Fantastic, job done.
The biggest shock to the system, however, was having the kids under my feet ALL DAY, EVERY DAY! Remember, we had been through an emotional time with them, they were falling apart and we did what we needed to do to make them mentally well again. Any parent who cares for their child would do the same thing but with that comes sacrifice.
When you home educate young ones (and I am sure parents of older home educated children will experience the same thing) you make sacrifices. For me, I gave up time alone. I used to drop them off to school, come home, make beds, do the washing, vaccum and clean and then settle down to work. I would have 6 peaceful hours to get everything done before collecting them from school. This was the set up for 5 days of the week!
As it stands, I have not been on my own for 5 months, unless you count driving to work. It is relentless. So my first piece of advice for any potential home educators is to prepare for that. You might be caught up in the emotion of the decision but do consider your own sanity. Kids are bloody hard work. School gives you the time to do things for yourself, work, earn money, have a life outside of your children. Home education takes that away, at least to begin with.
So this is where the blog comes in. I come across at least one person a day who is considering home education. It is a fast growing community and if this blog can help anyone make the decision and move forward with their journey, then that is fantastic. If it can inspire any current home educators to continue then even better but if it keeps me sane when I feel as if I am losing my mind, then it has served its purpose. Everyone needs an outlet and a connection with the world when they feel like their daily grind is getting them down – that is why Facebook is so successful. So this will be my little outlet.
I don’t mean to paint a bleak picture but to begin with, the period of adjustment was tricky (for all of us). After a few months it improved drastically but as my husband works 6 days a week, I naturally find it all a bit much sometimes.
So, potential home -edders; brace yourselves. It is a bumpy road but one I am CONVINCED it is worth taking, even it has taken 3 weeks for me to get around to removing my chipped toe polish. Sigh.