There’s a massive hole in the house at the moment. I don’t mean a physical hole like when the builders were here knocking bits down as fast as other bits were falling down! No – I mean an emotive hole left by the kids moving on.
Now I know most parents feel a gap when their teens go off to uni like our eldest has just done. And I do wonder if there’s a huge collective grief at this time of the year as parents wave goodbye to their kids who are stepping into uni-world. But for us it’s a double whammy. For not only has our youngest just moved onto college too, but the pair of them were home educated and this home has had children in it all the time for the past ten years.
All day, every day – well almost; we were out and about educating for much of the time – this house has been filled with home educating activities. Filled with art and craft work, dodgy experimentation, long bodies stretched out across the floor, settees filled with books and games and general junk. The house and garden had friends and laughter, activities and buzz, arguments and discussions, investigations and shocking language at times when everyone fell out! But for the most part it was filled with busyness. And love.
And so so often I could have screamed for a bit of space to get on with my own work. And now there’s that much space I may need oxygen to emotionally cope!
What a wonderful inspiring experience home educating our children has been. How lucky we feel to have had that opportunity to see first hand our children develop their knowledge and skills day by day, to see them happy and fulfilled, achieving and ambitious and eventually taking these steps out into the world. Actually they were of the world already, not having been confined in school.
When we started out we put up with doubters and insinuations that our kids would turn out to be thick and uneducated, that they’d be withdrawn and umbilically tied, that they’d never fit into the world and that it couldn’t possibly work.
Now it’s over we can see that it is the exact opposite of each of those statements that is true. Our teenagers are out in the world developing their lives as all other teenagers are at college and uni. And it worked out beautifully. And now it’s time for us parents, no longer home educating, to redesign our own lives to fill this huge emotive hole all parents inevitably have to cope with.
I’m thinking of you all.