The holiday’s over, the children go back to school with both anxiety and excitement and I’m just the same as I launch back into the early morning routine; taking our youngest to catch the bus to college before I start my work.
Up in the village I see the tiny tots with too big uniforms, the older kids with rebellious slants to their so-called uniforms, and the trendy ones waiting to catch the college bus eyeing each other up. And I can’t help wondering what all the home educators who don’t have to do this are doing!
It seems ages since we were home educating. When we didn’t have to worry about uniforms or pack-ups, tests and SATs. When our learning routines revolved around all the wonderful things there are to learn about the world, to go out and do and see. When we could schedule our day to completely suit the needs of the child, rather than drag them from bed in the morning when their brains and bodies are switched off. When we could make best use of their potential by shifting our learning routine to later in the day and evening. I miss the entrepreneurial way of living; both the challenge and the wonder.
Home educating was a wonderful way of life, a learning way of life, a life of learning about the real world outside the synthetic one determined by a system that is far too out of date for our contemporary children. There is something almost archaic about seeing these uniformed school kids bound by this dated routine filing into dated buildings when there are so many other options available now in our progressive technological culture.
There is nothing more inspiring than a good teacher and home educating sometimes misses out on some of those. But they’re rare. Good teachers are often destroyed in the process of trying to teach kids who often don’t want to learn what the schools want them to learn, in a place they don’t want to be, in a way that isn’t working for so many. We read about the great grades that children got over the summer. But we rarely read about the thousands of children who are let down and don’t get the grades.
By home educating, parents have saved many kids from this big let down and made their education a success.
It’s time to recognise that we perhaps need schools now for something quite different from merely schooling for grades and controlling what kids wear!