I’ve suddenly panicked.
Writing here about our home educating and having such a personal book out there is a bit like running naked through the streets… (as apparently a party of flatmates from my daughter’s Uni did at Halloween – best not dwell on that)… I feel suddenly exposed.
It’s not that I mind criticism. And we did have rubbish days – some described in the book – and I’ve found mistakes in it already, damn it! But I comfort myself in the knowledge that I also find mistakes in other books too.
No – it’s not that. The thing that panics me the most is the fact that you might think from my aim to write positively about our home education is that we did it perfectly.
Definitely not! We just did the best we could at the time.
So I didn’t want you be conned into thinking you’ve got to try and home educate perfectly either. Perfection doesn’t equal education. You just have to do the best you can at the time.
Some days, you won’t even be able to do that. Some days, you’ll just have to be there not doing your best. Because you’ll have days when you’ve nothing left to give.
All parents have those, not just home schooling parents. All teachers have them too.
And do you know what? The kids will be okay! You won’t ruin them. You won’t be an awful home educating parent. It won’t make your kids fail to become educated – they learn something from all experiences. And it’s absolutely acceptable to have days like this; we did, so did the other home educating families we knew, and none of the children have been ruined for life because of them.
I call them Fallow Days. Just like we need fields to be fallow some of the time in order for better crops to grow, fallow days also promote further fertility education wise. There are times of productivity and times of coasting but I know that something always comes of the latter too. I saw it happen.
If you think about it, there are plenty of days in schools that are totally unproductive. Days and days, I suspect, if they were added all together. When the kids would be glazed and disengaged. Doing nothing. Just wasting their time as they are unable to get on with something else that would engage them.
When you are having your fallow days at home at least your children can get on with something they want to do, even slob around, but I bet something will come out of it. Because children left to their own devices for a while usually come up with something.
So on days when you feel you’ve nothing left to give, take a step back, switch off, or do something you want to do for its own sake not for the sake of education, and never worry that you’re not perfect, or as good as the other home schooling families you know, or as good as I make it sound. (There is such a thing as writer’s license you know!)
Because even on nothing-left-to-give days there’s bound to be something come of it, even if just a rested parent. Which actually is most important!