Out for some inspiration!

I’m so busy continually harping on about getting your children out and about and how valuable it is for their health, well being and education, I forget to do it for myself sometimes! Hypocrite or what?

My route through the trees when January's too wicked for me to be out on the marsh!

My route through the trees when January’s too wicked for me to be out on the marsh!

I usually have my constitutional walk – the one I used to pressgang the children into when they were here. But even that gets a bit samey.

I find mould growing on my inspiration and it’s likely to be showing in my work if I’m not careful.

Writing is a cloistering business and can make me as stale as all those mince pies that are still in the pantry I’m trying not to finish up. My current dilemma is whether it’s worse they end up as waste or waist? The birds usually solve this problem for me!

So I’ve decided I need to get out among all you inspirational parents and home educators and see what you’re up to.

So many people have told me that this work and my books have inspired them. Well you parents inspire me too. I love your comments and feedback and it was a delight meeting you in the summer last year when we were promoting my book for home educated children; ‘Who’s Not In School?’

It would be so lovely to meet more of you and if you’ve any concerns maybe I can be of help or reassurance. It’s a long haul home educating but just like anything parenting, you’ll work it out – we did – and we probably knew no more than you do!

So if you have a home educating/parent group in the Midlands, or East side of the country that might be interested in me popping in for a chat do get in touch. And I’m occasionally down South visiting my eldest in Brighton and could pop in if dates coincide.

I’m hoping to have some new books out this year, but let’s not wait for that to happen – publishing takes ages – let’s get together for a natter beforehand.

You’ll find contact details via my ‘Who Am I?’ page. Or just leave me a comment; I try and respond to all.

Meanwhile enjoy your home education for, like ours, you’ll find that one day it will have come to an end!

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9 thoughts on “Out for some inspiration!

    • A pleasure Jacqui. Don’t worry – it will honestly turn out okay. Trust yourself – and your daughter. Remember when we had babies? We didn’t know what the heck to do. But we worked it out okay didn’t we! Home education is much the same! Education is for personal development and growth – enjoy it!
      BTW am just putting a post together for new HEors – look out for it soon. x

      • Hello Ross,I was just looking back through the FB page I started back in December when we began Home educating our Daughter Katie and read through my original comment on your Blog page and your kind, encouraging response.
        I just thought I would send you a quick update on how things have progressed for us.We began with quite a structured approach as Katie said she was used to working to a timetable and felt better knowing what to expect each day.Well this didn’t last for very long and over time we have found ourselves much more Autonomous,and it’s been lovely to see Katie’s creative juices start to flow again.
        During the year we have visited the beach (nice and quiet back in May), Eureka where Katie happily played with her niece aged 3, local historic halls, The Beatles experience in Liverpool, Nature reserves, paddled in rivers, parks, attended a Classical concert the cinema and lots more.We have also consumed huge amounts of cake,hot chocolate and milkshake in too many coffee shops to mention!!
        Katie has taken a real liking to baking, photography and playing the Ukulele and Keyboard( all self taught).
        Another positive to Home ed is how much closer we have become, and I truly believe that because of the extra time we’ve spent together we have a greater respect for each other and our separate interests, we have of course had our fair share of disagreements too (mostly because of my anxiety over having to be ‘doing something productive’ to collect as evidence for the LA).
        One of the funniest moments was when I saw an ad for a local minibus company offering ‘local days out’ I rang and booked us on a trip to Whalley Abbey, only had to pay half price for Katie and they said on the phone they offered a door to door service, all seemed too good to be true. Well the day arrived and we were kindly ushered onto the bus, to find there wasn’t a passenger under the age of seventy and I’ve never seen so many zimmer frames in one place in my life. Katie’s face was a picture and she hasn’t let me off the hook yet!
        I will end on a positive note, if you remember I was rather concerned about the upcoming visit from the LA and it loomed like a cloud all year, then finally at the beginning of this month a letter plopped through the door with a request to allow them a visit, which we arranged for the coming week. I gathered together lots of photographs, my diary and a small amount of Katie’s work, we chatted for a while and I explained that Katie isn’t a fan of writing anything down unless she can see a point to it, which he seemed to understand.Anyway in the end he said “Well I think I’ve seen quite enough and taken up enough of your time.” he seemed quite satisfied and is happy to leave us be for another twelve months.Big relief.
        Well Katie has begun a photography course one day a week at a local college and so far so good. Many thanks again for your earlier advice. I have added you to our FB page ‘Lost in Education’ should you wish to take a peek, but I understand you must be rather busy.Congratulations also on your new book ‘ A home education notebook, I had it on reserve on Amazon and it sits by my bed ready for me to dip into at anytime.
        Kind Regards… Jacqui Craine x

  1. Lovely post, Ross. We still have mince pies here too! I know it’s a bit far, but if you ever fancy a trip down to Cornwall, please do drop me a line. You’d be very welcome to join one of our regular rock pooling group forays or just come down to the beach with me & junior to see what we get up to. There’s a contact page on my Cornish Rock Pools site & this post I wrote a while back about outdoor time and learning gives you a flavour . http://cornishrockpools.com/2015/03/18/an-outdoor-education-b-is-for/

    • Thank you for the invite Heather, there’s nothing I’d like better – I love Cornwall but rarely manage to get that far down! If I do I’ll give you a shout! Lovely to be in touch.

  2. Hello Ross,I enjoyed the above post,I always feel that getting out and about can both inspire me and change my perspective.
    I’m sorry if this is the wrong place on your blog for such a query such as this ,I’m new to all of this.
    I deregistered my 14 year old daughter who is in year 9 at the end of last term,and her friends have just gone back to school.My daughter katie simply wasn’t coping well with the upcoming exam pressure and found the way things are taught these days was unstimulating,and she was constantly comparing her work with her peers and feeling downhearted.
    She had begun to have panic attacks,and we came to a joint decision that home ed would be better for her.
    I have replied to a letter from the LA where they asked for a form to be filled in and then said they would arrange a visit.I declined to fill in the form as it didn’t seem applicable to where we are at the moment,and I asked for a six month settling in period and told them I would use this time to follow Katie’s interests and get out and about.
    The only problem is I have a constant nagging voice(my own),telling me we need to get going with something more structured,although I think this may turn katie off at this time.I guess I fear that when the LA do get back in touch I will have little or nothing to show to them.
    We are hoping that katie can do level 1 photography and GCSE maths and English at a local college in September,and at the moment she is ok with this.
    I’m sorry for the long post,I have read both your books,A funny Kind of Education and learning without school,and would very much value your thoughts on a possible way forward. Thanks in advance .

    • Hi Jacqui, thanks so much for your comment and compliments! It’s great you got in touch.
      In reply to your query; be assured that you are right in being sensitive to putting Katie off and allowing her to do what interests her and switches her back onto learning without anxiety, and my advice would be to disregard your constant nagging voice! Our nagging voices (we all have them) are just age-old conditioning from the system which is clearly serving so many young people badly – as it has Katie.
      You are quite at liberty to refuse a visit from the LA and to request a settling in period – which may well take until September! As for ‘structured’ pursuits – learning doesn’t have to be structured to be valuable. But it’s often hard to see that when you’ve been so used to a systematic way of learning. Some home educators allow their children to learn completely autonomously, doing things of their own choosing, and these children go on to be intelligent, well educated young people who find the way forward for themselves; one which suits them, sometimes doing GCSEs for themselves.
      You’ll find confidence and support by looking at others’ blogs, maybe joining some of the FB communities of HEors, and there are teen groups too.
      But for now I think you should RELAX about learning – nowhere is it written that it has to be stressful to succeed, encourage Katie to get on with all the things she loved to do, get out and about – museums, galleries, parks, libraries, do whatever takes your fancy and be confident that out in the real world learning happens naturally. You don’t necessarily have to have anything to show – how could you show ‘recovery’ which is what Katie needs to be doing. But I bet in a few months time you will probably have far more to report than you think – and that doesn’t have to be in a ‘school’ style either; activities count just as well!
      All the very best and may Katie enjoy her time at home discovering stuff so that she begins to realise that education is in fact an uplifting experience and not one to be feared! x

  3. I would love to see you when you are down in Brighton, I live just north of there. I don’t go to a home ed group as such but might be able to gather a group for you! Our home ed activities are based around Forest Row

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