Term end – sad or sweet?

School term ends, summer hols begin and so does the usual media coverage on the good, the bad, and what to do with the kids all day.

I know it’s a challenge for many parents, especially those who work out the house. But it’s sad if it reflects on the children, making them feel they’re perhaps a nuisance in grown up lives.

We were lucky enough to never have that problem – we were with the kids all day anyway, home educating. A choice we made that meant having to do without a lot of stuff that money can buy to give our kids something money can’t buy – our company.

Holiday time!

Holiday time!

And I say ‘lucky’ but I sometimes feel it’s a kind of luck many don’t want. The choice to be with their children is not one everyone relishes as much as we did.

We all have the right to have our choices respected. But maybe we should make them with deeper consideration of the consequences, even the choice to have children at all! We managed on very little, which meant we didn’t have expensive holidays, top-of-the-range brands and constantly up dated technology. We didn’t want to perpetuate that culture of consumerism as being desirable anyway. We thought about what was truly of value to us and made a choice.

Our culture is based around that consumerism and it’s bred an expectation of a right to have; have far more than we ever really need. And although I respect and empathise with those who have the real challenge of just maintaining a roof over their heads and paying the bills, there are equally as many who expect to maintain a standard of consumerism for the sake of their image, not because it’s a value that’s been deeply thought about and prioritised.

The rewards for us choosing to have less (and I mean real thrift here – no frills at all in our case) in order to have more time for the kids outweighed any amount of disposable income we may have had and was a sweet choice we never once regretted.

We realised that giving time and attention to our kids at that time in their life was of irreplaceable value.

And thinking out our values is something we all have a choice to do.

 

Find out what our home education life looked like in a fun and easy read with my book ‘A Funny Kind of Education’. A book for laughter and learning – the two should always go together!

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5 thoughts on “Term end – sad or sweet?

  1. Hi Ross,
    I’m overjoyed that the school holidays have finally arrived and love spending time with my three daughters (9, 6 and 2). Like you, I’m a qualified primary school teacher and am early years trained. I believe, as much as possible and for as long as possible, learning can happen through play, through spontaneity and for the sheer love of it. My children don’t love school, they don’t love learning and they are losing precious hours of childhood to homework and forced learning. I want to give them the gift of time. Time to play, time to have peace, time to develop at their own rate, time to discover and direct their learning journey. I’ve read your book and am inspired. My girls are keen to be home educated and I’m happy to tread this path. But I’m also daunted and worried-what if we regret the choice? What if they want to return to school but can’t because their places have been filled? I’m curious to know from your experience, how common is it for families to regret their decision to remove their children from school and begin a life of learning without schools?

    • Hi Annabel, thank you for taking the time to comment – it’s great to hear from you. I understand the anxiety about making this monumental step but I think you have your answer in the fact that you already seem so keen – all of you! I’ve heard that it is not the things we do that we regret the most – it’s the things we don’t! Through all our years of home educating, and from the community I belong to now, I’ve never come across anyone who regretted their decision, as we didn’t – not for one single second! The regrets that have been voiced are that people didn’t do it sooner! We regretted that too! πŸ˜‰ Good luck and all the best. x

      • Many thanks for taking the time to reply Ross, I really appreciate it! It has become increasingly difficult to reconcile myself to sending my children to school when I’m so opposed to the environment and curriculum currently being imposed and endorsed by the government and some school leaders. I’m so pleased to hear that the only regrets you hear of are from people regretting not making the decision to home educate sooner. X

  2. Great article as always, Ross, and I’m in total agreement. When the boys were at school, I always looked forward to the holidays and it wasn’t only because it meant we didn’t have to get up early! πŸ˜‰ I loved having them at home so we could do things together. We were lucky – that word again – in that I didn’t have to go to work. And when we started home-edding, I really appreciated the blessing of being present as they grew.

    But it made me sad, then and now, when I hear parents complain about the holidays because it means the kids will be underfoot, and they agonise over how to keep them amused. I’m a great advocate of kids having ‘nothing to do’ time – with no distractions other than being ‘bored’, there’s room for blue-sky thinking πŸ™‚ And hooray for the staycation!! πŸ™‚

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