Ten years on….

Hiding behind a stunning installation made by my instagram friend @lincolnfarmflowers

I had such a sense of déjà vu!

It was when I was recently walking round a nature reserve with my youngest beside me balancing three big dead bugs on the palm of her hand.

The only difference between now and over ten years ago when we were home educating is that she’s 25 and we’re walking back to her car! It’s her in charge of the driving now – not me taxiing about (as described in ‘A Funny Kind of Education’). And she’s still interested in things around her! She’s still fascinated by bugs, by finding out what they are; we didn’t put her off learning by home schooling!

I get the same sense when I’m watching my eldest perform as I’ve done every year since she was 4! (Also described in the book). Except that these days it’s her who’s devised, produced, and directed the shows along with her project team. She has such innovation, energy and creativity just like when she was little. I somehow doubt she would have retained that in school.

They both now live and work independently and I never thought about being at this point when I started this blog ten years ago after the publication of my first book.

So this is a kind of anniversary post really.

Looking back at those first posts, I was feeling the gaping gap at their absence (read this – it describes what’ll come to you and yours – unimaginable now). And I was also hankering to be Jacqueline Wilson (as I described in this moving post about her) right at the start of my blogging days.

Since then, 800+ blogs later, we still get up to the same antics we did when they were little, only now they go back to their own pads and I only get the gorgeous loving hugs intermittently! But our bonds are just as strong – yes – even after home educating – so have faith!

And since then, I haven’t become Jacqueline Wilson but, as well as those 800+ blogs (can hardly believe that) there’s been five more books (see the My Books page) to support home educators, or parents in general – since school using parents need support with their children’s learning too as I reckon the system has become even worse. (There’s a post coming for you soon).

And I’m asking myself on the anniversary of this blog, whether it’s been worthwhile? Whether I should continue?

Your lovely messages and comments have kept me doing so, along with the feeling that if even just one family struggling down the school route, or wanting to home educate, stumbles here and finds comfort then it is!

I guess it’s unlikely but if you’re one of my wonderful readers, who’ve also been here ten years, help me celebrate by letting me know, I’d love to hear from you. This is as much a celebration of you and my gratitude for people reading my stuff as it is of blasted blogging – as I’ve called it sometimes!

Thank you for being here. You make it worthwhile!

And we looked them up like we always did – Dor beetles we think. Huge excitement! Like there always was in discovery, as any education should bring.

12 thoughts on “Ten years on….

  1. Thanks for always seeming to find the right words for me at exactly the right time. Today that was about love going on when they fly the nest as my eldest did nearly 3 months ago now to live overseas where he is doing an Access course in Humanities. He was totally turned off education via school but 2 years of quiet space in France has helped him work out he wants to be a politician and to have new educational aspirations. He was not home-educated like my other two but 2 years of “afterschooling” appears to have served him well. Meanwhile I continue to bumble along wobbling a lot with my 2 home-educated teenagers

    • Thanks so much Kate, lovely to read your story and am most grateful to you for taking time to leave it here. Any wobbles, just ask! 🙂 But I reckon you’ll be doing fine!

  2. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! I found you (your book) a good few years ago now and still your posts help me in so many ways: inspiration, support, confidence on this path . . . And now I find myself always recommending your books/blog to those I meet just starting out. It’s not only important (I find) to have friends at the same stage of the journey, but also to be able to look forward and know things will be OK! Thanks for the writing, Ross 🙂

  3. Happy 10th Anniversary Ross. I was first introduced to you through your book ‘ A funny kind of education’ which I have read so many times, it is one of the most heartwarming books I have read. I turned to you and your blog as I started home educating my daughter Katie ( who turns 18 next week!!) you offered me such reassurance, and things worked out so well for us, I miss home education, but I can honestly say, not only was it the best thing we could have done for Katie, but it changed me and my outlook on life in an astounding way, and for that I will be ever thankful. Thank you for sharing your insights on the blog, it truly makes a difference.

    • Thank you so much Jacqueline for such a warm and heartening comment. So delighted to know you’ve enjoyed the book so many times and found the blog helpful. Really grateful you’ve taken the time to post here. Lovely to hear your story. Best wishes.

  4. Ten years is a long time. I can’t remember how long ago I found your blog, it may have been eight or nine years ago when I was in the my early days of home educating. I love coming here to read, even if I am a somewhat sporadic reader, it is a huge source of comfort to me. In many ways I am in the comfortable stage of having been at it for so long, but that is not the reality all the time, as I navigate each stage of my children’s life it is so important to me to seek the advice and wise words of those who have been there before me, which I then pass on to my friends who have children younger than mine. The home ed community, whatever that looks like, is as important to us adults as it is for our children, to share and support each other and that is what I always come here for. Thank you!

  5. Happy 10th Anniversary Ross! I have been here 7 years reading and loving your work. I can’t quite believe it’s been that long! We are now in a newish phase as mine are 11 and 14. Took me a little while to let go of the younger years. Now I have I am loving this new phase, it’s so much fun! Thank you as always for your work and support. Feeling so much gratitude for you and for the times I have felt supported through the lonely times and celebrated through the good times.

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