Home educating is a glorious experience.
But it’s also no picnic – well – not all the time anyway. Although most if it for us did feel like a joyful romp away from the restriction of mainstream, with an expanding horizon of liberated learning all the way.
Even so, that doesn’t mean to say we didn’t lose the plot on occasion; have wobbles and tantrums (mine mostly) and doubts and bad days.
Someone messaged me recently to tell me that whenever that happened to them they just picked up my book ‘A Home Education Notebook’ and could find comfort and reassurance. That’s good to know. For that’s exactly why it came to be written.
Because I knew exactly what those moments, or days, felt like and I wanted to offer something to help. In fact a reader of another of my books (Learning Without School), which came before the Notebook, said that she kept it on her bedside table for just those occasions. And that nearly became its title; the home education bedside book!
Having been right through home education, and those little children in ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ living and working independently now, it’s as if it never happened. It certainly isn’t really relevant to their days any more. You ‘couldn’t tell’ if they went to school or not – as someone once offered as a response to being told they were home educated. We did laugh over that! But it might reassure you to know that although it feels like an enormously unorthodox and controversial step to you now, come the future it will all even out into mainstream life.
So don’t panic.
When you’re panicking and wobbling and losing the plot – which is downright natural anyway, we’re only human – consider some of the following:
- you would be worrying just as much about your child in school
- bad days are natural – whatever you’re doing
- remember all the wonderful opportunities it gives you and why you did it in the first place
- you might just be tired – back off and trust
- not every single moment of every day needs to be filled with work and learning. It wouldn’t be in school. You achieve things quicker at home with individual attention, so your kids have more free time which is equally valuable to their development
- being a thinking and intelligent person as you must be to do this in the first place, you will not spoil your child. None of my contemporaries who’ve also come out the ‘other side’ have spoiled theirs – I don’t know a home educator who has
- love and happiness are as important to educational development as academics
- being social doesn’t come from being in school
- test results don’t equate to being an educated person
- learning ‘difficulties’ often disappear outside of school
- everything is always easier when you get outdoors – use that opportunity you have
- consider what you think an educated person is and aim for that, as much as ‘results’!
All of these topics and more are covered in my ‘Home Education Notebook’ so it might help you to have one handy to dip into on such occasions as these when, like us, you lose the plot.
But always remember that whenever the plot is lost – you can always find it, or renew it, or recharge it, and get going again!
Meanwhile, enjoy your home education. It won’t be there forever!
Oh – and a little head’s up; keep your eye on this space – there’s a new edition of ‘A Home Education Notebook’ coming soon with a completely new chapter which revisits many of the young people we home educated with to see what they are doing now! Always a subject everyone wants to know about!