Bloody amazing!

So it’s out now! The new edition of ‘A Home Education Notebook’.

I don’t think many realise how scary it is writing a book and making it public. You suddenly feel so exposed. The fact that it’s possible for anyone to make any kind of comment or judgement about what you do is terrifying. Putting it out there is sometimes harder than the actual writing of it.

You’ll no doubt have felt the same about home educating.

It’s one thing having a germ of an idea, another thing taking the scary step of actually doing it. And thirdly, actually telling others you’re doing so. Doing differently to them. You can get all kinds of judgemental and sometimes downright offensive remarks, often from people who have had no experience of it, or the successful outcomes, or know anything about it anyway. You may have read about some of them in my books, especially ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ as well as ‘A Home Education Notebook’.

But the new edition is not the ‘bloody amazing’ thing I’m talking about here. I wouldn’t be so presumptuous!

This is leading up to me telling you something you deserve: You’re the ones who are bloody amazing for having the courage to conquer your fears and go for home education anyway.

It takes monumental courage to step away from mainstream, from what everyone else is doing. It incurs huge doubts and fears. But comfort yourself in the knowledge that there’d be as many doubts and fears through schooling, especially if it’s making your child unhappy. Also comfort yourself that although you’re not doing mainstream education, you will be doing mainstream life for the most part and giving your children other mainstream experiences and choices. You’re not isolating the kids, not causing them to become social misfits as some accuse (actually, home schooled kids are mostly more socially adept than many of their schooled contemporaries), you’re not separating them from ‘real life’ as the myths like to suggest.

You’re just doing the bloody amazing thing of living up to your convictions.

Like you, many, many parents are dubious about schooling, about so many of the elements of it, about the so-called educating that takes place there. But what’s special about you is that you have the courage to do something about it – most others don’t. And that’s why you’re bloody amazing. Congratulations for having the courage of your convictions. Thought I’d say it as it doesn’t always gets said.

Of course, I also sometimes got nice comments. And I am so grateful for your lovely messages throughout the media that have shown how much you appreciate the work I do here and through my books. I’m so moved to receive them. Thank you! (My head has actually swelled reading all those lovely reviews in the new edition)!

And I’m told that latterly, especially since lockdown and the school-at-home debacles, the public are generally more aware, understanding and even in awe sometimes, of you parents who home educate. More so than twenty years ago when we were at it. That’s good to know. May it continue to grow. May it get the same recognition and understanding afforded to all those other different communities, whether of – race, gender, sexuality, whatever – that we now acknowledge, accept and have compassion for.

We should be allowed to make diverse choices about our children’s education, as about other aspects of our lives. Because society has moved on from the culture of learning for which the out dated system was originally designed and we need something new.

And that’s another thing you home educating parents are doing; spear heading change.

It can’t be said too often; you are bloody amazing.

I applaud you!

Hope you’re inspired by the Epilogue in the new edition about what those home educated young people are doing now. And it gives you the courage and motivation to believe in yourselves and keep going.

The back and front covers of the new edition

Order your copies from the Bookshop at Eyrie Press or Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Bloody amazing!

  1. Well done, Ross! What an achievement! I know that feeling well, of putting ourselves out there. It is very scary. (I just launched my first e-course and have been 100% terrified about sharing it!) Brava to you for being brave enough to share your experiences with others. It’s so valuable.

    Your words in this post also remind me of how utterly terrifying it was to move away from the mainstream, to answer all the “questions.” Some days I just wanted to curl up and hide. It’s hard to remember that now with a 15yo! But it is important that we do remember, so we can show kindness and understanding to others just starting out, as you always do.

    I hope the book flies high! And I’m sure your new edition is indeed bloody brilliant, by the way!

    • Thank you so much Alice. You’ve always been so supportive and it’s always been deeply appreciated. All the very best to you and yours – 15?! Wow! Well done to you too. x

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