You feel so conscious of it when you’re home educating, you can’t imagine that it ever would; cease to matter, that is.
It seems so blatantly obvious that your daily life is madly different from everyone else’s. When you’ve not got a school routine, or homework constraints, or uniform, or test results, or sometimes troublesome school dynamics, or bullying. Basically none of those things all the other parents constantly swap notes about. School is their life after all. As home educating is yours – a completely different lifestyle. And that’s okay. One day it’ll be forgotten. I bet you can’t imagine that now!
Here’s a conversation my eldest, Chelsea, had on a coach trip the other day.
She was aware suddenly that the folks behind her were talking about education. Then home education came into it and her ears pricked. She earwigged for a bit when she heard Parent 1 say;
“I home educate my two children; they’re almost teenagers now.”
Parent 2 brought up the inevitable in that defensive tone people adopt when they’re unsure; “Well I would worry about the social side of it.”
Chelsea couldn’t resist chipping in at this point.
She turned round. “Sorry to interrupt, but I couldn’t help hearing your conversation. I was home educated,” she told them.
They chatted on a bit, although parent 2 had less to say at this point. Then the lady had to get off the coach and parent 1 tapped Chelsea on the shoulder.
“Do you mind if we chat a bit more about home education? She asked. “It’s just so interesting to meet an adult who was home educated, you so rarely do.”
And she and Chelsea chatted on for a while about how it panned out for her, whether she ever got asked about it, etc. And of course the other inevitable; the GCSEs, what effect it all had on her future.
“It just ceases to be relevant after a while,” Chelsea told her. “They came up when I wanted to go to college, but I got in anyway and went onto Uni from there.”
The parent still asked about exams.
“Put it this way,” Chelsea went on. “I didn’t do GCSEs or A’ Levels, I still went to college and Uni, I did a foundation degree, I’ve been in work ever since and have my own business, I’ve never been asked about it recently, and now I’m doing a Masters. Does that answer your concerns?”
I think the parent was reassured.
So you see, however immersed in your home education you are now, there will come a time when it ceases to matter!
And your young ones may be at the point where they can reassure someone else coming along in their wake.
But before I go, this story does raise another point, as Chelsea pointed out to me, whether it’s fair that home educators should have to ‘justify’ their background in this way when I bet a schooled adult never does, never gets asked about their qualifications in later life by a member of the general public!
Maybe home educating will become so common that even that will change one day.