I had to emerge from my hermitic comfort zone and talk about Home Education on the radio earlier this week. (It’s available for a short while here – around 2:12)
The reason I opted for writing as a medium was because I could remain generally reclusive. The dilemma I face is that in order to help families, which is why I write, I obviously have to be a bit more public! But the fear tends to make me gaga.
I find it about as easy as having teeth pulled, although after a recent visit to the dentist for massive drilling and filling maybe I’ll review that opinion.
‘I can’t decide which is worse; talking on the radio or my impending visit to the dentist’ I text to my eldest looking for sympathy.
‘The dentist’ she text back. ‘The radio has far more creative and exciting connotations. The dentist just one outcome’.
She’s right, of course, but what’s all this talk of outcomes? She was sounding like her mother, I told her.
‘No bad thing’ she text back with a smiley face!
She’s performing in Gilead during the Brighton Fringe next month. (Check it out here) and how she does that I have no idea – it’s not a gene she got from me who goes into traumatic stress syndrome just from a few seconds live. Any sort of performance is an excitement too far for me, whatever creative and exciting connotations!
Secretly I know she gets as anxious about it as I do. It’s just through our early life together she grew into someone who doesn’t stop just because it got a bit challenging. Maybe it was home educating which had something to do with that and the fact that we encouraged them to go forward with what they needed to do, challenging or not.
I am so proud of all the parents who visit here and contact me about Home Educating who also choose a path away from the norm despite it throwing up challenges. Life is challenging, having children is challenging, putting your child in school is challenging, home education is challenging. But we should never let a challenge stop us from going where we feel we need to go.
We obviously have to assess risks. We obviously need to research. And weigh things up. Make intelligent decisions. And it certainly is a challenge when you are the pioneers of change as Home Schooling parents are.
But pioneers are people who don’t balk at challenges. And there are now thousands and thousands of pioneers whose children were failing to thrive, were unhappy or unwell, who don’t believe in systemised schooling, who are willing to stand up and say to the education system; ‘just a minute – THIS WON’T DO!’
And if you’re one of those reading this feeling the same, check out the stories and other blogs round this site and see if they give you the courage you need to take up a different challenge.
Because although it is a challenge, home educating is one of the most rewarding and wonderful approaches to raising your children. It really works. It leads them towards successful lives. It creates intelligent and motivated people who make valid contributions to the world. So don’t be afraid to give it a go.
And I’ll try and confront my challenge in being a bit more public about it and continue to raise awareness of the fact that kids don’t necessarily need to go to school to become well educated.
You can read my emotional stories from last year’s Fringe here and here. And have your tissues ready!!