A Decision Made

A Decision Made

I’ve been a little quiet over the last week or so – mostly due to tiredness and that feeling of being overwhelmed. I’ve probably taken on a bit too much work blog-wise. It always seems a good idea to accept a campaign but then, inevitably, all the deadlines hit at the same time!.

The excess of work plus the children all falling ill with chicken pox over a three week period meant that our planned holiday last week wasn’t quite as relaxing as we had hoped, it was of course enjoyable but we had a few sleepless nights with a very poorly Mr H.

Another thing adding to those feeling of being overwhelmed was coming to a firm and final decision about Mr D’s education come September. Over the Easter period it was national offer day for primary school places. Like many parents, Damian and I received details of the school that Mr D had been allocated.

It was a bit of a strange day if truth be told and when I logged in to see that we had been successful in being offered a place at the school we had applied to I had mixed feelings. I’d avoided any real conversation about schooling and had pushed it to one side – a decision for another day. However that other day soon arrived.

As the deadline approached for letting the local authority know if we would be accepting the place I had a major ‘wobble’. The ‘home ed wobble’ is, I understand a common thing! I’ve spent so long reading and researching and learning about home ed and how it could work for us and talking about it with Damian that I thought I was clear in my final decision and Damian was bemused by my sudden reticence. After all it had been me that first brought this idea to the table as we talked about schooling and the such. It turns out my husband is rather wise and after a lot of reassurance, soul searching and discussion Damian and I agreed that, for Mr D, and the five of us as a family right now, the right choice is to home educate.

The ‘home ed’ wobble is not uncommon I am told and of course it is only right that you doubt whether you’re making the right decisions. I was worried that my decision was being clouded by my own reluctance to want to have to engage in the school run, having to change the way we do things and change the rhythm of our days together. I was beginning to wonder if the evidence I was finding as my arguments to home educate were more to give an excuse to not change things – is it that idea of change that I’m reluctant about? I’m confident that it’s not – of course life changes day to day and I’ve adjusted to life with three children with (relative!) ease. Our weeks change as the children’s needs have changed and of course they will continue to change in the future.

I think my reticence was about other people’s perceptions. I am not usually one to care much about what people think. I can’t get overly concerned about how other people approach parenting but I know that something like home education is really on the outer limits of ‘normality’. I am sure that family and friends have nodded politely as I’ve enthused about cloth nappies, babywearing etc. Some will have been surprised I stood firm at not using nurseries – especially as we had more children. I am sure some friends thought that the whole home ed thing was just an idea, but one we would never really run with. I’ve found myself so often out of sync with the general flow of things so I don’t know why this one bothered me.

We are not anti-school – they serve a purpose and for some children and families they are absolutely the best approach. We do however have concerns and misgivings about the narrowing of the school curriculum and the push for academic work which, in our opinion, happens at too young an age. The seemingly relentless focus on testing will, inevitably, lead to a ‘teaching to the test’ type mentality. I know that I was certainly taught to answer exams rather than to apply knowledge. We want to ensure the children are equipped with the skills to question and understand things, to learn how to research their own answers and of course to follow their own natural curiosities. That is not to say that some schools don’t do that; it’s just we want to try it our way instead.

Of course, our decision to home educate (or to go to school) is not a permanent one; we will see how things are going and if at any time it’s no longer the right thing for the children or the wider family, then we will re-evaluate. For now, we are confident that this is the correct decision for Mr D and us.

I am planning to do a video to answer questions that people might have around home education – I want to aim to dispel some myths about it. I plan to film it sometime over the next week or so and if there’s anything you want to ask me, be it about how we personally plan to approach it, what our days look like or the ‘socialisation’ question then please do leave me a comment or drop me a message on facebook, twitter or Instagram.

We are excited to take the next steps in our adventures together and with it I plan to change the way my blog is laid out. I plan to continue to share our activities and various days out. I also plan to do a monthly post on our home ed activities (starting at the end of September). I will also be sharing my thoughts on the resources and approaches that we are finding useful.

I hope you join us for our journey – we are so excited.

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13 Comments

  1. 16th May 2017 / 20:52

    How wonderful that you’re in a position to do what’s right for your family. You’re already practically doing it now and have been for years with all the activities and outings you do with your kids.

    I strongly considered it and probably would have done it if we didn’t get G into the school we wanted. I wasn’t sure how I could make it work though having to also care for 3 toddlers.

    I’ve always wondered how you can make it work with the different ages.

    Excited to read all about your adventures though xx

    • 16th May 2017 / 20:59

      I think having D and E so close in age really helps – I’ve not yet worked out how to do it all with H in the mix, but we will learn as we go 🙂

  2. Pauline Healey
    16th May 2017 / 22:00

    I am glad you came to that decision, Daniel will fare well continuing his education when which is brilliant, your ve done so much with him already, He’s a bright little boy, and a clever chap.

  3. 17th May 2017 / 00:27

    I absolutely understand the education wobble. I taught public school before my children were born and I know many wonderful professional teachers. It just wasn’t the right fit for my family. In the beginning my husband and I reevaluated our decision to homeschool every spring. Now that we have been homeschooling for 6 years, we feel confident about homeschooling through college. Enjoy the homeschool journey! It is exhausting, but so rewarding 🙂

  4. 17th May 2017 / 12:21

    I think its great that u have come to a decision that is right for u. My nephew’s are homeschooled however its not something we would want to do with our own son for many reasons.

  5. 17th May 2017 / 21:01

    How exciting! I read a lot of parenting blogs about home schooling and find it fascinating – although I don’t think it’s something I could do. My children thrive at school at the moment, but as a parent they are my first priority and if that ever changed then it’s definitely something I would think about.

  6. 17th May 2017 / 21:15

    Well congratulations on making the decision and as you said it’s not permanent unless it works out then it could be. School institutions these days are worrying more and more parents and I know there are some good ones out there.

  7. alisonrost
    18th May 2017 / 02:02

    I know a number of families who have been right where you are. Do we homeschool? Public school? What are the pros and cons? It’s never an easy decision, and one each family has to make for themselves.

  8. 18th May 2017 / 16:31

    It’s always a tough choice when it comes to our children isn’t it. We have the pressures for birth with breastfeeding v bottle etc. I think as long as you are happy and they are then that’s all you can ask. Good luck with the home schooling I’m sure it will be ok x

  9. 19th May 2017 / 00:22

    This sounds like a difficult choice! But you do what’s right for you and your family! Good luck with the homeschooling, i’m sure it’ll be fantastic xx

  10. 20th May 2017 / 09:56

    It sounds like you’ve given this a lot of thought and I hope it works out for you! It’s such a personal decision about what’s right for you and your family 🙂 Good luck!!

  11. 21st May 2017 / 00:40

    Its such a hard decisions – I had my son at home with me until he was 6, we decided to extended his time at home and I would of carried on with Home Ed had he adjusted better when his younger brother came on the scene but he found it hard and it became clear he needed his own thing and time away from that. I think your decision is great and you will learn a lot. We always have the door open for Home Ed again

    Laura x

  12. 9th June 2017 / 22:27

    Being a parent really is a series of tough decisions. I’m really glad you’ve decided what to do xx

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