2017 started out with a slow, methodical undertone for us, as we embraced the beginning of our home education journey with our girls. Walls have been transformed and rooms organised to encourage learning.. if the learning actually takes place is something that we will have to wait out and see. A few well meaning friends and family have expressed their concern with our choice, short of telling them to go do one, I’ve had to remind myself that the concern is coming from a place of love and not so much one that is to attack our choice of the way we live.
Prior to home educating, I found myself turning into one of those parents that teachers dreaded to see at parents evening. This was mainly because my expectation for the standard of education here in the UK was not the standard that I was being offered for my children. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an attack on the mainstream educators, but more the system that is failing. The educators or teachers have their hands tied and are not able to perform their duties to their full potential due to all the red tape that is put into place by the system. Add to that, you have school administrators’ who are more concerned with the ratings for the schools rather than actually identifying the shortcomings for the teaching plans and working to improve that, regardless of ratings. I was quite vocal about my disappointment with the previous school administration for my girls as well, heads rolled, limbs were lost.. I kid. But really, it wasn’t a pretty sight. It was akin to the straw that finally broke the camel’s back that brought us to our decision to home educate our girls.. call it an era of enlightenment for the Robinson motley crew.
They say educating your own children is fulfilling and wonderful… wait a minute, who am I kidding??!! I birthed these little shitbags. The mom mode switches off at 9:30am when I put my teachers hat on. The first day made me pray to the heavens for peace and discernment. It also made me feel sorry for the years I’ve subjected their teachers to the non-stop chatter. I realised also on that fateful first day that my middle child is the universe’s way of ensuring that my daily dose of karma is on time E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y. We’ve managed to finally find our rhythm after 3 weeks of trial and error. Lesson plans and necessary textbooks have been purchased and utilised. Hopefully my 2 gremlins will be educated to the standard I want them to be and learn to also be decent human beings .. that’s if we survive this journey.
Home educating my girls has also made me realise how no two children learn the same way. My eldest is a more spatial and kinesthetic learner, whereas my middle child, in true child of the universe style engages aurally and verbally with her lessons.. Non-stop verbal tirade I might add. Because of this, our lessons have had to be tailored to suit both their learning styles so as to not have them losing out on their peers in mainstream education. In addition to their academic progression, we have also had to incorporate other aspects of learning that would enable them to socially interact with children their age. We have them enrolled in a mixture of arts, music, and physical education classes that will hopefully give them a well rounded education as opposed to the typical didactic learning style found in most mainstream schools.
For those here in England thinking of home educating or as our neighbours from across the pond like to refer to it as, home schooling, the process is pretty much straightforward. If your child is enrolled in a school, all you have to do is either send a letter by post or email to the head teacher asking them to remove your child from the school register and that’s pretty much it. You’re covered under section 7 & 8 of the 1996 Education Act which states that parents must provide efficient full-time education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. (Incase its not clear enough, Home Education falls under the otherwise).
Home educating my gremlins has made me rediscover my love of being a tyrannical ruler.. I joke. Its made me rediscover my love for them.. That’s a lie again. It’s made me organised. Even more organised than ever. Routine is your friend if you’re thinking of embarking on this journey yourself. Children need routine for everything. Otherwise, chaos and mayhem will be your friend. I’ll hopefully be able to share other aspects of our journey with home education throughout the year with you all. Until next time…