D-(registration!) day.

 

Months of discussion and deliberation. Attempting to anticipate every possible outcome, problem or pitfall. Mountains of research, scouring through every article, relevant Facebook page, home educating book and opinion ever expressed on the subject out there.

Finally, the day arrived to hand in those all important de-registration letters to the school reception. Then……done! Over in seconds. Without any of the expected and dreaded shock or surprise from the office staff, the life changing decision that had taken such all encompassing consideration to reach had been executed in a matter of moments.

A mixture of fear, relief and excitement washed over us, followed by panic then elation then back to relief and so on. We had done it! We had started our home educating journey, and now the wheels were turning there was no turning back.

We were finally stepping out of the mainstream and directly into the unknown.

 

The Aftermath.

Life has changed, in a HUGE, genuinely unrecognisable way.

     

No longer are our mornings filled with the rush and frenzy of leaving the house at 8.20am on the dot. No longer are our evenings consisting of a seemingly fast forwarded version of dinner, homework, baths and getting to bed in time to refresh little minds enough to deal with the next manic and ever repeating day ahead. And then, there’s that part in the middle, you know, that most important part, the reason why we live the way we do, when they’re gone, out there experiencing whatever the classroom/system/particular teacher decides to throw at them that day. We as parents are no longer their influence for this 6ish hour portion of the day, not around to meet their ever unique and changing needs, the system is expected to cater for all, in classrooms which commonly exceed 30 of these amazing and diverse little beings. These are the experts, the teachers, the facilitators of learning for all, these are the superiors who can offer our children the ‘best’ education. We, who have known our child since birth, who have watched and supported their rapid growth and development through their early years, understood what makes them tick, what makes them squirm, what makes them thrive, are no longer considered the appropriate people to deliver learning opportunities to our precious, precious people.

I have to put my hands up and admit that generally, previous to our chance awakening, we didn’t question this ethos, like, at all! I can honestly say I really didn’t and I’m not proud of this fact. We knew next to nothing about home education and knew of no one who had been home educated or  who was currently home educating. This made it entirely unfamiliar territory, we really had never stepped outside the box to consider.

Yes, we certainly had our ups and downs with the school system, for one example, the feeling of immense relief when, at the beginning of the year, we realise that this teacher ‘gets’ our child, on some level, understands their own unique eccentricities and even can potentially relate to them in some way. Then, the much less desirable scenario, the moment when we realise that the new teacher does not ‘get’ our child at all and beyond that seems to have taken a clear dislike to them. We have experienced both, and the lottery of chance we were inadvertently entered into each year would fill me with unashamed fear. We stayed on this rollercoaster until, one day something opened our minds and slowly began to give us a glimpse of this entirely different and completely liberated, bespoke form of education.

I feel there is a strong and ever present general consensus that school is ‘right’ and ‘best’ and the ONLY place children should be educated. I was part of this belief at one time. Its a kind of conditioning that we are silently accustomed to and, myself included, don’t question. I don’t deny that school provides some learning opportunities, I’m sure there are children who are suited to this way of learning and a few can even thrive in this environment. But the fact that, in our experience, home ed is rarely put on the table as an option, an alternative even, now feels quite shocking.

I recognise that things are thankfully changing as awareness is growing and home educating is showing a defined rise year by year in the UK. But still, we witnessed many shocked faces and “really???!” responses from friends and family when they first learnt of our decision. At times we really felt like radicals! They were not necessarily disapproving, but just throughly surprised that we were diverting from the norm. This definitely added to the initial stomach flipping fear and excitement, however, never swayed us from the path we had unexpectedly chosen.

Now, here we are 9 months into our new journey and feeling so positive in our choice, this has been the most constructive decision we have ever made for our family, for our children.

 

8 thoughts on “D-(registration!) day.

  1. I am so glad you made the right choice for you. I agree it is a lottery of chance whether teachers get your child or not and can make a huge difference to your experience of school. #thesatsesh

    1. Hi Catie, thank you, I really think it does, sometimes really positively but sometimes negatively too, thank you so much for taking the time to read.

  2. I love reading your home-ed journey. A few years ago I would have thrown up all sorts of arguments against kids not going to school. However, over the past year or so my mindset has changed A LOT and instead of being sceptical of educating at home, I can see lots of positives and have nothing but admiration for families who make this decision. My eldest LOVES school at the moment and we have been very lucky so far with his school and teachers. However, if things were to change I wouldn’t hesitate to consider a different option to the school system. Thanks for opening my eyes to an alternative. #thesatsesh xx

    1. Hi Hayley, thank you so much for such a thoughtful and positive comment. I think a few years ago I too would have been quite sceptical about the whole thing. Home ed only occurred to me by chance really, I was working as a TA at the time, and the more I researched about it the more I could see all the potential positives for our children. I think its so great that your son is enjoying school so much, I’m just really happy that everyone has opportunity to choose whether we outsource education or decide to HE according to what works for each individual child and family, here in the UK. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. #thesatsesh

  3. #thesatsesh You know I could easily write a comment similar to Hayleys above but in the last week I have dealt with 2 families who have used the label ‘home ed’ to hide child protection issues. I think these families that ‘find a loop in the system’ are why its often looked down on with a negative perspective and why its crucial that blogs like this exist. As always Karen – best of luck with your journey

    1. Hi Lucy, Thank you, I’m sorry to hear this, and I’m so glad that schools and local authorities have the powers to intervene where there is any evidence of child protection issues at all, across all children, in or out of school. It’s sad to think that HE is often looked on with a negative perspective overall because of such families as you have mentioned, child abuse can obviously sadly happen regardless of children being educated at school or at home and this is why safeguarding laws and powers exist to protect them. I understand that people may think children are ‘seen’ less when being home educated, but in our experience this is not how HE happens at all, and children are very visible in the community. Our children attend different weekly clubs, various regular meet ups/trips/workshops with others, have weekly tutoring and are out and about in the community most days. I don’t feel that children disappear or become more vulnerable simply because parents decide to opt out of state education. Thanks so much as always for reading and taking the time to comment. #thesatsesh

  4. Hi Karen!
    How lovely to read this! We’re also home educating, and I’m loving it. We come from a perhaps slightly different angle, as our son is autistic and non-verbal (or pre-verbal, minimally verbal, oor which ever term you prefer to use 😊), so we realised quite early on that school would be a very special challenge. It did however take us some time to realise that home ed was what we should go for (see my latest post for more on that, if you like).
    I love your Twitter name, I do feel there are many home edders who feel uncomfortable in it, as they’ve more or less been forced into home ed by a failing school system (and not every parent has the love of learning and ‘teaching’). So it makes me happy to see you’re a ‘Happy Home-Ed Mum’ 👏😊 #thesatsesh (catching up un commenting from last week’s linky, as this week seems to have flown by me…)

    1. Hello Malin!
      Thank you for your lovely comment, I so love to hear from others who are on their own home ed journey. And, thank you about the twitter name, haha, it was the first thing that came into my head and I am really happy being a home ed mum to be honest, the freedom it’s given us and the huge difference I’ve seen in my children’s stress levels and general happiness has been immense. So far, its really worked for us and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to do this with them. I’m going to pop over to your blog now and have a read!

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