I can’t quite believe that we’ve been home educating for a whole year now. Like lots of parenting aspects, some parts of it make me feel like it’s flown by, others like we’ve been doing this forever. So the big question is what have we learnt from a year out of school and do we like it?
The resounding answer from both of us is yes.
For me I love the freedom. I love the time spent watching the boy learn and grow. He is smiling again. I love the endless days out, and the cosy days in. The questions, the experiences, the opportunities.
We always thought that this would be a temporary measure and we’d find a new school for juniors or KS2. After a few months in, it became apparent that B would stay out of school for the whole of primary. Well that’s the current plan. Who knows if he might feel the urge to join a school before then!
Like any change in life there is always a lot of emotional investment. You’re putting yourself in the line again and again socially as you venture out into this new way of life. We’ve tried a lot of days out, groups and clubs and have now worked out what works for us. This has been particularly hard for me as this is one of those areas I find immensely hard. I’m rubbish at social occasions and all that goes with it so it’s probably been good to get me out of my own comfort zone. I was quite happy spending my school holidays with my books up a tree so don’t really buy into how much people need to socialise. I’m more a believer in you need to do what makes you happy. B is pretty similar to me and gets burnt out by constant pressure to see friends so we’ve learnt to pick and choose our events and days out. If social events aren’t your cup of tea, choose things where your quite hands on with the kids. The sitting around drinking coffee events are infinitely harder if you’re not a social butterfly.
I’ve learnt it’s quite OK to spend time just the two of us.
I’ve also learnt to become a little more tidy. That’s a win right there isn’t it? I think spending days in constantly looking at “stuff” has led me to become more ruthless in purchasing, de-cluttering and tidying. I’m constantly amazed by how much I’ve learnt about trains, space, minecraft and Pokemon from day to day life.
Lots of people will be interested to hear your story. Being out and about with a school aged child during term time does create some interest. We’ve been asked many a time by strangers about the ins and outs of home education which has always been a positive experience.
There is a wealth of stuff out there if you need it. Social media is full of groups, meet ups and events. It might take some time to unearth them all, a lot of groups are quite secret, and you need to meet someone in person to be allowed to join. Kind of like some kind of home educating masons. I’ve not found any that made me do a funny handshake yet though.