I was expecting life to be a whole lot more different now that I have two teenagers attending college. We almost considered having some sort of celebratory wake to commemorate the end of their home educating era. After all, we are sending off our young like virgin human sacrifices, ripe and ready to be devoured by the big bad world of mainstream education. The sanctity of our family home will be tainted by the outside world and our family dynamics will never be the same again.
NB: You can send your Sponge, get a grip on your shit cards to P.O. Box 5150, Kitson Court, Southern Softieland.
I’m sort of hoping that you know I was jesting.
We chose to home educate because we believed there were more to our family life than just the winter morning’s trek to school, the unimaginative making of lunch boxes and the endless completing of mundane homework at home. The benefits of them attending school did not outweigh the benefits of them being a more constant and active part of family life. Sure, I have a strong ideological view on education and learning, and how the education system has failed plenty of children. However, I have known-larger-than-life teachers who have affected positively the lives of many by just having inspired one individual.
Bad teachers, on the other hand, are just morons who think children don’t know better.
It never crossed my mind to mourn my children moving on from home educating. It was a sign of how successful the home educating had been. Our two children had reached the stage where they were competent enough to start the course of their choice without having had to jump the conventional hurdles of mainstream education. To me, home educating is not a static phase. We don’t do home educating, we home educate. All parents, to a certain extent, home educate their child. A trip to the park/museum/ gallery is no less of a potentially educational experience for a school going child than it is for a home educating child. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs a reality check and get down from the lofty heights on which they’re perched.
And just how different is life at the moment, now that we have two at college? I can tell you how the same a lot of it is. We still have late nights and we still hate waking up in the mornings. We still have dinner together. The children still bicker at each other and call each other bumface. The laundry is still pile high and there is still always burnt marshmallow on the hob. The table is never clear, but at least the crap on it rotates and changes. We are still threatening to cancel the Halloween’s party and at the same time making more and more Halloween decoration purchases. We are still talking.
And nothing that matters has changed.
Just one insignificant little label. We are no longer a fully home educating family. Labels don’t really bother me. I’m amused by peers who cling desperately to labels.
Afterall, a rose is a rose………..
I’ve come to the conclusion that my home ed community are divided into four categories – those who dip in and out of various lifestyles forever seeking the mythical commune within which they could blend in, those who prescribe to the ideology of non-pedagogical approach to learning, those who simply cannot deal with officialdom so therefore have retreated from mainstream existence and those who haven’t quite found the right private school for their offsprings yet.
Of course there’s no sweepstakes for the last one. That would be terribly immature of us.