WHY HOME EDUCATE?
We de-registered Sullivan on the 29th September 2017. It has been just over a calendar month now, so we are still relatively in the home education honeymoon I suppose but the difference in Sullivan has been, without doubt, amazing. It was as if the stress fell away from him, like the Autumn leaves from the trees. We follow structure and routine at home, alongside the general curriculum for KS1, pretty much as his previous school would be doing. This works for Sullivan but again many families choose to do their own version of education which doesn’t follow traditional curriculum or ‘sit down’ work.
We have found some lovely local groups of families home educating children of different ages and regularly meet up to socialise. The local library has been an amazing source of support, not only for my Home Educator library card (which allows me to borrow up to 12 books at a time for 2 months – great for topics and long projects!) but for socialising too. We attend Stay And Play every week, then each weekend there is either Lego Club or Craft club, each time Sullivan gets to bond with peers and other adults in an authoritative role too. The pressure release from not attending full time traditional setting school has allowed him to start to embrace making friends and socialising rather than cower away from it, which is such a pleasure to see.
A practical benefit for us has been being able to focus more on the areas he needed help with on a one to one basis, which the school couldn’t provide. His handwriting has improved tenfold and so has his ability to concentrate on tasks. He is choosing to do dexterous activities and is gaining confidence each day rather than it trickling away.
WILL WE EVER GO BACK?
We’ll never say never. We de-registered Sullivan with the idea of bringing him back in to school when we all feel he is ready to transition. When this will be, we are not sure yet. We’ve only been home educating for a month so time will tell I suppose. My main realisation as a parent was that we weren’t actually tied to a situation that was making life horrendous for us all. There are other options out there and it’s valid, legal and a-OK to try them out. If we decide to move Sullivan back in to a traditional school setting as a family, then that is also OK.
We’re off to do some learning now. Sullivan has been fascinated by the use of fireworks for Diwali and Guy Fawkes night so we are researching into these topics this week, alongside some core curriculum work and a healthy dash of parks, soft play and socialising! We’re both excited for a fab week and this makes me happier than I’ve been in a long, long time.