My heart skipped a beat. Would I be good enough? My circumstances are complicated as you may know. So many stories float around of newly home ed families throwing themselves in to UK or world travel, amazing exploration, messy play in beautiful forests up to their knees in nature, meeting with family and friends everyday… but that just isn’t doable for me. We’re limited more than I would like us to be with things like travel, accessibility and endurance. We don’t really have an amount of disposable income to be able to fill every day with clubs and sessions. Sullivan struggles with social situations and with all of those issues, things can be pretty tough.
The other elephant in the room is that I am not a qualified teacher. With a lot of home ed parents fulfilling their children’s educational needs by moving away from traditional sit down work to learn in outdoor and every day environments like I described earlier, my personal worries started with the fact that If I can’t do that to a great enough level, nor am I actually qualified for the more traditional sit down work, then what can I offer? Am I enough? Will I fail his needs? Will someone who is qualified come in to our house, see that I cannot offer him traditional schooling or education in other exploratory nature-based ways and decide that he needs to go back to school?
THE DAY CAME…
SPOILERS. I WORRIED FOR NOTHING.
I worried for nothing.
It was the easiest, most interesting, positive and supportive meeting I’d had in a long time. Kevin is a secondary school teacher and really loves both his jobs. It’s clear kids and their education mean a lot to him but he is passionate about education being suitable for the individual child. He assured me there are no rights or wrongs, there’s no ‘should be/right way’ and that if Sullivan is happy, healthy and learning, then we are thriving and they won’t intervene. The educational philosophy I prepared was more than adequate, along with a little glimpse of the work and art we’d been doing to show we are all OK. He complimented Sullivan’s handwriting which was a real tear-jerking moment for me, as it’s something he really struggled with in school. He had no suggestions, no complaints and nothing but happiness for us as a family.
THE DARKER SIDE
Have you had a good or bad experience with your local authority in regards to home education? Please feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your stories.