Why I keep justifying living without school

The thing about choosing a slightly different educational path for our children is that I constantly feel the need to justify this choice. Sometimes I am not sure whether I am justifying it to myself or to everyone else. But the thing is that neither is really necessary. I am completely comfortable with my choice to home educate the girls; I am clear in my own head about all the reasons that make it the best choice for us right now. The girls are happy, healthy and thriving. image We are also very lucky that at no point have we had any negative comments or interrogations. Unfortunately many home educators have to field negativity from family, friends, neighbours and strangers. Yet I can still be found here, and in real life conversations, justifying what we do. Why? Read more

A letter to the Chief Inspector of Schools from an angry Home Educator

Dear Sir Michael Wilshaw,

I am very sorry to hear that you have found evidence to suggest that hundreds of children in England are being taught in illegal schools. However, I am extremely concerned that you wish that “… the rules around home education need to be heightened because it’s quite clear to me that there’s a correlation between the growth of home education and the number of illegal schools that are now operating” (BBC Radio 4’s Eddie Mair show, 17.05.16). Read more

Letting go of the ‘shoulds’

Life is full of ‘shoulds’. From what you should be eating and drinking to the exercise you should be getting; the deals you should be getting on your utilities or insurances, to the charities you should be donating to… Should, should , should. When you become a parent a whole new deluge of shoulds descends. Not only should you be doing this, that and the other to ensure that your offspring will grow up to be the next Einstein, Van Gogh, Beckham or Mozart but they should also be fitting into complicated schedules and hitting milestone after milestone. Read more

The January Blues

January is a funny old month. After the whirlwind of Christmas I feel the need for simplicity. I am usually happy to pack away the decorations; to gather toys and clothes to donate to charity, making space for the gifts we have received; and to clear out the high salt and sugar snacks that have surrounded us for the past month. I am a big planner, I love to dream up projects for myself, and January is the perfect month to do this. The new, fresh year stretches out ahead like a fresh notebook, full of possibilities. I have plans, many plans. The mind is certainly willing, there is a frenzy of activity in my brain. Unfortunately that is where the energy remains. My body has an entirely different agenda. Right now I think it wants to hibernate, maybe until March. Read more