Our youngest son was home educated, the best decision we ever made. He is now 18 years old, working and brown belt in mixed martial arts and a member of the highly acclaimed fight team. He is a fully rounded, empathic beautiful soul. A young man who is loved by everyone, young, old and in between. He has a very wise head on his shoulders. We used to go to Home Ed groups, have art classes at our house with a wide range of ages and a wonderful art teacher, but apart from that he followed his interests himself. He loves cooking, geography and history to name but a few and never had to sit reading or writing for a set amount of time at a table, he hasn’t taken exams to prove how much he could ‘remember’ on that time and date but he is a wonderful, valuable member of the world we live in. I hope this helps you feel a little more relaxed and confident in your children being home educated 💜
Carola France Devon & Cornwall NCLH Group 24/11/2021
Hi, I am Claire mum to Mollie aged 11. We are based in rural Aberdeenshire. This is the second year of home education and in those two years Mollie has gone from being an anxious child to a much happier and thriving learner.
Mollie had developed all the symptoms of OCD: obsessive handwashing, checking, counting, touching and was not eating or sleeping properly. We had no problems deregestering her and now she is eating more and sleeping better. Her OCD behaviour has calmed down immensely and hardly bother her at all.
We have made contact with other home ed families and meet up with them for education visits and socialising.
Hi, I’m Justine mum to Beatrix, 8. I worked as a school teacher full time up until I went on maternity leave. We have been home educating from the start as, at around 2.5 years old, I just couldn’t see how Beatrix would thrive in a school environment. She was into everything and had a real need to touch, explore and question everything. I found it exhausting at times, but didn’t want to squash that will from her, as I knew a school setting would. I also knew she’d be labelled as a naughty child, as she doesn’t easily conform or do what she is ‘told’ unless she can see a reason to do something that benefits her, she doesn’t want to do it and why should she? I don’t want to bring her up to be a people pleaser, as I was or to do what she was told just because an adult wanted to assert their power over her.
I was also becoming increasingly worried about what I saw being taught in schools (as I continued to work as a primary school supply teacher) and how adults were interacting with children, teaching them to suppress their emotions and lose their intrinsic motivation by constantly being rewarded for being ‘good’ or being punished for being ‘bad’ when they were just being children! I don’t want this for my daughter and knew she would do better in a different setting.
Funny thing is, being a teacher I had all these wonderful plans about what her home eduction would look like and due to my own social conditioning and indoctrination of the education system, I thought it needed to start in the September she was due to start school. We’d do maths and English in the morning every day and go to a park meet or some other social or educational trip on the afternoon. After a couple of years of pondering I finally joined my local home education community. I privately messaged a mum I knew of from a local group. I met up with her and her two girls (also never been in school) and we all hit it off immediately. After that we started going to regular meet ups in the Portsmouth area.
On that first day in September when my daughter would have started school, she soon let me know she wasn’t interested in doing what I had planned for her and carried on playing as she was used to doing. The next day was the same and I thought, what am I doing? She’s not interested in learning in the way I think (or rather have been indoctrinated to think) she should learn and if I’m going to try and make her do it anyway, I may as well send her to school!
So I stopped, then and there and have only ever done anything structured when she’s asked for it. It was scary at first, but the more I learnt about how children learn, autonomous learning, and saw other children who were being allowed to learn in the same way, the more I trusted in her to know what she needed to do. Our weekly schedule in the home education community has changed a lot over the past 5 years, we’ve done ice skating, swimming, gymnastics and horse riding lessons. The only one that has stuck is drama, which she has been attending for 3 years now. We’ve visited, castles, national trust sites, farms, zoos, water mills and attended home ed festivals. Last year she went to a week long drama school 10-4pm every day and she loved it! I was concerned she wouldn’t but she absolutely loved it and hasn’t stopped asking when she can go again since! There was a performance at the end of the week and she was the youngest in the group by two years and all the facilitators said how well she did for her age to remember everything for the show. She says drama is her passion. If she’d have gone to school we wouldn’t have found this out so early on. She taught herself to read and despite scepticism and criticism from our extended family (which definitely slowed her progress as they knocked her confidence so much) , she’s now loving being able to read and pick up new words every day. All I had to do was read to her, as I had always done every since she came home from hospital, read to her in bed. She often asks me to read at other times too, which I always do. She loves these times and we have so many books she enjoys, and regularly visit our local libraries where she’s feels very at home. I knew she’d have no problem learning to read when she was ready. This, for some reason is one thing I really had faith in her ability in.
She taught herself to swim by the time she was 4, she loved swimming so much and was a real water baby. So we tried to go once a week, to different pools. Another mum said to me “she swims really well doesn’t she?” And I was stunned…I haven’t even noticed she’d taught herself to swim! We’d just been going there and focusing on having fun in water and I guess her body had done what was natural to do when in water and begun swimming instinctively!
We now go to a group near Liss two days a week where I work as a facilitator, it’s a child led, consent based, democratic set up that works well for meeting my daughters needs. All together we are very content with our chosen way of life and method of education.
Beatrix is becoming a motivated learner, with high self worth, with values that will enable her to grow into a well rounded adult that will be able to contribute to an evolving world of free thinking community members.
My daughter is now 13 years old, she went to the local primary school for one term when she was 4 yrs, from the September to December. I remember having to wait in line to collect her and often feeling that I was intruding if I went into the classroom to settle her in the early days. Looking back now I realise that 4 years of age is a young age for a child to be away from the family they have known and spent time with since birth. It felt wrong as it did with my two sons but I guess we follow what society sets for us thinking that it must just be me feeling this way. Maybe my views were also influenced by my sons having gone through the education system over ten years prior to my daughter, so I had something to compare the experience to along with my own childhood. I noticed that you had to ask for holidays or get fined and that a high attendance was insisted upon even when my sons were young. Many tests were handed out to the young and lots of tick box exercises were set. It seemed a lot more stressful for the youngsters these days. Maybe I was tired myself but I wasn’t interested in living this way any longer. I had previously taken my boys out of the system when the SATS testing emerged for 8 year olds as they lowered the age of assessment. We lived abroad and the middle son ended up taking year 5 twice and missing year six completely. He now has a degree in Physics and a PGCE. We returned from abroad so that he could attend secondary school and not miss out on a chance for his ‘future.’
What he was taught in those years from 11 up to early 20s’ within the system is another whole topic I can write about but all I can say is that the same thing won’t be happening with my daughter.
So my daughter attended a Montessori setting for the rest of her young years. She would attend for a couple of days a week and the rest of the time we filled with other activities. It was a homely setting with all age groups and she thrived there enjoying reading to the little ones. I think that is how she learnt to read and she loved to climb up the tree and read for a long while. On a practical matter, I would send an educational philosophy to the LA once yearly to show what we were working on and I always declined a visit in preference for sending them this.
My daughter decided she want to go to secondary school so she went to the local one. She was there for just over a year. In that time she became a different girl, more easily angered, less respectful, tired. We would be continually falling out. Then 2019 life changed for everyone for the reasons that you all know. I found the measures put in place in school was totally unbelievable for any young person to maintain positive mental health. With that knowledge plus the story my daughter told me of the boy who ‘identified as a girl’ one day and was allowed to visit the girls bathroom was really concerning. The school uniform was made gender neutral and boys would be able to wear a skirts I thought this was a sign of where things were headed.
I deregistered my daughter in May 2020 and have spent the rest of the time deprogramming her from the indoctrination she has received. Sadly I didn’t know what was happening to my son within the education system so it is too late to change things for him as he is now an adult but I do have enough experience now to know where my daughter would have ended up if I hadn’t taken action to change her path. I hope you mums and dads can find the courage and strength to make the changes that your instinct tells you to make for your family. I know it is so hard to go against what is considered to be the ‘norm’ in society which is not always the best thing and more often than not Western society shows us the worst way to live a happy life connected to our fellow human beings.🌷