We’re all still really happy with our decision to home educate the girls. They’re still saying how much they prefer it to school; I’m still relishing not having to do the school run. I really do enjoy planning themes and activities and thinking of creative ways to engage them with a topic. Home education really seems to suit us.
Headspace and self-care
Yes, home education means they’re with me pretty much all day, every day. But from an attachment point of view, that’s actually not a terrible thing. We were encouraged to send them to nursery within a few weeks of them moving in, so it’s nice to finally have those extended stretches of time to play with.
I’d dismissed the idea of home educating for a long time, because I do really like my own time and space, and I expected giving that up to be really hard. But it’s actually been much easier than I thought. I no longer have to do the school run, which I completely hated. This is a definite #introvertwin. We don’t have the big transition battles before and after school because of fear, separation anxiety, or because they’ve been masking their stress all day. If they’re grumpy, I usually understand the cause, where before the trigger was often a mystery that school either didn’t know about or didn’t communicate to us. And they still go out to play on their bikes or up trees or in dens, which gives us all a bit of headspace.
Technically Joanna is still on the school roll, but she sees an SEN tutor for an hour each day. The rest of the time she’s learning at home (or out and about) with me and Charlotte. This morning (after a spirited re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings) she paid me the great compliment of being ‘more fun than the school teachers’. I’ll take that.
So, all things considered, I’m very much in favour and so glad we took the leap.
These are some of the things I’m thinking about this week.
Not back to school: advantages of home education
- No new school uniform
- No new PE kit
- No nametape-sewing
- No new impractical school shoes
- No replacing chewed water bottles
- No letters to new teachers explaining our children’s needs and behaviours and how to help
- No fights to get them dressed and ready and out of the door in the morning
- No school run
- No judgemental scowls or being blanked by other parents at the school gate
- No phone calls to come and pick them up when they’ve hurt someone
- No parents’ evenings
- No incessant dysregulating mufti days you pay for with tombola prizes
- No being summoned for meetings with the headteacher
- No overpriced school photos
- Reading afternoons
- Library visits (wearing whatever strange outfits they like)
- Days out at the National Trust
- Swimming when the pool is quiet
- ‘Café maths’
- Creativity (mine and theirs)
- Child-led learning
- Bespoke SEN provision from the person who knows them best
- Lots of sensory breaks to help them regulate
- 2:1 / 1:1 attention
- Freedom and flexibility
What are you doing this week?
If your family is back to school this week and happy with that, great. I know it works for a lot of people, not least for financial reasons. But if you’re not happy with school, and fancy giving home education a try, I recommend it. It’s taken away one of the layers of stress that are a part of SEN/adoptive parenting, and frankly that’s something we could all benefit from.
We’re still very new to home edding but already feel quite at home. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge too, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have questions, I’d love to hear those too. Leave me a comment below or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.