“You’re doing what?”
The standard response to the news that I was taking my children out of school. Although some people just laughed because they didn’t believe me. But that’s what we did. Because we could. Because I believe school is not the only way. Because I believe things can change but someone has to be prepared to do things differently. Thankfully many people have gone this way before me. I read a lot. I read blogs of people homeschooling. I looked into the law. I looked at my children, my family, myself, my friends. I read of pitfalls and terrifying homeschool ‘checkerup’ people. I read of people ‘under the radar’, I read of court appearances, accusations of negligence, wanting to create a register, unschooling. Life done differently. Children who wished they’d been to school, children who wished they’d been homeschooled. I read about travellers. I read about deregistering from school or not registering in the first place. I read about the things that we do that we think are compulsory and I saw a lot of wrong beliefs, understanding, wrong thinking. I’ve worked in a school. I’ve been to school. I’ve been well and truly schooled. I’ve helped in different classes while my children were in school. I’ve worked with ‘special needs’ pupils, and I’ve watched as so many have been let down by the school system. I’ve known truly inspirational teachers, I’ve known teachers so stressed by it all, that all they could do was take it out on the pupils. I’ve known children who’ve flourished in school, and those who have withered. So it’s not a matter of right or wrong but of choice.
Because, at the end of it all, life is so much more than compulsory education. My children are so much more than they realise. Whether they learn the things they believe that they need to learn, or do the things they believe they need to do, I hope they realise, that these things are really no where near as important as they think they are.