Hi I’m Mother to L, taker of photographs, driver and keeper of the diary. I’m raising a sparky, vibrant individual who does not go to school.
She has never been and I doubt she ever will, however as with most of her life decisions they are hers. If she wanted to give school a shot, I’d support her in any which way I can.
Back to the point of this post, Lauren wanted to hear from other people’s perspectives of home ed. We are all different, we all chose Home Ed for different reasons, found ourselves on this path at different times. Ultimately the end goal is often the same, to raise children who are passionate, independent and critical thinkers. Most of all they had a childhood that was unhurried and without being a tick box on someone else’s list.
I am her parent, I have been married (not to her bio parent) and a solo parent whilst we have been on this journey. I really wanted to cover the solo parenting part. I have seen many parents in a similar position to myself that have said they wish they could. I understand this way of life isn’t for all, it is a huge commitment. Not one to be taken lightly. There is always a way. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. Noone else finances anything in our life. It’s a juggle and sometimes the enormity of it all can feel too much. In those instances, I put some balls down. I cannot do it all, all of the time.
I chose to educate her out of school quite late in the game. It wasn’t the original plan. I knew no different. I met friends who were teachers that were not sending their own children to school. I was curious. The rest is history. We are fortunate enough to live in a city with a huge, diverse home ed community. I’m privileged in that way.
Our home ed life has changed over the years, she learned through play until she was eight, with no structured work except for reading. I don’t like to categorise myself but others would say we are semi structured in our method now. She’s 11. A year ago she finally become interested in topic work, we rolled with it. She covered many subjects in the space of 12 months. We do not test as a rule but we do have tutors that tell me she’s on track with her maths, and advanced in English.
How our days are planned varies. She attends forest school, swimming and theatre lessons weekly. We tend to do structured work in the morning and meet friends/attend events in the afternoon. Everything else is worked around our commitments as a family. I don’t get much me time, unless you count the few hours between us going to bed. I genuinely love spending time with her and don’t feel I’m missing out on anything by doing so. The only limitations I have met have been my own expectations. At times I have booked many activities and as it’s only me I have had burn out. It’s not often that I feel I’m raising her single handedly, this is my superpower. Maybe this is why I can book our diary so full, I can often forget myself in the excitement of all the adventures.
When I embarked on this journey, I knew people. Although I hadn’t found my tribe, I knew I had a number of people I could ask for advice. Knowing the fortunate position I was in, I have since volunteered locally within the community to support ‘new to home ed’ families. I can only imagine if you started this journey not knowing anyone it could feel quite isolating.
I share some of the resources we use and snapshots of our life over on Instagram (@homeeducating_you).
My inbox is always open and should anyone need any advice or support I’m more than happy to help. We all started somewhere.
I hope by sharing a snapshot of our life without school it can give another family the confidence to make the change in their life if they were previously sitting on the fence. Change is scary, indecisiveness is more daunting than the next step.
You can find the author of this piece over on instagram at @homeeducating_you