Its done – I have completed all the things needed and applied for a school place in September for little E. I cannot believe that he is almost 5! I am very much aware that what I am saying I bet EVERY parent goes through but unlike every parent I have spent the last year researching and investigating home ed as an alternative to full time school. I always just assumed that school was it, but after chats with various family members and research I realised their are better and other ways, this is why my children attend a Montessori school – to me its a better way for them and forest school sessions too, learning of these and having the kids attend have changed our lives for the better.
There are days when your child is young (you may be there now) and it feels like your failing, like its all going wrong; you turn your back for one second and behind you is a trail of destruction, followed by a sleepless night, accidents and tantrums – its all so exhausting and still somewhat a part of my life having Megs too. But with where we are at with Ethan I am reassured it doesn’t last forever…their innocence, and thirst for knowledge doesn’t last forever either and with that in mind I wanted the opportunity to keep him at home for longer, I wasn’t ready to send him into the big wide world at not even 5 years old, I feel it is too young, I wished I lived somewhere else in Europe where school doesn’t start til 6 or even 7..id love that, in my opinion 5 is just too young – its too young to do anything really more than play/explore – too young to be tested and to have pressures placed upon them and too young to be in full-time school (hes shattered from one day at preschool), just because in a school setting kids CAN learn tonnes from a young age, should we really put all that on them at that age? There are a few other things about school that concerns me, but I don’t feel to get into those politics today!
So why Home education or home schooling?? other than school being too early in their life, its flipping amazing…its so flexible, so broad and I love the idea that “the world is your classroom”, I love the idea that by home schooling my kids can have one to one or 2 to one teaching, that they can learn things through their interests and that they can focus on their strengths and smash it. I don’t have anything major against schools, my school experience was difficult at times socially and work wise but overall I had brilliant friends, a lot of laughs, mint experiences and good grades.
My sister home educates, I follow several home ed blogs and I also have a few friends that do it too and I love the layout of their home, the stuff the kids come out with and the family bonds its creates…what a privilege to play such a role in your childs education and share in those experiences. Things I have read have highlighted to us really how mint it can be, I am aware its flipping hard work too and more cost than school but the investment is certainly worth it to me. I’ve had so many people play the socialization card and to be honest its not a worry to me…they would continue a day or 2 in Montessori , go to home ed meets and have lots of cousins and friends through church – how is that not social?? I also think mixing in the community and meeting various aged peeps is far more realistic of life than being with 29 0ther kids your age.
I am very much aware I am not a qualified teacher and by no means demeaning the training teachers have gone through but I am their mother and more than able to teach my children and give them what they need. If anything the journey to decide the best course of education for my kids has given me the confidence that I can do it if I choose to. We applied to schools so that he has a place and then we have the final decision in a few months.
To send him to school would mean he can have a school experience like we all have had…school dinners, assemblies, spellings, sports teams, plays, homework, uniforms and concerts. It also means that his education wouldn’t be disturbed if come September (the anniversary of Poppy’s birth) I am knocked back emotionally.
I always imagined my life as a mother to be one of those driving the people carrier…6 kids in the back going to sports events and concerts, pack ups, school bags and madness – that was the dream and it excites me to think Ethan could have all those experiences Nath and I had but I am also open to a new dream, where we have everyday together, learning and exploring and making new friends together…I know im not ready to say goodbye to another of my children but I know this isn’t reason enough to keep him home, my other reasons are but here we are at a crossroads, I want my children to be challenged in things, I want them to learn tolerance and kindness outside the home when Mum and Dad aren’t there and so we think if he is accepted to the school we prefer we will send him and see how he goes – then Ill never wonder “what if” ,if not then im ready to pursue home ed or know its always an option if school doesn’t meet his needs. Whatever we choose it has been done with A LOT of thought, questioning, research and made because its the best thing for our family.