Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Not Applying for School...again

I haven't written much about our home ed recently (I do have a post half written in my drafts file) but is now the time of year when parents are applying for schools for their 3 and 4 year olds. Alex would be due to begin school September 2017 but yet again we are not applying for school.

When we decided to home educate Seb, we discussed it together, we had people asking us about school applications and it was quite a big deal. The decision to step away from the norm felt huge, it was exciting and daunting at the same time. It was possibly the most rebellious thing I have done, not taking the conventional route. Once we had made the decision and the school application deadline had passed it felt like the pressure was off, decision made and it has been the right one for us.

The road to home education was quite a long process for us. In 2013 I joined a home ed group on Facebook on a whim after seeing a discussion. At that time Seb was around 2 years old and Alex just a tiny baby. I had never met a home educated child and I didn't know all that much about it. However I have always been very interested in education and wanted to know more. I read that group voraciously, amazed by how different home education is to the way I had imagined, seeing the things people were doing, ordinary parents like you and I. Then I read a couple of books, joined some more groups and it clicked for me.
Home ed just felt right. So Seb didn't follow his peers to nursery at 3, and at 4 we decided not to apply for a school place and next week he will be 6 years old.

Two years on and we are doing it again,  not applying for school. This time around things are very different, I didn't need to research, we haven't really discussed it and not a single person has asked our plans. We have been pretty lucky so far, when strangers ask Seb why he isn't at school he loves telling people he is home educated and Alex has recently started to do it too. For the most part people are just curious and ask a couple of questions and then we all get on with our day. As yet we haven't experienced any negatively in person.

We have always said that we will take home educating a year at a time, we will utilise school if we feel we need too or if the boys would like to try. We are well into our second year now and not applying for school still feels like the right choice.  Of course not every day is rainbows and glitter but that is just life and it would be unrealistic to expect otherwise.  But overall we are happy, the boys are learning at a pace that suits them and it works for us.

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