Friday, 28 October 2011

Our journey towards Home Ed

From the very first time elissa came home from nursery in whails that thomas had pushed her in the toy box, its been sitting in my unconscious that may girls aren't built for mainstream school.
This i feel kinda responsible for, i wasn't built for school either. If i wasn't the socially awkward kid sat at the back on my own i was prime target for any sort of abuse the kids had going and as you do as parents, certain parts of your personality rubs off on your mini people.
My girls are strong willed, independent and very sure of who they are yet socially they don't make friends well, they show signs of shyness and can't be described as the dreaded 'popular' label.
Now for me this doesn't ring bells, i don't care who they are or what they want to be but society doesn't seem to have a place for them anywhere.
Even more so with Emma's special educational needs she's neither 'Special' or 'Normal', again labels have no place in our home but society feels we need them to justify how we are treated.
Im a mum, therefore i can't have a job, have interests or know anything about anything other than cooking, washing or my kids.
You would think in this day and age that we no longer need stereotypes when dad's are being the primary carers, mums are marrying other mum's and most families don't all come from the same gene pool.
Aren't we all a little past, boxes and pre-conceptions, as a species? i mean really???
Anywho back to the pressing matter at hand!
Yesterday (thurs) we where invited to a Home Education Group Halloween Party. Now i admit i had preconceptions of what it was going to be like, i don't know what they where but i went with an idea in mind. But seriously and in all honesty i have NEVER EVER in all my days met a bunch of kids so amazing in all my life!!! The atmosphere was calm and relaxed, in 3 hrs i didn't hear a child cry, not even a baby! No one fell out, no one tried to hard, everyone laughed and we where simply accepted. They came over to us and introduced themselves to the girls, one at a time. My girls looked at me in disbelief that these kids, their peers, where kind, well mannered and where actually interested in the fact they where there to share their party!
There was no hint of competition, there was no cliche's, no same age groups and no one left out, not even zoe!!!
They spent 3 hrs playing games, making friends, colouring in, making stuff, eating, drinking and generally having the time of their life!! Every single mum there came over and spoke me like i was someone they had known for years, everyone was kind and really made me feel welcome, and that has to be the first time in 7 yrs I've been in a room with a load of other mums and they didn't look down on me, judge or pretend they where interested in what i had to say.
The minute i walked us through that door i was converted!!! I want to spend a whole summer learning about the garden, spending every meal out there, teaching the girls how and why and just generally enjoying the outdoors and learning without restrictions.
I want to spend autumn making leaf printings and learning about Halloween and finding out what happens to all the bugs.
I want us to spend a whole day out in a museum soaking up the culture, watching as they absorb information that they can use their whole lives.
I want them to learn skills that are practical and know who famous painters are and be able to plan a round the world trip on a globe and all just because THEY WANT TO KNOW HOW?WHY?WHAT?WHEN!!
Now i know thats all very roses round the door with rose tinted lenses, i know that deschooling them will be hard work, i know i will have less down time but to watch them grow into happy, well rounded and fountains of knowledge ready to take on the world because they are happy in their own skin fills me with more delight than anything else.
I don't expect for everyone to agree that this is a good idea, for the majority of people this idea will fill you with dred, maybe I'm a new age hippy deep down and i want bare footed, nature children with dirty faces and homemade clothes.
Maybe I'm just a gluten for punishment but what i do know is i don't want sad babies anymore and seeing all those shiny happy faces yesterday told me something, that what I'm doing now is not what my girls need.

To be continued....