Home Education: Our 'Why' - Lorraine

Home Education – Our "Why"

We decided to Home Educate our daughter from a young age. When I say "we" I actually mean my husband. He found out about HE from a book in the library. We were looking for alternatives to formal schooled education. Where we lived at the time was not so good, the local primary school had a poor reputation, and I did not want to send R there knowing that. I personally didn't think we could do HE. I thought it was another one of dh's hairbrained ideas, but realising we could do no worse than the school we gave it a go.

R was a chatty, inquisitive child, and I did not want that to be knocked out of her in a classroom. I did not want her to be told off for asking questions, or wanting to go to the toilet at the "wrong" time. We actually found it very easy, it wasn't as bad as we, or I, thought. We had all the usual questions, about socialisation, exams, scientific experiments (even at age 5), secondary school, my qualifications. I have to admit I was not all that confident in those days, and would answer depending how I felt on that day. But R was happy to chat away to anyone.

In the start when R was 4 there were not many HE groups around. The nearest to us was about 20 miles away, and this did make me question on more than one occasion whether we were doing the right thing. After all, in a classroom, there are 30 children. However we made an effort to go to the group on one occasion. There I met a group of children, whose ages ranged from babies to teenagers. I could not believe that all ages mixed so freely, and R was very happy to join in, and one of the teenage girls asked to take DD2 who was one, to the swings. There I got a chance to chat to mums and dads, and I learnt that HE comes in all shapes and sizes. I was very surprised!

We always gave the girls the chance to go to school if they wanted, but they were happy to stay at home. Over the years we lurched from structured to autonomous, and somewhere inbetween, and a mixture. As they got older we did more formal education, but with an element of autonomy about it. We also joined in many group activities and meetings.

At the age of 15 R was accepted into the local colege to do a Btech first diploma, then an year later she did the Btech National Diploma. Along the way she also did Maths and English GCSEs at college. At the end of last year she started to apply to Universities and was accepted by all she had an interview at. The interviews were positive towards Home Education. They liked the fact she was able to think for herself, and had her own points of view. She is now at the Uni of her choice.

If I had the chance, would I do it again? Yes I would, especially so now. Have some confidence in what you believe in. It doesn't seem like five minutes ago, we were sitting together reading, playing, and learning, and now she is on her own, and coping well with the work, and looking after herself. For us, Home Education worked.

Lorraine