Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Sounds so simple, and it is. It’s also five days since I emailed my teen’s school to deregister them from admissions.
Surprisingly, in hindsight, it wasn’t an easy decision. I say this because the complete and utter relief, jubilation and feeling like this mammoth boulder has been lifted off both our shoulders since we made the decision, was instantaneous.
Like most people of my generation, I went to mainstream school. For me it was a secondary comprehensive and, like most people of my generation, I saw this as: normal; the right thing to do; the only way to receive an education.
When my teen’s anxiety started to affect attendance and reached a point where I could see it taking my teen down a deep well, I needed to take action. Digging deeper it became apparent the system was failing. Overworked, stressed teachers trying to teach in a one size fits all approach and teens buckling under the pressure put on them by an ever changing curriculum. My teen was blamed, criticised and /or ignored in equal measure, bullied by pupils or teachers. I tried talking to the teachers and liaison, but nothing was changed or implemented.
I found out about home education online and it seemed to be the perfect solution. However, I needed to be 100% certain before I did anything. I joined various groups on Facebook in order to get some insights from those already on their HE journeys. I asked questions, researched the legalities, looked at statistics of performance, at how it affected qualifications, further education. At how little or much it would impact on his socialising. I had my mind put to rest on all points.
Many have encountered negativity, and that’s the main reason why I’m keeping this blog anonymous, at least for now. I have only had negativity from one person so far, the school Head, of whom I’ve spoken to probably three times in two years. She seemed to think it illegal for me to take my teen out of school, she expressed concern, which she felt she had a “duty of care” to express, to the Local Authority. She had obviously found that I was within my rights to do so, but didn’t like it. Her duty of care ended the day I emailed her.
So, here we are on the dawn of a new day, five days on. Its been a busy time with planning, discussing, researching, recovering. Very productive. I’m absolutely positive we are doing the right thing. How? Because it feels right, it’s straightforward, with a huge community of fellow HE parents and kids behind us, cheering us on and helping us on our journey should we need it. We have some good plans in place and learning to do.
This blog is our journey. I hope you will come along on it with us, maybe you will also feel that tug and know that this is the right thing for your child. Or, you will see that there are alternatives that you may not choose, but work amazingly well for others.
See you soon.