Friday, 4 June 2010

The decision

Phew! Hot it is outside, but, with our sort of upside down house, it's quite cool in the dining/sitting/Danae's office room.

The dog is plastered over my right foot keeping it at a reasonable temperature.

Oh, and you can tell it's half-term because it's so noisy out there.

If it were not half-term I would be feeling desperately sorry for all the poor little boiled people sat on their hard seats, taking in scorching air, attempting to stay awake because extreme heat makes one a bit sleepy.

I remember my two emerging from school wilted. Properly drooping from a place where the paint-caked windows were nailed shut against potential vandals. (Where was 'elf an' safety then, I wonder?)

I recall a friend saying that her small pre-school son slept all afternoon and that the beginning- school deadline was racing towards her and him and she didn't know what to do to keep him awake in the afternoons because he needed so much sleep every day as well as every night.

Now, of course, I'd casually suggest home education and listen to the protests and keep schtum. We'd part until the next time when she'd ask me if it was legal, how was he to be socialised, did I get any time for myself, how could she do it because she hadn't had the best education and was rubbish at Maths, and you needed to be a teacher or have a degree or... don't you?

I'd answer patiently as if it was just an ordinary conversation.

She would go away again.

Then she'd come back and say that she was considering it but what about...?

More questions and answers. A few suggestions on my part of blogs to read. A time to join a home educators' meeting. No pressure. No hard sell from me.

I don't know if E ever did think of home education for her little sleepyhead. I may have thought of it wistfully on the odd hot afternoon for my daughters. Little did I know that I'd lose friends, acquaintances, respectability, the tacit approval of authorities, the seamless flow of an average life, time to myself when we did go for it. Little did I know how a single person, with totally committed people around her, can flourish and thrive and become more, and morph into selfhood.

I knew little then.

Luke Skywalker knew he wanted to leave his home planet. He hadn't realised that he'd lose his family, friends, daily life and gain notoriety as someone different. He didn't cotton on to the fact that the authorities would endlessly mark him as a rebel and have him on one of their lists as enemy.

Would you have made that choice again, Luke Skywalker, had you known the cost?

Would I? On one of those hot afternoons, when sticky, furnace-cheeked girls slowly ambled towards me on baking asphalt and heaving little doses of intense wavy air into their lungs did the switch lie deep in my brain ready to flip?

Was I ready then to step out of 'normality'? To face down LAs? To argue with politicians for the basic liberty to educate as one sees fit? To remove my family from the flow of the average?

Yes, I was. But not quite then. It wasn't just one thing that was the decider. It was a thousand.

The decision to home educate is not usually made in a twinkling of a petulant eye but it is a long complicated process.

I'm glad we made that decision. Despite everything, I'm glad.


  1. "It wasn't just one thing that was the decider. It was a thousand.

    I'm glad we made that decision. Despite everything, I'm glad."

    Same here.It took us the longest time - but without a doubt the best decision we ever made:-)x

  2. Please consider submitting this, or another homeschooling post, to the Carnival of Homeschooling. Thanks for your consideration.

  3. It was a tough decision for me too. But I wouldn't change it for the world. My only regret is that I didn't know about HE for so many years and never did HE my oldest son. I truly wish I had.