If I had a sparkler for every time someone has told me that his or her child has improved tremendously when the family began home educating; that he or she had taken an interest in something, decided to become a different person, learned to read, write, draw, sing, go camping, attend meetings, get political, volunteer, ice skate, exercise, bird-watch, grow some vegetables, obtain a kit for electronics, horse-ride, write letters to the editor of the local paper, scrutinise what the newspapers are printing, acquire Japanese, Chinese and Russian, and keep going with a musical instrument to study as opposed to dropping everything to bone up for SATS, teach him/herself artwork that wows people, rampage around the internet and find out everything about anything they are interested in... and much, much more.
"If I hadn't had the chance to... (says one of my young people) which led to...(something else)... And I had the chance to do ... (whatever)... I can even give presentations without being bullied, and get more comfortable making speeches or even talking to people."
"And I wouldn't have got more confident with Maths", says my young person. "They put me in the wrong set in school and I lost confidence because lots of the others were better than me whereas I was good at English and should have been in that set."
"Then I took Maths outside of school at my own pace, and did quite well at it. I'm glad about that."
The other of my young people, when asked "What do you think you've done that you don't think you could've done if you'd stayed at school?" said: "Oh, I'd be on all day."
There'd be so much to say. Too much to tell you.
Isn't that what you want for your children's lives? That they can take all the opportunities out there, all the good things available and - well - avail themselves of those good things?
That's what I want.
For my children. And for what they remember about me.
I hope that they remember me for giving them the chances that they've had to create their own lives and not live the way other people dictate that they should live.
I hope they live according to what they would like for themselves, and not how someone else tells them to live.
I hope that they sparkle and shine, all the wonderful days of their brilliant lives.