I can’t remember when we first started talking about home education. It was probably before Talitha was even conceived. Since then, we’ve gone round and round talking about the merits of alternative education while maintaining a wait-and-see approach.
After all, she’s only just trying out her consonant sounds. She’s not running off and getting hooked on phonics next week.
I realise that this topic is provocative for some, though I don’t really get why. On a couple of occasions people have actually taken offence when I’ve casually mentioned that we’re thinking about homeschooling. I’m discussing our decision for our child, not attempting to pick the foundations of society apart.
Let me say now that our decision will not be rooted in distrust in the British education system or mainstream schooling in general.
Laurence often jokes that I’ll choose to do something simply because it’s the opposite of what the majority is doing. I promise this has no part to play in this or most of my decisions.
OK, I may tend a tiny bit towards the alternative generally but I’d like to think that’s open-mindedness. I’m not looking necessarily for the “different” way, only for what’s best for us.
This discussion has a lot more to do with all the opportunities home educating affords: one-to-one attention, learning outside the lines, a truly individualised approach, strong family attachment and I could go on.
It’s a conversation we’re likely to continue over the next few years. I’m not making any decisions yet. By the time she’s three or five or whatever, I may realise that I just can’t hack it.
Maybe because I’m not organised enough or driven enough. I’d like to think that won’t be the case though. I won’t know for sure that it’s the right fit for us until we get going.
I don’t want to resort to sending her to school as a form of childcare. The decision needs to be a lot more positive than that. Yet it may be the decision we end up making.
At the same time as hanging back and waiting to see, I’m getting ready to start working again and am setting goals for the next few years (by the way, if anyone’s looking for copy, do get in touch).
Obviously, attempting home education radically affects how I proceed. It’ll probably require long-term freelance work, focused on flexibility. I could also be looking at picking up some work that allows me to take her with me. As yet, I don’t know what that will look like.
For now, I’m doing lots of research, gathering ideas of what I’d like to do with Talitha and trying to become more organised generally.
If you home educate your children, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I need to consider before taking it on.
If you thought about it and rejected it or have stopped doing it, your perspective would be quite welcome as well.
Otherwise, let’s get some dialogue going on alternative forms of education, regardless of what you’ve chosen for your kids.