Our home education story began a number of years ago when I was working as a youth minister at a church in Surrey, UK. It was during that time that I first remember meeting families who home schooled. I’m not completely sure why they chose to home school (as I didn’t think to ask at the time), but I assumed that it was partly for idealogical reasons, partly for practical reasons (one family had had to move countries) and partly for educational reasons. I never really considered that home education would be for us as our family didn’t fit my preconceived mould of what a home educating family was, nor did I think we had the capabilities (for a start which parent would give up their job to educate our daughters anyway?!). Sure, I’d experienced working in the school system, having been a youth worker in a secondary school and then working across several schools providing PSHE lessons, mentoring, assemblies and the like. But to take responsibility for your child’s whole education – that was another level. No. Thank. You.
And then we found ourselves moving 120 miles west to Bristol in order for Nic (my wife) to train to be a vicar. Times change. That in and of itself wouldn’t have been cause to delve into the peculiarly wonderful world of home education, but there were other things afoot. Several factors came into play:
So, considering all of the above factors, we decided to take the plunge into the world of home education.
During the first few months of this new way of educating, we all learned a lot, not just about the Romans either. We all learned things about ourselves. We realised that we all needed to “decompress” from the system. We learned about each other – what we each needed. We learned about our limits too. And we learned that being together could be a lot of fun. I started to see some of the spark return to our daughters that I hadn’t realised had disappeared.
Three years later, with all of the highs and lows, frustrations, internally spoken expletives, conversations with family members (some difficult, some joyous), delights and breakthroughs, we are still educating our girls at home. Would we change it? Not a chance.