Leaving School Age 9

The start of my learning journey actually began in school. We lived in Leeds when I was little and I started school age four. I don’t remember too much other than I had one special friend at school and her name was H. We were really good friends, we played a lot. I had a few other friends, we liked Disney films back then and would act out movies like Cinderella. It was really fun. My mum and dad started thinking about moving, and not long after we moved from Leeds to Bristol. We arrived in Bristol and as there were no spaces at the local school it was decided we would home educate and wait. So I had a year at home, then I went to the local school, it didn’t take very long to meet some of the girls in my class. In year three, I remember I met a girl called A. She was my only friend but we didn’t play that much together. I think she must have been introverted because she liked to go off on her own for some space. A year later, I went into year 4 and that was better since I gathered a group of friends; we were all into fairies so that’s kind of what we did at break and lunch time. School was okay but I didn’t love it.

Then, in the summer break, life changed… I decided that I didn’t want to go back to school. I was fascinated by my two younger brothers who were already home educated. Mum had taken them out of school as they did not enjoy it, in fact they did not like it at all and were unhappy. So I joined them! I loved it. It felt so free. I began to enjoy learning a lot more as I could do learning my own way… I had two years at home enjoying our rhythm and spending lots of family time together which I loved. When I turned 11 I started to wonder about secondary school as I read a leaflet about my local school, it wouldn’t go out of my mind. So, with mum and dad I visited three different secondary schools and wondered about going for a long time. Mum was supportive and said it was my decision. I knew that I had the choice to try it and if I didn’t like it I could always change my mind and return to home ed. So it felt like I was going to go. I had a best friend who was at school (best friend from year 4) we would start secondary together. Then she got a place in a school which was different to the one I was planning to go to. I felt stuck again about what to do. But on a holiday in Switzerland, when I was away with just my mum and grandpa, I decided that home ed was best for me. I had some separation anxiety and when I thought about not being with mum it made me worry. This was part of my decision but also I realised I was lucky to have choices in my learning and explore my passions.

Now two years on, I would be in year 9, I am so happy. I have never looked back since and I have met some amazing friends who home ed too. I am in Dreaming Spires (an online learning ‘school’) doing three courses that I have chosen to study. Dreaming Spires is amazing as I get to connect with people from around the world, who I have never physically met, but we have become friends. I love learning with them.  I also still meet local friends and do different things in the week. I self direct my learning and my mum has empowered me to do this, so I get to choose what I study and I plan my own day. This is a special gift to me. I would say to other kids thinking about home ed that it is the best!

Written by Kez and uploaded by Streams.

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