“You home-educate, really?”
When people find out that I’m home-educating they are curious and quick to applaud my efforts, but often end with, “I couldn’t do that.”
The two main issues people generally have with home-ed are money and having to deal with their child full time. Yes, money can be an issue, if you let it. But when isn’t money an issue? I’ve rarely found someone for whom money isn’t an issue, and that’s irrespective of whether they home-educate or not. But that is not want I want to discuss in this post. I want to talk about the other issue: being forced into a very close and intense relationship with your children.
Is the grass really greener outside of school?
When I took my son out of school I felt there was no real alternative and so I did not stop to consider anything else; he needed to come out so I took him out. However, once the euphoria of leaving school behind us had worn off, we were left with each other, and things began to get interesting. To say this second phase is tricky is definitely an understatement. Annoyances and more serious relationship/behavioural problems that were suppressed by the distance created by school are now exposed…or soon will be. There is no space between you–everything is on show. This is particulaly intense in a single parent household when there is no one else to act as a buffer between the two of you.
Nothing prepared me for the intensity that we experienced; perhaps it was in a book I didn’t read. There were a number of times when I wished Kai was back at school and told him as much. Great days would be interspersed by horrible difficult days of moaning, tantrums and silliness, and there was no escape; we just had to bear it. I’m not the innocent party here. Kai has had to put up with a lot of my crap and he probably wondered some days if he was better off back at school. But we have stuck with it and made it to the other side where we have found mutual respect, true love and understanding. Don’t get me wrong, we still have our difficult days, but I have truly begun to enjoy my son’s company. I couldn’t say this before. I never realised how funny and smart he is. Today I laughed more than once at his antics (usually an impersonation or a funny quip he has made up): we had a lot of fun trying on hats in T.K.Maxx and laughing at how ridiculous we both looked. I don’t remember when we had so much fun. But today was a really good day. I consider myself very lucky to be able to spend so much quality time with my son during these precious childhood years.