Welcome to my home-education blog!
I am a U.K based single mum of one who has recently made the decision to remove my son from school. Homeschoolmum journals our home-education experiences from the very beginning: from deregistration to choosing an educational philosophy; dealing with money matters; home-educating as a single parent, and much more.
Like many fellow home-educators, my son has failed to thrive in the school system. From very early on he began complaining of being bored and became unhappy and listless. To overcome these issues I began to read up on alternatives to full time school and came across “flexi-schooling” (see www. Flexitimeschooling.org/fts.doc). Unlike home educating, the child is still on the school register but only attends part-time. This was a great alternative for people who, like me, were still unable to take the plunge and remove their children from school completely. I looked on-line and discovered that all I needed to do was to write a letter to the Head Teacher explaining my reasons for wanting to flexi-school and the activities I had planned. The Head was not keen, as she did not quite understand how it worked. I continued to press her on the issue (politely, as flexi-schooling is completely at the Head’s discretion!) until finally after six weeks she agreed and Kai was allowed to be at home one day a week.
Friday was our special day to go out and have fun.
We visited museums and other places of interest without any focus on formal learning. The sense of freedom and joy at being able to spend more time together was immense; it felt like our lives had more balance. However, the bubble burst when his class teacher commented on the fact that his reading levels were very low and I suspected that the head would no longer agree to Kai being at home on a Friday.
Kai was required to return to school full-time in the summer term, and I considered what I could do to support his reading. I refused to force him to read every day as suggested, instead I simply continued to read to him with the hope that at some point he would join in. Kai is now nine years old and is an avid reader, reading every evening without any prompting.
So why am I now taking my son out son school? Kai still periodically complains of school being boring; I feel that I often have no idea what he is doing at school, as he doesn’t really tell me what he does on a day to day basis; he has very little enthusiasm and this is reflected in his attitude to school-work: he complains about doing homework and will only do the bare minimum.
Despite being flexi-schooled at his most recent school, we have realised that school simply does not fit with our way of life: we value our freedom and time, and no longer want to organise our day around school. Another key reason for taking Kai out of school is to allow him to follow his own interests. Since Kai has realised that he will not be going back to school he has really perked up and regained some of the curiosity he that he had lost: doing experiments with potions and other educational activities without any coercion. I’m excited about the future and hope that our journey inspires other families who may be considering a similar path.