Because we’ve moved around a lot – by choice I may add, not by necessity – my daughters have been to a number of schools. Some people have inferred that I’m a bad mother for dragging my kids “from pillar to post” but when asked, they’ll tell you that they’ve lived an adventurous life with lots of experiences they otherwise wouldn’t have had, met lots of people and had a whole lot of fun. Sometimes, preconceptions of how things ought to be aren’t always right. People – families – we’re all different.
Sadly, after moving back to
DD1 eventually moved back to
Plenty of people were against it; the people from the local education authority certainly were and although most friends understood and supported my decision, a few were clearly perplexed. “Drag her to school kicking and screaming – don’t let her have her own way” I was told. Well I’m sorry but I don’t treat my children that way; there’s no respect in that.
The LEA threatened me with court action for keeping her away from school but I knew my rights. The law of
Contrary to what some people believed, she wasn’t being lazy or just ‘trying to get her own way’. She knuckled down and got on with her work. We bought curriculum books to follow so that she’d have a chance of passing her GSCEs and eventually gain entrance to higher education, and we made up projects of our own. Our own local surroundings gave us lots of opportunities for geography and history projects; we have canals that date back to 1791; we live in a historic railway town; we have a park just a few minutes walk away with a well stocked lake (both fish and birds), a woodland walk, formal gardens and more. Lots could be learned about the environment just by walking around the town and I’m sure she learned a whole bunch of stuff that she would never have learned at school.
To our frustration, when the time came for her to sit her GCSEs, we were told that because she was home educated, she wouldn’t be allowed a mark higher than a ‘C’ as she could only sit what’s called the foundation tier rather than the higher tier. She was devastated. She’d worked hard and knew she could manage ‘A’ passes. I tried discussing it with them, practically begged them; her tutor tried talking to them (she also believed DD2 could achieve grade ‘A’) but they were adamant; that was the way things were.
She did get her ‘C’ passes in Math, English Language, and English Lit, the three exams she sat, but she wasn’t sure whether that would be good enough to get her onto the college course she wanted. Her dream was to be a photographer but for that she’d need at least two ‘B’ grade passes. We went along to the college, spoke to the head of the department and luckily, after a long chat with DD2, he said that he believed she had potential and didn’t want to see it wasted so would accept her on the course. I could have kissed him.
She’s now in her final college year and is planning to go to Uni although she is considering taking a gap year. She's very stressed at the moment, what with college, holding down a part-time job and helping me so I do understand her reasons. People also grow tired of ‘school’ and sometimes need a break. But whatever she chooses, those who insisted she’d never make anything of herself, that she was just being lazy, and so forth were definitely wrong!
Home schooling appears to be more widespread in the
Sharon J xx
I’ve never let my schooling interfere with my education ~ Mark Twain
More information on home schooling can be found on the DirectGov website
[Photo credit: banafsh3 at Flickr.com]