Thursday, June 07, 2007

Back to School II

After three years of home educating, we are now, officially, no longer. Our eldest started back at school a year ago - soon after we moved. Our younger daughter started back at school a few weeks ago. Today, our elder son started back at school and our youngest son has started a "pre-school" playgroup; he will begin school in September.

These are all their own decisions (with the exception of our youngest). It was never our intention to educate them at home forever. Their being back in school will not, we hope, dampen their enthusiasm for learning .. too much. Some dissillusion is inevitable. Above all, we pray that the children will continue to seek knowledge in their own time. They will be tired when we see them now, of course, and they will have little enthusiasm for "work". I am optimistic that some residual enjoyment for learning will not disappear. The major difference is that they know that there is an alternative - that they are not trapped within the system.

They had different reasons for deregistering from school, but they have pretty much the same reason for starting back again: to make friends. We satisfied many of their needs whilst they were learning at home. Some subjects were hard to resource, but on the whole we did well, we feel. They regularly met up with other children - in social groups far more true to real life than those available in school - but this was not really enough for them to feel that they had made friends. In particular, those meetings were in other towns, so they had no "play time" outside schooling hours. School will provide more social contact opportunity than they will need, and an environment where subject experts and resources are on-hand to help them learn.

Looking back, I'm immensely proud of our decision to home-educate, and our achievements - as a family - in making it a success.

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