Chelsea’s Thoughts on Being Home Educated (Aged 14)
I enjoy being home educated because I am free to wear what I like, and can dye my hair whatever colour I want to without getting into trouble for it. I can be an individual, with my own thoughts and ideas, and not have to worry about fitting in with ‘the gang’. I don’t have to pressurise my parents into buying the ‘right’ trainers, or designer-named clothing as I don’t feel the need to succumb to peer pressure. I love being able to choose to study the topics that I am interested in, and learn as much or as little as I like about them. I find it so much easier to learn by following my own interests instead of being force-fed a topic someone else thinks that I should know. I can also delve much deeper into a subject than the school curriculum and time restraints allow, and I don’t think that learning is just gaining enough information to answer questions in an exam.
Simple things like being able to read a whole book in one sitting if I choose to do so, is so much better than being moved on to the next subject lesson when the bell rings just as things get interesting. The time issue at school was so frustrating, just as I was beginning to settle into a topic we would have to pack things away and change subject. It was annoying having to wait for any question I had to be answered too. Sometimes the whole lesson would go by and my question wouldn’t have been answered as the teacher was busy with others. It seemed the ones that misbehaved were the ones that got the most attention. As I was quiet and ‘good’ I was safe to be ignored.
I like the fact that I can socialise with as many people as I like, of any age, rather than just with 30 odd kids within my age range in a classroom. I am free to spend my time with adults if I want to, or I can play with babies. There is no separation in the home-education world. Boys and girls can talk and be together without the silly girlfriend / boyfriend issues. We don’t have to grow up as quickly as it seems some of my schooled peers do. I have never heard anyone say that they are not playing or talking with someone because they are a girl/boy/too young/etc within a home-education group, but I have heard such things said within a playground plenty of times. I just enjoy being in the company of others – I don’t discriminate.
One real positive about being home-educated is that I get to spend a lot more time with my family, and I know that my relationships with my siblings and parents have benefited greatly from us being taught at home instead of being sent away to ‘learn’. I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything by not being at school, but perhaps the only downside (in my opinion) to being home educated is being judged when people don’t know you. For example, you’re obviously stupid because you don’t go to school, or receive an education in the eyes of some people. I have struggled to form friendships because of people’s views of what home-education is about. Some schoolchildren think that it’s a novelty having a home-educated friend, but there are others that criticise and maybe even get jealous that they are not taught at home. That has caused a few problems, but not enough to make me want to go to school! That’s the only downside I can really think of.
I know that home education will not work for everybody, and that some kids thrive at school, but I don’t think it was the right environment for me. My mum has always said that the option of school is open to me – but I’ve never taken her up on that offer!
I always find it interesting to hear my children's viewpoint.
Tuesday was a bit more of a success - I actually managed to stay awake!
We headed to the beautiful village of Cockington to meet up with a few home-educating friends. It turned out that 6 families managed to make it, totalling 17 children between us. It was fun! We walked around the craft studios, watched a glass blowing demonstration, talked to the wood carver who made beautiful rocking horses that I would love to be able to afford and treasure, and watched a blacksmith at work in his forge.
We strolled around the organic garden, passing the old cider press along the way...
We stroked horses, watched butterflies, fought off wasps, and ended up at the play park area where the children were soon entertaining themselves with the unusual equipment.
It was one of those days that made me smile on the inside as well as the out. A feel-good day, when I could look at my little world and think how lucky we are to be able to home-educate our children and have such a wonderful network of like-minded friends to share our days with :)
Just a quickie reminder before I go - it's that time of year again, when we book our free cinema places courtesy of http://www.nsfw.org/index.php - This is open to schools as well as home-educators, just put home-educator in the 'school name' section of the form.
I do put out a plea to those that book places though - do please try to turn up! A few years ago, Film Education removed home-educators from the offer due to people booking and not turning up. Not only was this deemed unfair, as it meant others may have missed out on places - but also some cinemas do tend to delay the starting times of the films waiting for late arrivals. This is obviously inconvenient to the schools, and also to those that work at the cinema voluntarily that day. Lots of home-educators got in touch with Film Education and voiced our disappointment at being dropped from the free films scheme. There were some obvious communication problems, with some HErs not having confirmation letters or phone calls, and once this was explained and our upset listened to, film-ed quickly changed their mind and included us again.
This is a free service that I for one would be sad to lose. If we wish to visit the cinema at the moment it costs us £38 a time - we can't afford to do that very often! (Unless we attend the cinema club which is much much cheaper).
Rant over :) xx