Wednesday, 24 February 2010

My dilemma continues...

Today at the tumble tots class the lady that runs it asked if it was this september or next september that Finn starts school. People are asking me this more and more each day and I just tell them that it is the following september as his birthday is in september. I can't be bothered to explain that actually I am seriously considering home educating him and he is therefore not going to school (I have told family and close friends - although I don't talk about it much as no one shows much enthusiasm about it). I think I am worried that people will judge me and think we are strange in some way for not wanting to send our children to school like everyone else does, and then I guess it is also because I am not totally confident that this is the right decision yet so I figure there is no point in telling people about it yet if he does end up going to school.

Anyway, the instructor then went on to say how she thought it was a shame he wasn't going to school this year as she thinks he could do with "channelling his energies". I just agreed and didn't carry on the conversation. As soon as she said it I immediately began to think I would be denying him of opportunities if I home educated and that I should definitely send him to school. I do respect this lady's opinion some what as she does have kids of her own, teaches kids all day long and seems quite perceptive about things e.g one day she said Finn was really struggling with the balance exercises and she suggested that maybe there was something wrong with one of his ears: a few days later he had a cold and fever and I took him to the doctors, they looked in his ears and said he had an ear infection. The last week or so I had really started to feel more confident that HE was the right option but this has fuelled my doubts again. However, as I thought about it more I began to think "channelling energies" could actually mean suppressing them by putting him in an environment where he has to sit still and stay quiet, wait in line and all the other routines that happen in an institution where supposedly "socialisation" is to be with a group of children exactly the same age as you and where you follow the pack and the strongest personality.

I am just still in two minds about the whole thing precisely because of how out-going Finn is and how much he enjoys being with other children, I don't want to deny him that, and when this lady said what she said today it just confirmed what I had already been thinking. Yet at the same time he does have a strong personality: is very out-going, intelligent, easy-going and I don't want all this to be suppressed as soon as he gets into a school environment. I think he could really benefit from being taught on a one-to-one basis. I know I have over a year to decide but I want it to be clear in my mind and I want to make a decision either way sooner rather than later as it is really playing on my mind.


  1. My opinion - for what it's worth (practically nothing *grin* )is that home-education is more than capable of "channelling energies" as good as, if not better, than within a school environment. Why? Because you can cater to a child's every need. You can answer 100 questions from an inquisitive mind because you are with him, one on one, without him having to compete with 20 plus other children. You can go for walks or play in the park when his energy levels are high, or curl up and read books when they are low. You can join home-ed groups where he will be able to run around and play with friends, meet up with others for outings and nature rambles, do science experiments on a whim, and drag out the art supplies when the fancy takes you. You will be tailoring your son's environment to his exact needs at the exact time that is right for him - can't get an easier environment to channel those energies than that.
    I know you respect the TT instructor, and it's great that you are taking others opinions on board - that of course helps with making informed decisions - BUT, how much does the instructor know about home-education? Just because she has got children of her own, teaches kids, and knew the possibility of there being a connection between balance and ears - doesn't make her knowledgeable about HE. Some people think that us HErs shut ourselves off from the rest of the world and our children have to sit at tables and "do school" all day. I can see where such a person would find it hard to believe that HE could possibly work with channelling the energies of inquisitive, intelligent, and sociable children. There is so much more to Home-Ed than that - the whole world is there to be learnt from and used as our classroom, and I really don't think it gets much better than that.

    Jules x
    (home-educating mum for 7 years, to children aged 14, 12, 8, and 4).

  2. Thanks for your comment Julia - only just read it!! I totally agree with all you say, I think I just have to go with what I think is best for my kids and not worry about what others think. Most people send their kids to school but that doesn't mean that's the best thing for them - I just have to keep telling myself that. Thanks again, appreciate your opinion, it reassures me!