Thursday 24 September 2015

“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”

As we were approaching the end of the summer holidays I started to worry a little about how things were going to pan out after deciding to home educate Opeie. I wasn't concerned about learning, not knowing what to do of even the 'social side' of things (despite the amount of times I've had that thrown at me by other parents). There was a slight anxiety though about stepping in to the unknown, and I did loosely question our decision a few times, but I think most people would feel the same in our situation. 

The first week of the 'official school term' though seemed to be a continuous run of events that made me realise that there was no doubt in my mind that we were doing the right thing. The change in Seth's mood and attitude being back at school was one and seeing all the other children struggling with their grim morning routine made me feel happy and excited about Opeie's new journey, sure I still have the school routine with Seth but sadly that is out of my hands, I'd love to home educate him too and i think he would really benefit from it emotionally but unfortunately this time i cant intervene.

I watched a child around 7 run out of the school gates after the children had gone inside one morning. He ran up the road hysterically crying and searching for his mom, with no teacher following him which was a little concerning but again just added to all the other reasons why we didn't want Opeie to start school. I NEVER wanted to be that guy that shoves his child in to school upset and frightened with a 'they'll settle eventually' attitude and if I can help it I never want to be that parent that lets his children fall in to the regimented routine that state education has to offer. I guess I'm a bit of a rebel at heart but me and Mrs M have strong views about whats best for our boys and we're not scared to make big decisions for them.

One of the other big things from week one was this...

While children cried for their parents that morning and walked in to a building uncertain about what was going to happen (which i personally think is a lot to deal with at 4), Opeie was running along a beach with a huge smile on his face having some one to one learning fun. On the drive down we talked about weather, what an estuary was and about all the things we saw along the way. when we arrived we took in everything that was around us, wrote our letters in the sand and had a really interesting talk about an old cemetery that runs along side the beach.

 We learned how to build strong stable structures using bricks made of sand and how to support a structure when you are digging underneath it. We crammed so many activities in to our afternoon and with the sun adding to our relaxing fun day it was effortless learning with a child who is eager to learn. This is all we ever wanted for Opeie and being able to put all the things that myself and Mrs M have talked about over the years in to action is really exciting.

There is a slight downside to this story though, nothing major, just something we are going to have to deal with as time goes by. It was a big day for Mrs M's career and I spent a lot of the afternoon anxious about the huge changes happening in her work life. As always she was fine and receiving the credit she deserves for the hard work she puts in. What I found though while me and Opeie were having an awesome day was the underlying feeling of guilt. Ive felt it many times since we decided I would be the stay at home parent and Mrs M would pursue her career, but for some reason that day was a mix of emotions and I found myself feeling really guilty about the fun we were having without Mrs M and Seth. It sometimes feels like we have our life and they have there's which has made me realise that i need to make a real effort to include them in the things that we do.

I'm yet to find out how Seth feels about us being at home and Ive always hoped that it wont be an issue as he knows that under different circumstances he could have been outside of the school routine with us. I'm fully aware that its going to take time to iron out all the creases and for us to get in to our own way of doing things but I'm sure that Opeie will continue to develop the way he is and we will never look back. Home ed isn't for everyone but I can already tell that this educational adventure is going to be an amazing one and I look forward to learning many things myself with my best buddy.


Rebecca Beesley said...

Brilliant brilliant brilliant stuff! This is the sort of thing I miss so much about homeschool - you are absolutely doing a wonderful thing for Opeie. And what a fab title. It used to break my heart to see kids heading to school in tears - thankfully we are happy with their current schools but too many schools aren't right for kids. There will always be 'september wobbles' - we had an emotional september every year wondering if we were doing the right thing when we were homeschooling - but there were so many positives that by october we knew we were absolutely doing the best for our boys at the time. Enjoy! And don't feel guilty - you guys are brilliant at having plenty of family time at weekends. x

GiftsFromThePirates said...

Thank you for your lovely message Rebecca, it has been a great few weeks so far and im not expecting that to change anytime soon. I feel empowered by making this decision and seeing Opeie happy every morning with no unnecessary stress really makes it all worth while. You guys have been a real inspiration to us too. Its great having friends who have been through making the decision to home school. xx