Another of this year’s big changes is that I have recently started to home educate FJ who will be 11 next week. This was not a decision made lightly, it was something that I had considered for a long time.
LJ and CJ both enjoyed attending primary school for the most part and they both did well in their learning. LJ left primary school at the expected levels for her age and CJ was a year ahead. However, their high school experiences were really bad.
During high school years, LJ had so many problems with her mental health and self-esteem. We went through some really difficult times with her. She did manage to keep up with her studies but at what cost?
CJ who had been a year ahead at primary school started misbehaving at school and didn’t even pass all of her exams. She went to college and dropped out as soon as she was old enough.
The whole time that they were both at high school we had no real support from the school. Now I know that it may not have all been down to the school experience but I really believe that it largely contributed along with some of the other children at the school.
FJ has been different to the girls as right from nursery age, she has never really enjoyed going to school. She would plead to stay home and I kept making her go as it is expected that a child attends school. She has been really struggling with attending primary school although she had been trying really hard and then the bullying started. It absolutely breaks my heart to hear that other children have been bullying her.
I started to think that if she hates attending primary school and is already having problems being bullied then how on earth will she cope with high school and why should she have to?
So I started to investigate what the rules were for children in England and their education. I then spoke to my husband who I thought would be against the idea but he actually agreed with me. He said that he has also lost faith in the school system and thought that it would be worth at least trying it.
It was then time to speak to FJ about what she thought. I was unsure as to what she would think as even though she has never been a fan of school it is a big step to actually stop going. I explained that she would still be learning, but it would be with me. We agreed that if we gave it a good try and if for whatever reason it did not work then, of course, she would be able to go back to school.
FJ was so happy, it was as if the weight of the world had been lifted off her little shoulders. We are very early days at the moment but she is so much happier in herself. She is starting to get back a joy for learning and I am starting to rediscover the fun sweet personality which we have not seen for so long.
I am not saying that anyone is wrong for sending their children to school or that everyone should home school. Every family and child is unique and what works for one, may be terrible for another. I am just really glad that we are giving home education a try and I am excited to see where this new journey takes us!