I suppose it was inevitable that some point on our path one of us would have the wobbles. I imagine it is to do with meeting new families. There is a mixture of those that have been to school and those that have not. Then you begin to think… do we do enough ‘academics’, do we do too much? Do we do enough sports or social activities or do we do too much?
Where is the balance? And what should the balance be? All any of us want is for our children to be happy, safe and secure (I hope). Then people argue that by home-educating are we sheltering our children from real-life. Yet is school real-life? School is a peer-based segregated environment. I know no office whereby the floors are arranged as 18-25 years, 26- 35 year olds. Where you allowed to maybe see your best friend for 20 minutes at lunch because they are on a different floor. This may be abit tongue in cheek, but real-life is not the education in school. However the real life aspect comes from the bullying that can occur, the peer pressure to smoke and drink, I know not every child will go down that route, however you can be assured that in a school environment they are exposed to that on prehaps a daily basis. I’m not saying that it also does not occur in home-educating families as I’m sure it does too. I know that people who know me, know I love a tangent, so I’ll get back on track.
The balance, surely if a child is happy and they want to learn, then the learning will take place in whichever form the child is happy and comfortable to do so. Again those that know me, know my love for the Leuven Scale and that deep level learning takes place when there are high levels of well-being and involvement. This is so true in Early Years however I feel that all ages can benefit from that philosophy.
Since we moved a month ago, I have thrown ourselves in to the home-educating social scene here! We are incredibly busy however we seem to have found ourselves a little group, hopefully our ‘village’ and for that I will be grateful. I wanted to concentrate on the children’s social and well-being rather than the academic side. If they are not happy I cannot teach them, they will not learn. So for now we start introducing things slowly and enjoying making friends. The academics will start to come when they are happy and things are settled. They are learning every day, just not in the conventional sense that we are led to believe in. (Nor the Government if you look at how much they now want to invest into free schools – but that’s a rant for another day).