Well Hi there!
So I'm Lucy. I'm 37 and I am a home educator. I have a degree in Creative Arts and write, sing, make music, paint and all that jazz. I am a qualified aromatherapist with a love of holistic therapies. I am married to a lovely man called K. I have a teenage daughter call M. We love to eat and cook, play games (of all kinds) and health permitting go camping. We fall happily into the weird hippy alt section.
Our home education journey started out of desperation. I look back at that time in horror and wonder. Horror at how bad it was (but seemed “normal”) and wonder at how helpless I thought I was. Not being Christian I fought really hard for my daughter to get into a non-faith school in my area. It had a brand new building at the time and I was pleased as punch at my parenting. There she stood in her first Doctor Martins and uniform and I was proud as punch.
The problems were instant. Everyday there was a new bruise, a new issue and within a week I was dragging her up the hill us both crying our eyes out. No-one, especially the teachers would do anything but stare at me blankly. Their phrase was the same over and over. “There is no problem we are aware of.”
I told them “Well I am making you aware.”
My mum was a teacher. I “speak” teacher well. They just didn't care. I was labelled “difficult”. It was impossible to see the headteacher and her husband oversaw the LE. She was running three schools at the time.
It was horrific . I was made out to be neurotic or an idiot. After she came home with a graze on half her face I went to LE. They told me they knew there were issues but because of her age all of the classes in the schools in our area were full. There was “nothing to be done”. I came home and I researched home education and while things improved slightly (her bully was a boy called Benji) I knew it would get worse once she left the new teacher’s class (he did one year and left).
My husband and I began to research and research. The last day of school was amazing. It was a victory, not only for me, but for all the other “difficult” mums.
At first we did school at home. (Mum was a teacher, remember). The LE guy was amazing, kind and supportive (he retired and we got someone not so helpful…) In one year academically my daughter did three school years worth of work. We sat at the kitchen table and did stuff in projects and did crafts and cooking and experiments. However I stood over her, supporting and chiding if she was being slow.
I remember fainting in a martial arts class. Now I am not a fainter. Well I wasn't. My doctor told me it was stress and I rolled my eyes. I knew there was more to it that and then I started struggling to get out of bed. Then I kept getting sick all the time. Every old, every bug. Then I couldn't get out of bed. I collapsed quite a few times. School took a back seat to hospital test and hospital stays.
This lasted on and off for years and I felt horrible. I was the worst parent and home educator ever. What was happening was de-schooling, late but it happened and something amazing happened. My daughter was learning. I mean all kinds of things from all kinds of places. Japanese. English. Biology. Mycology. Maths. History. Once I lost the ability to “force learning” education proper began. After a big mental shift that changed our lives I began to see and allowed my daughter to take the lead, to ask her what she needed from me. It was nothing short of magic.
We still do trips and now I run a home ed D&D group out of a local comic book shop. We even made some videos.
A lot of our learning is based in the kitchen, from history to geography, even some of our maths (thank you Khan Academy) as well reading (M will just sit and read old cooks books).
So this blog will be about our HE (home education) journey but it will also have lots of food in it.
I will answer questions I see often on boards and so on because I prefer to blog rather than post huge long comments on facebook and such places.
Remember home education is too important to be taken seriously!