Sunday, 14 May 2017

The "Right" Way

The "Right Way.

At 15 all of my year was lead into the huge sports hall of our school and we were told, for about an hour, that if we failed* at our exams our lives were effectively over.
This talk was repeated at almost every level of education in one form or another.
"If you don't have G.C.S.E.'s you will fail. If you don't have further qualifications you will fail. If you don't have a degree you will fail. If you don't get a "proper" job you will fail."
Well, the people I knew who failed at school are still people, and some of them went onto amazing things.
In fact the most miserable people I know are the ones who didn't fail. They succeeded every time. Then when they finally hit something they couldn't do, had a breakdown.

*Failing is seen as some poisonous toxic thing to be avoided at all costs. This mentality messes you up. It squashes your desire to explore or try things you are not good at. This fear they put inside is us of failure never quit goes away. Failure is the only way to really learn anything.
It's not just okay to suck at something, it shows us how we can be better.

This awful idea this "if you fail" mantra is one of the most damaging lies you can tell anyone and now we are routinely telling it to 6 year olds. More over it actually stops people from doing the very thing that would make them better, failing.

Three goals.

I am a study nerd. Today I decided to replace my "to do" list with three goals.

Try something new.
Do something you're good at.
Do something you suck at.

I asked my daughter to do the same. This fear of failure, this fear of the imperfect is really hard to shake. It freezes us, it makes us afraid to try.  That is the aim of this mentality. To stop you from trying again.
In this way it shuts out people who don't do well "in the system" policing the kind of success that is "acceptable".
If I fail today I will ask "what did that teach me?" Then I will try again tomorrow.

Home education is far too important to take seriously.

Sunday, 7 May 2017



It breaks my heart when I see all the posts in HE groups from smart, resourceful women breaking their backs to try and get their husbands and even ex-husbands on the same home educational page.
I don't understand. By choice and design my darling and I decided on home education together. We talked extensively before, it was not only my responsibility, but a family team effort. 
It's not all roses and sunshine (we have our moments) but in general we trust and respect each other.
We did come to home education lightly, we came as parents who had been fighting against the school to end or even acknowledge the terrible bullying our wee one was enduring. 
My hubby has always been "hands on"even when he was working split shifts. He could change a nappy pretty much in his sleep. Was the "burp miracle" when all else failed, spit up be damned. 
Yet he always trusted me if I made a decision. From when to bottle feed (she was allergic to my breast milk) to when to let her nap, or wean. If he was unsure, we talked, I'd show him the book or article, he'd read it and once he knew, once he was in the loop he was good.
He wasn't "in the dark" to the hell she was going through. Many a school gate drama happened while he was there.
We set our our rules, together. We had family meetings, and even when things between us struggled we were united in our friendship, respect and educational drives.
It is true that I am often the referee between he and my daughter (peas in a pod) but I tend to be the ideas and organiser while he ends up helping with the "doing" of the activity or project. 
The coolest thing is when he "gets" it. He is a shy man, and going out and doing stuff used to be a struggle but as I have been less able he has really stepped up. He has really gotten into the spirit of "try something new".  He has fallen in love with our local Asian supermarket, especially the Korean noodles.  
He really feels has learned how to talk with his daughter, not just to her. To really hear her as a person. They hangout a lot and enjoy many of the same things.
It is part of the "yes..and.." mentality. It is an improv idea that you always build on and build up together.

I try and give advice to some of those women, struggling. To acknowledge the fear, and shame and blame happening in the brief sound bites. While I know that I could home educate as a lone parent, I know that we are a team. We made a choice to become parents together. We made vows to honour and cherish, in sickness and in health, and honouring and valuing each other is the foundation of it all. I am so grateful and it is something we work on together.

Home education is too important to take seriously.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Sample de-registration letter

Sample De-registration Letter

This letter is for those living within the England and is legally correct as of the date published. Things are different in other parts of the UK and will require more than the letter below. That said it is not impossible.
After you have sent them this letter (an in paper hard copy that has to be signed for is best) the school can send you a receipt but they can not legally harness, call for meetings (you don't have to go) or refuse to de-register. If they do, they are breaking the law.

Your address
At home education house
Freedom Rd
City of Rock and Roll.
Headteachers name.
Name of school.
Address of school.

Re Child/children's names  d.o.b date of birth/s

Dear Headteacher's name,

I am writing to inform you that my child/ren are receiving an education at home, otherwise than at school, accordance with Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act.

As of this date, (date) remove their names from your school register; in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 2016 Section 8 (1) (d) for mainstream schools.

Please confirm in writing you have removed my child/ren from the schools registers as of the date above stated.

Your Sincerely

(your signature)

(your name in print)