Since everything happened with small boy and I have withdrawn him from the school system he has progressed so much he is really doing himself proud. He has had a period of self lead learning, mostly practical and I have done enough research into all of our options I feel to now make an actual ‘plan’. I have been told that I should just relax and go with the flow letting it develop naturally. My argument is that I can actually do both. Small boy tends to cope better if he knows what is going on and when it’s going to happen and with everything I have on my plate I too need that ‘plan’. I also have a feeling that I am going to be contacted by the LEA soon seems as though my local MP has taken up my complaint with the school.
After three months of researching home education as well as looking more into small boy’s reality. I do not like the term diagnosis or disability because we don’t see it as that. There is nothing wrong with him to warrant such a label and indeed as far as he knows the terms ASD, Aspersers and social anxiety are just terms used to make it easier for other people to understand how he sees the world. As he grows and learns more about these labels I want him to understand that it isn’t a case of they will stop him from doing things more than it may take him a different way to do things. it is a matter of fact that when he is older he will need to learn to adapt in certain situations and being that he is 13 in August that time is heading quite quickly in our direction so these labels will help other to understand this more.
My decision is for him to go through an un-schooling process; research shows that the best average length of time is 1.5 months to every year your child was in the school system which gives us 12 months, considering the amount of stress he went through its recommended that you add on extra time. I am going to use the 12 month guide to start with and then do a review before going onto an un-schooling hybrid. That is the best was I can describe it.
In this time I want to build a circle of friends who also use a form of home learning, ones where small boy can be comfortable with, just like when we go to Wales. Our friends there, children included do not seem to be like the society we are use to and not only accept us but also love us for who we are, especially small boy. The kids also seem to ‘get him’ some it took a little while to understand that what he says isn’t with malice.
I am also planning on sorting out a ‘learning zone’ for small boy, on his request too. So we are going to be decorating his room when the weather gets warmer so we can have the windows open. He is even willing to sell some of his old things so he can help me save up to get him a decent computer. He has his heart set on a tablet but to be honest I am pretty sure he will be happy with anything as long as it does all of the things he wants. He seems to want more of a MAC than PC and with the type of things he is looking to do will need a MAC. He is really showing strong interest in design, especially architecture oh heck let us face it he always has done. From the minute he could hold something he was drawing, stacking things, building things and if it keeps this interest in design the whole world will be there waiting for him to join it. After all everything needs designing.
Some of you may be thinking “but what about his GCSE’s?” qualifications are always the second question you get when you decide to home educated. Yes I am fully aware that jobs require qualifications as well as needing the ability to socialise to a certain extent. My response is quite simple …
When you are at school you get told what to learn, how much of it learn and of course how to learn it. Then sometimes the government decides that this isn’t good enough so changes everything. There are thousands of children that go through school perfectly capable of following this and for one reason and another do perfectly ok. Some however don’t, they scrape through school being miserable, not being interested in education at all, they do not see the point in being taught lots of things that we simply do not use once outside of school. There are thousands of children go through the full school system stressed, not able to cope, self harm, try and try to kill themselves because the pressure of learning these things it gets too much. Thousands finish school each year with no GCSE’s or qualification. It is quite varied .Then once left school if a child goes into college they are not longer being told what to, how to do it. Their education is left up to them, to be in control of their own learning and again thousands flourish while thousands don’t and are either stuck in a course they hate or just drop out full stop. The same can be said with university. Is it just me that realises that the system obviously doesn’t work for every one?
Small boy is 12 .. He is a child. If he was still at school right now he would be taking his options, deciding which exams to take to benefit him the most when he leaves school. I have never been too sure how they expect any child to make this decision at this age. Most adults I know still don’t know what they are going to do when they ‘grow up’ or are stuck in a job they hate, or don’t have a job at all, including people who did very well all through the education system. I also know thousands of adults who didn’t do well at school at all or are changing careers because they made the wrong choice at an early age; who are currently doing their GCSE’s, going to college for the first time and university proving that childhood is no longer the only time you get to gain qualifications.
For all of these reasons above, I am not worrying about qualification. What small boy needs to do is find his passion for the thing he enjoys, I am still here for guidance but if he wants to learn he will not matter what setting he is in. If he gains his own passion for learning something then that is all he will need to motivate himself. It goes without saying I am here to support him, help him when needed and point him in the right directions. I can do the research needed to what routes he can go down in order for him to have as many options as he can into living his dream.
For those that do not think I have not thought this our really don’t know me, those that do know I have thought about it, then rethought the thoughts … so on and so forth.
Yes we are doing this differently, some of my friends cannot get their heads around the ‘lack of formal education’ they see it is a holiday, playing, just having fun. Even I struggled with the idea of no formal learning for a short amount of time. But that would be the social programming. Home learning, learning through life, un schooling, home education … call it what you will, put us in whatever stereo type you see fit we do not care. This is right for us, right now which is all that matters.