Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Some thoughts about time and life and home education

My daughter who will be 14 next week, some thoughts on time and life and home education, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger





Where does the time go?  I remember looking down at Iain for the first time after he was born, I remember the first days in hospital and I remember when strangers told me to cherish this time because it would pass in the blink of an eye.  It did just that and last week he was a 21 year old, he's completely responsible for himself now, well sort of, he's still living at home with no sign of leaving but I love that, I'd miss him if he wasn't there.

Looby, my youngest, when she was just about to be three I told her not to grow up, she was perfect as she was, she promised me she wouldn't and then directly flouted my request, she's 14 in just 11 days. The truth is, we're all looking forward to things, we're making plans, we're booking holidays in advance, sometimes I think we stop enjoying the now because we're so busy planning ahead.

I'm trying to live more mindfully, to enjoy the passing moments and something I think is extra important when you are home educating.  We're in our settling in period right now, the one where we "deschool" because school is somewhere that institutionalises not just children but their parents too. We are so used to the daily routines that when we no longer have them we struggle a little to find ourselves again.  In saying that, we haven't encountered any major bumps but it's early days, it still seems like a holiday, maybe it always will, without the confines of timetables and rigid schedules, maybe we'll always just feel free now.

The strange thing about home educating is that the days are longer, the learning is everything, every single conversation we have directly teaches us something, it's something I never thought about before but then perhaps, perhaps it was because we never really had time to talk, the schedule of education encumbered us so that we had to try and fit everything we were and everything we did into shorter spaces of time, in a state education system there is very little time to just be, to be still, to think, to meditate.

Now, please, please don't get me wrong, I know for some school is a way of life and school is a good thing for some children but there are other ways and I know I am lucky to be able to give my daughter this untraditional learning experience.  Please don't think though it's because I am wealthy because nothing could be further from the truth, I still struggle to find the right kind of work to pay all of the bills and provide the extra experiences needed to get the most out of life, there are times when I worry what will happen if I don't get that next job or if I can't fill the sessions I've planned my income around but after 10 years I'm kind of used to the rollercoaster of work, life, finances, blood, sweat and tears that it takes to be self employed.

In home educating Looby I have given up seeing Abigail every day, her daily visits when she dropped her sister off on the way home from school every night are no more and her busy schedule means I haven't seen her in more than a week, something which makes me truly sad in my heart, I miss my big girl but isn't that life?  It's all so very bittersweet, I don't think there's a single person in this world who truly has it all, money doesn't buy happiness, love is the answer but even then, there are other extraneous factors which means having love alone isn't the whole answer to existence.

Now I don't want to be unnecessarily nihilistic because I do believe our lives have meaning although we'll probably never understand what that is, all we can do is try to make our mark, believing that all lives matter, I believe above all else that my children are the future and that the way that I parent has a direct correlation to their future failures and successes, another reason why it's the right choice to home educate Looby.

I hope this post has not been too profound, it's been a long time since I have been able to take the time to sit and write my innermost thoughts but here I am, at my desk sharing my thoughts whilst Looby is at the cinema with her friends, no need to worry about isolation with that one, she has many friends from lots of different areas of her life, a social butterfly will always be just that.  It is my aim with my month of saying yes that I too might become more social, I'm eagerly awaiting the chance to be less of a hermit, it's time to come out of my cave and into the light.
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