23 January 2016
We don't normally take a month off, but during December that is what we did. Of course part of that was time spent in hospital and the recuperation that followed and then came Christmas. That time off meant that we didn't meet up with any of our home ed groups/friends and it was good to get back into that groove at the beginning of the month. Meeting with other home educators is an important part of our rhythm and I work hard to ensure we have just enough in our week. Too much can be overwhelming and not enough can lead to us having too much of each other which not always a good thing.
What about socialising, is a question that I am often asked of those who have no experience of home education. I would liken it, in part, to the socialising that you might do outside of work or school, it takes some organising and it probably won't happen if you don't make some effort, initially at least. This has been the most difficult part of home educating to get right. In the early days we didn't know many people, now we have a big wide ranging network and I have to turn down many offers, something I never thought would happen!
Humans are social animals, in the main, I know that some choose the solitary life and I for one love my time alone, but time with others is important to me too. I have realised recently that the balance that I have worked hard to achieved for the children has also done the same for me. Unconsciously I have worked activities into our week which feed and nourish us all in very different ways. Whilst they are building strong friendships, I am too.
It would be easy for me though, to shield them completely from children who are unpleasant, unkind or are bullies. I am with them all the time, my children that is not the unpleasant, unkind, bullies. There has been one or two occasions when Cameron has been really upset by other children, he is the more sensitive of my children and struggled with the other children's behaviour as he couldn't understand it. Alice experienced a similar situation herself a few months ago, a child whom she was always requesting to meet up with completely ignored her until all the other children, also at the meet up, had left. She informed me when we got home that she didn't want to meet that child again, she didn't like how she had been treated by her. She has never mentioned her again.
People talk about children being resilient. I believe this to be true, but only if we give them the confidence to be themselves and be true to that, as a teenager I spent a lot of time on my own for being like that. As adults we don't choose to spend time with other adults who we don't have any affinity for, so I don't believe that I, or anyone else, should demand the same of my children. As I watch my children with other children it makes me incredibly happy, not only because they are building relationships, but also gaining such important skills for life, that are possible to achieve outside a traditional school setting.
Labels: home education