Sunday, 1 February 2009
I'm not a one to rush into things but.........
......I have been trying to set up this blog for the past 4 months! Oh well. I never pretended to be great with technology.
So why the title "Six Quails in Wales" - perhaps I should begin by explaining myself. I have been home educating our 4 children for the past 2 and a half years. When we started out, we just wanted a different lifestyle - I didn't like the pressure my children were continually under at school. It seemed to be all about SATS and league tables - not about education at all. So we took the plunge and deregistered them - quite a leap for someone like me who had spent her life playing by the rules! Perhaps it was a mid life crisis!
I don't think I really knew what I was expecting home education to be like. Its a bit like being on a roller coaster ride, with emotions ranging from exhilaration to total blind panic. But for all the highs and lows it just feels right. Its nothing like school - I want the children to follow their own interests. Trusting them in this way has been something I have not found easy - but I'm learning! And that's the point. Home education is a journey of discovery for the whole family - we are ALL learning, about the world, about maths, about eachother, about everything and anything that comes our way. I am learning so much about myself and about my children - stuff that I know I just would have missed if we had continued in that crazy treadmill that we were all on before. We still do the maths, science, history and so on, but there is so much more to educating young people than learning facts. They need to be equipped to cope with an ever changing world - that is the real challenge.
But I digress..... back to the title of this blog!
There have been many special moments since we began home educating, but for me one of the highlights was when my teenage daughter asked if she could hatch some quails in her bedroom! To her total surprise (and mine) I agreed! She researched the subject and thanks to the kind loan of an incubator and heat lamp from another home ed friend (thanks) she managed to hatch 8 chicks from 21 eggs.
It was such a simple thing, nothing earth-shattering at all really, yet it was symbolic of how home ed had changed our lives. Coming from an Essex council estate where the only livestock consisted of cats and budgies, it felt like a real trip into the unknown for me! I don't believe we would ever have done such a thing had the children remained in school - it was a product of my daughter having time to develop an interest in birds, a product of all the wonderful new people we have been meeting all from different backgrounds, with different interests and experiences, and in a small way, a product of how I have learned to view the world differently now. It was a life enriching experience for all of us. And that's what home education is more than anything - a life enriching daily experience that has become a natural part of our lives.
As for the quails, we sadly lost 2 of them so we are left with 6 - just as we are a family of 6! They have moved with us to West Wales where we are looking forward to enjoying the surf, the wildlife and the landscape (well perhaps not the quails!)..............and the next chapter of our home educating life.