Beautiful to Watch

Last night, Amy asked to sleep in Jessica’s room with her.
Amy is a fidget, and likes to sing or talk herself to sleep, so I agreed, giving them one condition: that they must stay quiet, and stay in the bed.

Happily, they climbed into bed together. Jess grabbed her favourite bedtime book and they looked through it together, whispering and asking each other questions. When they reached the end, they chose another book. Then another. Then another. All the time they whispered, careful to keep their voices low, and the only getting out of bed, was to fetch another story.

All the while, I was listening and watching, and thinking to myself: if I had to get them up in the morning to get to school on time, I would miss out in all this. I’d be sat there stewing about the fact that they weren’t asleep yet; or barking at them to stop talking and close their eyes, getting all cross. Truth is, I probably wouldn’t have even let Amy sleep in there at all. And then I’d have missed out on that beautiful moment, in which my two children – who fight like cat and dog over anything and everything during the day – sat together and shared their time, their thoughts and their feelings, over their favourite books.

Many people who do not understand home education, are under the (misguided) impression that home educated children somehow miss out on social interaction, or lack social skills. But in reality, the opposite is true. They develop the most amazing social skills, very different to the superficial and forced interactions that are observed in the classroom.

Home educated children’s social interactions are real, true and meaningful.

And beautiful to watch.


Not starting school

An open, honest letter to my child who won’t be starting school this September

Today we’ll take it easy,
No rush, we’ve lots of time.
The whole day lies before us
And the weather’s looking fine.

Perhaps we’ll picnic in the park
Or on the front room floor,
For you are still so little;
You’ve only just turned four.

You choose the clothes you’d like to wear
And bring your teddy too,
Tell me where you’d like to go
And what you’d like to do.

We’ll take our favourite things for lunch,
Lay down and watch the skies
And if you fall and hurt yourself,
I’m here to dry your eyes.

Then we’ll go and see our friends
And share the afternoon.
We’ll talk and listen, play and paint,
The time will go too soon.

Because you’re still so little,
You don’t have to be alone
‘Till you decide the time is right
To branch out on your own.

‘Till then, I’m right beside you
When you need to hold my hand.
We’ll explore and learn together;
The best way to understand.

You’ve been alive for just 4 years,
Your place is here at home,
It’s our job to nurture you
And keep you safe from harm.

You fill my world with happiness,
I love to watch you play.
You’re learning all you need to know,
We’re doing it our way.

So before we go exploring soon,
I’ll kiss you one more time,
Happy that you’ll always be
Forever truly mine.