Answer to Jan
Well, in one sense the educational side of it impacted not at all, and in other ways a lot. Its hard to remember what i really thought at the beginning now because we decided so long ago. Fran wasn’t even 3.
We decided to home educate, or delay school entry to protect Fran, there is no doubt about that. Its just that it didn’t take long for other things to butt in to the decision. The strange thing is that i’m aware that while my junior school was emotionally devastating because i was bullied, educationally i was happy there, whereas the reverse was true at senior school where i wasn’t that popular (but i wasn’t bullied) but i was not that interested by my schooling.
I haven’t come at HE from a parenting pov, that has grown with it; if i had discovered HE was only possible if you sat children down to do a “school day at desks”, i would still have done it. I did it because i knew what was going to happen to Fran (and i am still sure i was right) if she went into school, technically barely verbal because she was hardly intelligble and very anxious and shy, at only just 4. But inevitably, having got straight on to HE lists, i got to look at the reasons why school was not perfect very early on and so got to evaluate my own education.
Boredom, lack of diversity, lack of suitable pace, lack of free time, lack of love and longing for more knowledge. Mostly i could aim that at my senior school; if i could send my daughters to my PNEU school as it was when i was there, aside from the bullying issue, i might have done. But knowing that state schools are my only option, i didn’t think it was educationally going to work to do primary and suggest that senior school wasn’t essential. The process would already have changed and the point, to some extent, gone.
That said, i am aware there are quite formal, classical education type things i would have enjoyed doing given the time to do them. I would have loved some of the literature i am already reading the girls, i wish i had had the option for timeline history and books related to my studies to read, i wish that every mathematical process had been explored so i could grip it before we moved on, i wish i had been given time to learn to write beautifully and i wish someone had celebrated my desire to write fiction and let me get on with it. I wish someone had said “yes, i am ready to support you learning about sewing styles and it imagery through the ages, lets do it.” Its not true to say i want the opposite education for my girls as i had, actually i am primarily interested in offering up on the table a very good one and if it inspires them to devoted study and sitting at a table endlessly reading and writing an preparing themselves for university, well fabulous (won’t be able to afford to send them but lets worry about that later!) Its just that if they DON’T like those things and want to be brick layers, i’m going to support them there too. And if they want to self direct their learning utterly too, its going to happen. I’ll just be in the background, finding what they need when they ask.
That is what i wish i had had.
But, yes, with time gone by where i have lived and breathed HE, i do believe that home with families is where children should be and i believe that mine know i listen to them and if they want to try something else, i will listen and i believe they will tell me. I don’t really count regurgitating “i want big school” propaganda into that, but if in 2 years time Maddy is still saying that, i will listen. Yesterday i must have counted 8 exhausted 4 year olds being carried home along my street from their new school and i also spoke to someone whose son was 4 on the 27th August and her very words to me were “I’m glad to see the back of him.” I’ve never actually had those words said to me before and its so very different to how i feel about my children :~(
Last night i had this dream about Fran – she was grown up, still with a blonde bob and still wearing a medieval princess dress but she was out in a university type quad being grown up while i watched her from an inside window; i woke up howling from the feeling in the dream that she was grown and happy and apart from me now and it made me so very glad that i have such extended time for us to be together and friends, so that when the day comes i will know i gave her everything i could of myself and i have done my job for her.