Sometimes being a home educator is completely brilliant. Sometimes is just one extra thing to beat myself with.
Right now baby Ben is asleep in bed, which is a good thing as last night I somehow put my back out and, despite costly trip to the osteopath this morning, I can barely move at all.
Maddy is sat behind me doing cubed and squared numbers in a maths book she likes. Josie, who has worked on spelling, reading, fractions, music and french all on her own this morning, is curled up with a DS game reading enough of it to get by. Not bad, given she’s pretty much been self taught there.
Amelie has done spelling, geography (pronounced pants and she’s right, so she’s moving on to the next section), music and reading and is reading for England.
In the last couple of weeks Fran added Lord of the Flies to her list of challenging classics to read and got through it. She’d been reading The Hunger Games too and said that while her friends had found the middle one boring, she felt that lord of the Flies and Animal Farm had really opened her eyes to the political side of the books and encouraged her to look more deeply at them. (Check!)
Maddy is reading her way through the Lemony Snicket books (now on book 11) and has read two of The Hunger Games. Amelie has finally found the ability to get through a book thanks to the Wimpy Kid. Josie is reading her way through Reading Eggs. Fran came home from school having got an A in a GCSE progress mock.
And I’m feeling a bit of a failure at the whole thing. More and more I see the buzz Fran is getting at school and how tired and weary of home educating life I am now and I think they’d all be better off getting an acceptable education elsewhere and leaving me free to just be a reasonably fun mum instead. I think perhaps they are beginning to feel the same too. If I’m really brutally honest, I’m only doing an adequate job and its not what I wanted.
That isn’t the same as them not getting more than an adequate education – they read, write, sew, make, create, learn ,do, find out. They are equipping themselves with all the skills they need and I wanted for them. They love learning. But I just don’t know if it makes me feel good enough.
And then I look back through my photos of the last couple of weeks when it has been cold and wet and we couldn’t go out and wonder if, on top of ordinary every day work, it is enough to just be living life without a constant stream of days out, museums, lectures and excitement?
We had fun yesterday with a microscope, looking at slides and light apertures and trying to see how the mirrors and lenses worked and seeing how best to focus it and observe different things under it.
Maddy turned a cross stitch pattern into a Hama Bead Hufflepuff crest. Josie and Amelie made the cakes on their own. Josie knows the alphabet and was readying what was on the backs of the cards. And we spent ages, apropos of nothing much, discussing PR and advertising thanks to a parcel that came through the post of Soreen. God I love that stuff. Yum (And yes, it was sent for free and yes, I love it really and used to eat it as a huge treat at my Nana’s and it spells and smells of childhood to me).
I dunno. Is it enough? The summer is coming, we can probably do better now (assuming my back fixes). I just wanted more for them.
Right now, I’d like a little peace in my head for me.
I think I’d feel I had let the side down.
But I mind about letting them down more. Fran has had a world open at her feet. She spent all last night telling me about atoms. She never liked atoms when I taught her. I’m worried I’ve ended up giving them one freedom but limiting them some other way.
I think maybe it’s time.
Home ed can be brilliant. But we’ve had a rough 6 years.
I’m not sure it’s brilliant here any more. I’m not sure adequate is good enough.