People used to say “I don’t know how you do it!” when we home educated. Let me tell you a few things, now, while the “Back to School!” signs prepare to pop up in shops before the kids have even broken up.
Here is why school is worse than home ed if you are a parent.
- Dinner money. The endless slog of lost logins and cheque books and umpteen different systems for paying school, remembering who needs packed lunch, who is sneaking a second pudding on their payment card and who needs a letter signed to say the school can hold their thumbprint (and that’s without even getting on to the pros and cons of biometric system).
- School run. Dear gods above. 7am is for other people. It’s for other people for EVERYONE. No one should be shrieking about getting in the car by 8am, the only slice of your day together ruined with yelling, tears, yawns and frustration. And that’s just me.
- Letters. I get them on paper, I get them by email. I lose them all. I can’t be trusted.
- Homework, VLE systems, passwords, signing home work diaries. All on 1.5mb download speeds. Or with a total absence of pens. Painful.
- 5.School trips. And why you can’t go.
- Hanging out at the local shopping centre with friends. And why you can’t go.
- School trips when you can go. That mean being at school, across the other side of town, at 7am.
- Parents evening. Whimper. I’ve never made it out of one without a headache. Or with any useful information.
- SATs. GCSES. End of year exams. Coursework. Grumble. Wail. Procrastinate. (And yes, that’s just me).
- The Gifted and Talented Programme, which mostly seems to involve either acknowledging they are clever and doing nothing for them, or scheduling random trips that mean I have to be somewhere else very early or very late.
- Bags in the hallway. Shoes in the middle of the kitchen. Lost PE kit. All. The. Time.
I swear my kids need a PA all of their own. It’s a never ending onslaught of STUFF to deal with, worry about, fill in, hand out, drive to, put together, pull apart, comment on or fold up and stick in an envelope. If you have never not schooled, you don’t know this, but life doesn’t have to be this way. It sucks.
I used to just do things with my kids. They all did fine. Even without SAT scores and predictions and a reading system where every book has a decimal number and you can only read ones with the right range of numbers stuck on the spine. For heavens sake.
And school uniform. The endless onslaught of buying skirts, not dyeing them pink, growing feet that don’t fit anything less than £40, changing schools and needing a different EVERYTHING, finding a balance between acceptable and fashionable trousers, finding the day when everyone magically alters back into winter uniform from summer dresses like some murmuration style code got sent invisibly out. Fitted shirts with short sleeves and button collar but not so long they have to be tucked in? You’d think it would be easy, but no. And as for the BLASTED “how short can I tie my tie without getting detention?” thing – give me strength.
If, like me, you are stuck with buying school uniforms against your will, you could try that link above. It’s one thing you will be able to cross off your list.
How I yearn for the days of conversations, music lessons at home, pyjamas, books, games, films and documentaries, curling up together, following our noses. Time. I miss having TIME.
Disclosure: This post is in association with ASDA and I have recieved compensation for posting it.