#Ihomeedbecause

A few weeks ago I started up a hash-tag on twitter in the hopes of raising awareness, however I’ve realised that regardless of the hash-tag (there is also #homeedhour) some things just need to be discussed in more depth than twitter allows for. Twitter is great as a starting point, but I find it intensely frustrating if what I want to say is more than 140 character as I either have to then join a different site and link to the longer post, or do it across multiple posts.

You may remember a few months ago I posted ‘I find it hard…‘ after having a wobble, recently we’ve had a growth spurt (well small has… ha-ha) and we’ve all been finding things a bit tough, it appears we are in a transition phase, so its time to look at our approach and how we can help support small as he gets older and his needs change.

So what has this got to do with twitter..?

Last night was #homeedhour where home educators from across the Country talk about home education & chatted about our favourite things about home ed and this is where ‘wobbles’ came into it.

One of the things I find most wonderful about home educating is the home ed community itself, which I briefly chatted about on twitter last night, but sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough. Because it really IS a community, it is vibrant and diverse both on-line and offline, both nationally and locally in most areas. No we don’t always agree, and yes there are disagreements, simply because with such a diverse group of people they are never going to agree on everything.

The thing that stands out most for me, is that when you have a wobble or you are finding things a bit tricky or tough (let’s face it parenting is NOT easy, regardless of educational choices – and all parents worry about doing the best for their children) there is ALWAYS someone there to support you, or catch you if you stumble. It doesn’t matter if you do school at home, are structured in your approach, completely autonomous or anywhere in between, you will be supported in the way you need.

Sometimes that will be a shoulder, or a place to get things off your chest and work it out for yourself, sometimes you will be given food for thought to help you question yourself, sometimes you will be given suggestions for alternatives if what you’re doing isn’t working at that particular time and you need some fresh input and ideas, but ultimately you’re supported to make the decision is right for you and your family. It’s just as true for the on-line community as it is offline.

Yesterday I was at a home ed meet up that had been planned at the last-minute, as I said above it’s been challenging recently, and it was so wonderful to be able to chat and discuss whilst our children played together and know that I wouldn’t be told to put him in school because that is obviously what he needs to learn the ‘right’ things. I came away feeling that I wasn’t alone, and actually everything will be okay and yes things are tough from time to time but that would happen regardless.

We chatted, we discussed the challenges each of us have faced at one point or another, and topics our children were interested in. We discussed what worked for each of our children and I came away with hints and tips to try with small as he is desperate to learn to read, and as it turns out he really likes what has been suggested and today has been far ‘easier’ with him because it supports him in the way he needs now. He’s happier now that we’ve found something that helps him to feel more in control of it. What we were trying to do wasn’t working for him, he’s gone off reading eggs at the moment and he wanted us to teach him but when we tried to, he hated it and it was leaving us all feeling frustrated, us because we felt we were letting him down, and him because he wants to read now and it’s going slower than he would like it to. It’s wonderful to have such a supportive community, right on my doorstep. And no government bods – socialisation for us and our children is NOT an issue. So stop trying to make it a problem.

#Ihomeedbecause it is so wonderful to be part of such an amazing community, and I feel privileged to be bringing up my family in it. I never knew when we first made the decision to home educate our son that I would be getting so much with it. Not just support but also the diversity, wealth of knowledge and experience in such a vibrant community. I can’t imagine a better way for us to bring up our family. I am so thankful that I have the home ed community, and that I’m friends with such amazing people (you know who you are :D) I truly feel part of something special and that is something no-one (not even the government) can take away.

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