The perfect cuppa

Whether you drink tea or coffee, or hot chocolate or something else entirely. Most of you will agree that however you like your drink to be made, it is so important to have it made properly.

If you like your tea milky and it’s made too strong it can be easy to rectify just add more milk and you’re done. It may be a little cooler than you’d like but it’s the flavour that matters right? Besides, who wants to scald themselves while having a hot drink?

However, if you like it strong and make it too milky just take a moment and ponder. How easy is it to fix? It’s harder to make a drink stronger than it is to make it weaker so ultimately you end up having to throw the drink away (or if you have time on the way to work – ask them to make you a new one) and start the process again from scratch.

I expect you are asking yourself by now why I’m blogging about a cuppa. Don’t worry it’s not a cuppa I’m blogging about, but I find it gives a better analogy.

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When you de-register your child from school (for whatever reason be it bullying, struggling with school itself etc..) you will find that most of the time it’s advised to take a period to settle in, recover, recuperate and reconnect with your child and with learning. This is what is commonly called the de-schooling period.

It’s where you take everything that has been learnt before, and forget about it. The knowledge learnt will still be there, just not at the forefront of your child’s mind but it’s a period of time where you consciously take time to breathe, get used to the new situation and go at your child’s pace following their lead. This is regardless of whether you ultimately plan to use a school-at-home, structured or completely autonomous approach to your child’s education. It will always take less time for your child to de-school than it will for you.

Like bullying (think the crumpled piece of paper analogy) the experience of school will leave an imprint (good or bad) and that will affect your child’s approach to learning and how they see education. For most parents they take their child out due to bad experiences.

So like the strong cup of tea with too much milk, starting again at the base line gives your child chance to carve their own journey, or to make their own strong cup of tea that is right for them (maybe they have an affinity for writing stories, or art?) What they have learnt won’t be forgotten, but having that space to realise that they are perfectly capable of making their own tea, or having their parent there to support them while they learn what makes up their perfect cup is both life affirming, and in my opinion critical for helping them to love learning again and lose the negative connotations that they may have come to associate with ‘learning’. It helps them to find their sparkle again but most importantly:

It teaches them that learning can be fun again.


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