It’s been half a week since I removed Erin from school. While this is not our first adventure into home education it is slightly different that she is now 12 years old. When we previously removed her from school in Primary we went straight into providing a standard of curriculum matching school until she chose to start secondary school. In all, previously we home educated for 7 months.
This time it is different. I have read more. Researched more and realised that Erin won’t benefit if we just recreate a school environment at home. She currently no longer has any interest in reading, or writing stories (which she used to do all the time) and instead is half the child I used to know. Quite frankly. the school system muted her passion. Her energy. Her light.
I need to help her rediscover herself. To find that shiny, bright human who questioned everything.
So we are going to deschool her.
Deschooling is the psychological concept that a child beginning home education after attending school needs time to adjust to being at home, to remove the ideologies of the school environment that have shaped them.
To put it bluntly. They need to break out of the system and learn how to carve their own path in the world. To ask questions, to find passion in learning.
It is said for each year they were at school they should take a month to deschool. We have decided we will take until September before gradually imposing a light academic setting. I am leaning toward the Waldorf system and plan on reading to Erin, limiting electronics and asking her what SHE wants to learn.
It will be an awefully big adventure 🙂
Education. Not school.
Erin was previously home educated due to her special educational needs. During the stress of the year 6 SATs we de-registered her from school. Erin has generalised epilepsy which manifests in absences, jerks and drops. When she was in Primary school I had informed the school and made repeated requests for her to be assessed by SEN for support. I was informed as she was not disruptive in class she would not get funding.
Just before we took her out of school her teacher approached me as there was a school trip and I had to send Erin with her medication. Her teacher did not know she had epilepsy. When I informed her it was documented and that her absences can be witnessed by eye rolling, the teacher said to me,
“Oh is that was it is. She has a lot of those.”
Yes. Erin has up to 50 episodes. Episodes where she is not conscious and misses words, sentences and conversations. The school ignored all of this.
We thought secondary school would be different. She started, she made friends, all was great. Until yesterday. While she had a care plan in place, there was not a day in which Erin did not have a lesson in which a regular teacher was elsewhere and a sub was in place. A sub who did not know Erin had epilepsy and shouted at her for not paying attention when in fact she was having an episode. Then yesterday I informed the school Erin had an appointment with her neurologist. She has had 5 appointments this term due to ongoing issues with her medication. Each time, her meds are upped and of course we have a follow up. The plan is to find something that stops all seizures. She has also missed 5 days of school at separate times due to having several bad nights with her epilepsy which leaves her exhausted. Which anyone can imagine if you have ever lost consciousness. No, her attendance was not good. But, those times I have taken Erin to school after bad episodes the school phones me to collect her. Any way, so I had a phone call which they have stated I need to provide not only proof of appointments but also proof of attendance and that Erin can’t have any more sickness without a doctors note.
You can imagine my face. I was not impressed.
Insert Erin has been subjected to bullying and has voiced her opinion several times that she has not learned anything due to several violent students within the class. Chairs have been thrown, tables broken, attacks and fights. I spoke to Erin this evening and we had a good chat in which she has decided she wants to return to home education. She wants to return to her home education clubs. Most importantly she said to me, “Mum, I want to learn things!”
So along side my witchery things I shall also be blogging about our home-ed journey!