Some time ago a parent on a list I am part was asking the usual questions about whether she should consider home educating her child. One area that she was particularly concerned about was how and whether her children would sit exams, GCSEs and A’levels in particular. It turned out as the conversation went on that the oldest child was around 4 yrs old. It made the question difficult to answer. A lot can happen between now and then and in the world of exams and accreditation a lot can happen very quickly. Nevertheless this parent wanted some kind of long term plan to be sure that she was doing the right thing.
Most home educating families have a “nothing in stone” approach. Things change, families face all sorts of events, and tragedies that will mean rethinking how and even when learning takes place.
Some of us have faced the very real possibility that our children might HAVE to go to school because we might be either not there at all or so incapacitated that we couldn’t HE any longer. There are also parents who face the battle of serious mental illness which, might leave them able to home educate for years but a relapse might put them in hospital for a long time.
We educate with an eye to what they might face should they have to go to school. I don’t think that means many of us follow the National Curriculum, but we do make sure our children are getting the very best education we can possibly provide for them, so that they have a good head start, should they even end up under the NC.
I suppose the other thing about being ill, or facing the possibility of death or serious disablement is that as Christian mothers we know we are supposed to be doing all we can to get ourselves and our children through those pearly gates. if we don’t do our very best at the role God has given us, we’ll have some answerin’ to do.
The question is, does the fact that we faced/face aspects of life that perhaps some other home educating families don’t or haven’t yet, effect or even determine the way we home educate now?
In some ways I think the answer is yes. One area I have considered is that I want my children to form a habit of self-discipline over their learning so that should they need to, they can continue with someone else who might not be able to put the time and effort in as a mother does. Umm, it’s something we are working on. But seeing Alex and Iona do it, I know it’s possible. Just keep at it, one day at a time.