Later on this year, we will be applying for Joshua’s Primary School place and I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t terrify me, for many reasons. The big one being that he’s just growing up far too fast and I want to protect him from the world for as long as I can. It may be crazy, but him going to Primary School feels like I’m losing my little boy a little bit.
Joshua has never been like other children his age, he interacts different socially and I have always said that he would be the typical easy target. While all children are naïve, he’s too naïve for his age. Joshua just doesn’t have any nastiness in him, so he assumes everyone else’s intentions are always good. On one occasion, while at a soft play centre, I witnessed some older boys lead him into a corner tucked out of the way. Knowing Joshua’s nature, I immediately wandered over and when I arrived, he was absolutely cornered, and they weren’t being friendly. But Joshua was oblivious and beaming with smiles because he thought they wanted to play.
Joshua also has a long way to go with his speech. While we’re working on it with his preschool and he is improving, he does have a journey ahead of him before I would feel confident that he could express himself properly.
When you mix a child who would easily be lead astray, get himself into bad situations and worse bullied with being unable to communicate effectively, it terrifies me.
As his communication isn’t that great, I also worry that his teachers may think he’s less intelligent than he is and it may hold him back in classes.
When we take into consideration how Joshua is as a person, home education is the perfect solution for him and it also goes with our beliefs of how the school system works.
I never went to school really, I dropped out of Primary School at one point and dropped out of Secondary School twice before I completely stopped going in just year 8. And you know what? I genuinely don’t feel like I missed a damn thing, except for the social aspect.
It still shocks me to this day that to leave Secondary School all my Mum had to do was write a letter explaining that I wasn’t going back. We then had just one voicemail about home education and I fell out of the system completely. Growing up, I self-taught myself everything that I know now.
Schools focus far too much on grades and getting you through exams. I will always remember being at college and a classmate worrying that they would fail. Do you know what they got told? They got told not to worry because they will never fail, because it hurts their statistics. Wow!
Home education focuses on real learning and skills that would set Joshua up for life, not just for that exam that particular term.
So, why aren’t we going for it? Because we want him to interact with other children his age and learn how to. We want him to make friends for life. Being a child who missed out on that, I don’t want Joshua experiencing it because it’s awful.
In an ideal world, we would choose home education every time but it doesn’t have the social element that school teaches. How to talk, interact, play, hold a conversation, listen, share, be kind, help other… the list goes on. What it lacks for elsewhere, it makes up for in other life skills.
We will combat what we believe by not letting the learning stop once he’s out of the school gates. We firmly believe in educational trips, holidays, days out, spending time outdoors exploring the world and simply learning in a range of ways at home. We will focus on all the important stuff we feel school misses out, so that Joshua gets the best of both!