Home Education - Things I take for granted
by Sophie Christophy
We have been home educating for a number of years now - my children (aged 3 and 6) haven’t attended nursery, preschool, or school (aside from a few hours, that was enough to realise it wasn’t for us). I’ve been taking time to reflect on some of the things about home education that I’ve come to take for granted on a day to day basis, as it’s become something so normal for us.
I cherish that my children are free to move their bodies as and how they want to. They can run when they need to run, climb when they need to climb, sit, stand and move as, how and where they want to. If they are tired they can rest. They can get food, drinks and use the toilet as and when they need to. This seems ridiculous to even type, but I realise it isn’t the experience of all children.
My children are free to talk openly and contribute their views and opinions. We talk freely together all the time, about life, the things they are interested in, their experiences, asking questions, and solving problems. I am glad that they have the chance to openly speak their minds, to be listened to and understood.
I am happy that my children have influence over their own lives. They can follow their own interests, and learn about the world in the way that makes most sense to them. They can develop skills and knowledge at the pace and order that is right for them, spending a little or a lot of time on different things, in line with their needs, interest and and capabilities.
I am thankful that I am there, as their parent, to help them understand life, to comfort and cuddle them when they need it, to explain things to them when problems or misunderstandings arise. I can take the time to explain complex situations, and support them in empathising with the needs and experiences of other people. I am thankful also for the other people in their lives, children and adults, who are there for them in this way.
I am incredibly grateful for the freedom that my children have to be their most authentic selves. They can have their hair as they like and dress in the way that is most comfortable and right for them. They can express their own identities, appearance and interests, in all their diversity, without fear of criticism, stereotyping or bullying. I am grateful that they spend their time with other people, children and adults, who value the importance of people being able to be true to themselves
Finally, I feel honoured to be able to share so many experiences with my children. While we need a break from each other from time to time, when I look back at the pictures I have from over the years, the memories we have, the things that they have done, and the people they are, I feel deeply privileged to be part of that. I am learning so much myself.