100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 40 (After Home Education: Going into Adulthood)

Please note this was originally published in March 2014 and has not been updated.

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People often wonder whether being home educated will somehow prevent access to higher education or otherwise limit future career prospects in some way. However in reality this is far from the case.

Here are some examples of various subjects that older home educated children have recently taken at university: Art, Medicine, Music, Veterinary Science, English, Child Development, Humanities, Psychology, Sociology, Media Make up and Special Effects, Law and Photographic Journalism.

These are a few of the careers that home educated people are now doing: Musician, IT technician, IT consultant, photographer, shop manager, professional athlete, carer, cinema manager, artist, music producer and BBC technician.

One such person was home educated in America from aged 9 onwards, using a part autonomous and part structured approach. When he got to high school age, his parents gave him the choice of going to school or choosing between various home school programs which would give him a high school qualification. He chose a program which had some structure and his general life experience also counted towards his studies.

He then took dual credit classes at a community college (university) that counted towards both high school credit and an associates degree. He now lives in England with his wife and children, where he works as consultant for a company’s Cloud product and is also mid IT degree, via part time study with the OU.

Compare the two lists above to any group of schooled children and you will see very little difference in the type of higher education courses typically taken up or in the nature of employment opportunities after compulsory education is complete. The only difference is that home educated children, generally speaking of course, often have greater freedom to pursue their own interests and gain life experience sooner. 

The alternative approach to education might also enable individuals to tune into their unique strengths earlier on, which perhaps might enable them to develop a particular expertise sooner. This means that in some cases these children may be more likely to follow personal passions and/or find their particular niche in life earlier on. In these instances, being home educated supports long-term career satisfaction and personal fulfilment.

Lastly some famous people who were apparently home educated:

  • Hilary Duff (actress, singer songwriter, author and entrepreneur)
  • Tim Tebow (quarterback for Denver Broncos)
  • Venus and Serena Williams (tennis players)
  • Agatha Christie (author)
  • Thomas Edison (inventor)
  • Franklin Roosevelt (president)
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt (actress, producer, director, singer songwriter)

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 39 (Why Do People Decide To Home Educate?)

There are lots of reasons why families initially decide to home educate. For some it is a lifestyle choice made from the beginning, whilst others take the plunge later on for other reasons, often unforeseen. Here are some of the most common reasons for ditching the system and joining our ever-expanding home ed community…

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Lifestyle choice

For some families, home education is their first choice. The decision is made early on and they home educate right from the beginning; their children simply don’t start school. Sometimes this is because they were home educated themselves and had a good experience so feel it is the right path for their own children too. Others feel it fits better with their own personal parenting philosophy, as these parents explain:

“It never crossed my mind to send him to school… we followed natural parenting philosophy, it didn’t feel right to suddenly change everything about his life at 4 years old.” ~ Bx

“I felt like at 4 yrs old J was far too young to go to school, I wanted him to have a childhood of freedom to play and play and play some more, I don’t feel like early years education is child centred or based on up to date research about how our children learn and thrive. I also wanted my boys to be together as children and sending J off to school whilst L was home with me didn’t feel right to us.” ~ Maria

“My husbands career plan involved travelling and we wanted to be together as a family.” ~ Katie Jo

“FREEDOM!!!!” ~ Samantha


SEND 

Another common reason is that parents feel that the school is not meeting their child’s needs and/ or there is no suitable provision available. Often parents of SEND children feel that the school system tries to make their child fit into a mould that they are just not designed to fit into. This can result in all sorts of issues; it can affect behaviour, lead to bullying, cause damaged self-esteem and mean they start falling (often drastically) behind developmentally/ academically. These are just a few examples. Whilst some SEND parents make this decision early on, others resort to home ed only after multiple failed attempts to find adequate provision. 

“Inclusion… lack of.” ~ Sam

Bullying or other school issues

Sad but true; bullying is another common reason that parents remove their child from school and opt to home educate them. Often they have tried to approach the school to tackle the problem but feel they are left with no choice but to pull their child out of that environment before further damage is done.

Of course there is often actually a combination of the above reasons!

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 38 (Rebecca)

Introduction

I’m Rebecca, I have two boys. Stanley is 5 and Ronnie is 2. 

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How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?


We’ve home educated Stanley from the beginning. It started when we were offered a school place at a school which was not good at the time. Once we looked into home ed I fell in love with it and we decided to go for it! 

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

Stanley getting out the art basket and creating freely and experimenting with different materials. 

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What is your favourite thing about home edding your children?
Spending my time with them and watching them grow and develop 💙

What do you find most difficult and why?

At first it was being different that scared me, I didn’t have faith in myself I guess. Now I’ve seen how amazingly Stanley is doing, I don’t doubt our decision!

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Have faith in yourself and your children! There will be harder days but it’s all worth it!! And get outside lots, it helps with concentration too! 

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Here is my YouTube channel. I’d love you to follow our journey. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ7XiEI2hNfPGl6lr-JKH-w

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 37 (Tracey)

Introduction

I’m Tracey. Mother to 2 boys, step mum to 1 girl and wife to Dan.

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How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?

2 years. Deregistered Feb 2015. My eldest is autistic and has ADHD. School was not supportive at all and nearly broke me mentally with the constant fighting for help. My son lost a significant amount of weight and wasn’t sleeping. Verbal and physical bullying was being ignored by the school. I wish I had took him out earlier.

Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?

Unstructured except for the regular groups J attends. Weekly forest/coastal school, weekly media & history, weekly swimming and weekly Spanish. Everything else is based on whatever J is interested in at the time or going out on bike rides/beach walks/playing with his friends.

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What was your highlight of home ed last week?

J teaching himself to solder by YouTube videos and making a little circuit to power a fan.

What is your favourite thing about home edding your child/ren?

Seeing him light up when finding something that inspires them. Seeing him become independent, happy and finally making real friends.  Having his community paed lower his medication due to his anxiety lowering and his concentration improving.

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What do you find most difficult and why?

Having to defend my decision to HE and prove we are not weird hippy hermits.

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Relax. Have faith in the deschooling process when they are glued to screens and video games and never forget that children are ALWAYS learning.

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 36 (One Word To Describe Home Ed)

I asked a selection of home educators to name one word to describe home ed. Interestingly, the word ‘freedom‘ came up alot of times! So I guess that would be the one word that really sums up home educating!!!

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In the interest of keeping it real, I of course included the two less positive words that were contributed; frustrating and exhausting. And let’s be honest, parenting in general really can be both of those of those things at times – regardless of home educating! We have all been there! 

I loved the range of words people offered though – and, incase you didn’t already know, the Oxford dictionary definition of ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ is extraordinarily good/ wonderful. Nice choice! 

So there you have it; home ed summed up in one word! 

Thank you to @KatBroon Mumma HE Green and Happy Handley for taking part (as well as all the other home edders who contributed of course – huge thanks to everyone!) 

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 35 (List of Art Activities by Squiggle)

​Today for #100daysofhomeed Squiggle has made a list of recent art activities…

Drawing ✏😄

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Spin art 🎨

Scratch art 🐶🌈

Clay 

phone app / dwawing  on the phone 📱✏

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Taking photos 📷

Painting 🎨

Colarge 💗💚 (collage)

Nature art 🍃 🌹

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Marbleing 

Bubble art 🎨

Modle making 😉 💖💚💗 (model making)

Paper modles (paper models)

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 34 (Becky, Self-Directed Homeschooler)

Introduction

I tried, and failed, to come up with some catchy intro, so we’ll just have to make do with the plain vanilla one.  I’m Becky.  I blog at www.selfdirectedhomeschooler.com.  

I’ve been married to my college sweetheart, Clint, since 1996.  We have three kids: Jarrod is 18; Erica is 15; and Jillian is 8.  

We’ve lived in Arizona for the past 11 years.  Arizona is a fantastic state to homeschool in – the government doesn’t meddle and there is a ton of resources available for homeschoolers!

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How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?
Our first official year of homeschooling was the 2003-2004 school year.  Jarrod, having a late fall birthday, didn’t make the cut-off to start kindergarten that year like many of his friends.  I was sick and tired of being a slave to the preschool calendar, so I decided to spend that year as a trial run of homeschooling. 

Way back when, I remember that my biggest concern was, “will he demonstrate that he will learn from me?”  In hindsight, as a seasoned homeschooler, that concern was really actually silly.  It completely discounted all of the learning he had done for the first four years and ten months of his life.  But, back then, I was approaching homeschooling from a very schoolish mindset and I was focused on making sure I didn’t “miss anything” that he needed to know.

By the end of that year, Jarrod already knew nearly everything the school district reported that he needed to know at the end of kindergarten and a lot of stuff he needed to know by the end of first grade.  I decided that my son being bored in school would be a recipe for disaster, so we kept going with the homeschooling…and we’ve just never stopped.

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My teenagers in the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps uniforms, in Hawaii for the 75th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing.

Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so? 

My kids are self-directed learners.  They learn the same way we all learned before we reached school-age, and the same way we all learn as adults.  They recognize a need or a desire to learn something or acquire a skill.  We locate the best possible resources for them to learn the knowledge or acquire the skill of interest.  They study or practice until their need or desire has been satisfied, and then they move onto the next thing. 

It’s basically “just in time” learning – they learn what they need to know as they actually need to know it.  A need to know something is personal; it typically ends up meaning that there’s a gap between where they are right now and where they want to be, and in order to bridge that gap, they must learn additional information, a new skill, or improve upon what they already know or can already do.

I don’t really have a “typical” week, other than having several standing commitments for activities and groups my kids are a part of throughout the week each week.  We generally operate on a loose, flexible schedule.  

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What was your highlight of home ed last week?
For Jarrod, it was having him get through the second phase of his application to Praxis.

For Erica, it was seeing her finished product after a four session bronze sculpting class she took.

For Jillian, it was hearing her admit that maybe reading isn’t so bad after all.

And because I believe it is crucial for parents to be modeling lifelong learning themselves, for me it was publishing an article based on an interview I did with Isaac Morehouse, the founder and CEO of Praxis, and getting a hugely positive response to it.  You can read the article, called “Rethinking College: How Isaac Morehouse and Praxis are Expanding the Options Our Young People Have” here: https://selfdirectedhomeschooler.com/rethinking-higher-education-isaac-morehouse-praxis-expanding-options-young-people/

What is your favourite thing about home edding your child/ren?

Do I have to pick just one thing?!  In all seriousness, I was never that mom who just knew she was going to homeschool her kids.  I came to it rather hesitantly, because I saw it as the better of two options the year my eldest turned five.  

But I’m telling you, it’s been one of the absolute best decisions I have ever made.  I have two teenagers who love me and want to spend time with me, rather than being embarrassed by me or pushing me away.  I have three kids who genuinely like and love each other.  All three of them have had lots of freedom and flexibility to pursue what makes them tick.  All three of them have spent years making meaningful decisions about their lives, under our guidance.  I got to be the one to see all the “ah-ha” moments.  I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had homeschooling my kids for anything.

What do you find most difficult and why?

13 years and counting into it, I don’t find homeschooling difficult at all.  But, when I first started, feeling like I had to duplicate what Jarrod would be getting if he was in school, worrying about gaps in his education, and wondering if I was doing enough…that kind of mental and emotional stuff was probably the most difficult thing about homeschooling for me.  It took me several years to work through that, and once I did, it was smooth sailing.

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What advice would you give to other home educators?
First, don’t buy anything right away. Nearly everything you will buy at the beginning of your homeschooling journey will be a waste of money.  You don’t need as much as you think you do, and most of what you do need can be found for free online.

Second, make sure you figure out what you believe about education before you start homeschooling.  Everyone has heard about learning styles.  Everyone probably knows that homeschooling exists on a spectrum from school-at-home to radical unschooling.  But, what many people fail to consider is what they believe about education.  By this, I mean your personal answers to questions like:

• Whose agenda should drive the scope and sequence of education?

• How would you define the roles of student and teacher?

• What makes a “good” education?

• What do you believe your kids need to know?

That’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s enough to get you started.  Knowing what you believe about education will guide you to the right spot on the homeschooling continuum for you. Knowing what you believe about education will save you lots of money and aggravation because you won’t waste either on things that don’t resonate with you. I have free resources available on my blog for helping with this.  

For traditional or eclectic homeschoolers, I have a free e-course called “7 Steps to Becoming a Confident, Successful Homeschooler” and that can be accessed at ogdenonline.leadpages.co/7-steps-to-becoming-a-confident-successful-homeschooler

For people with a more self-directed or unschooling bent, I have a free e-book called “The Fast Start Guide to Unschooling” and that can be accessed at selfdirectedhomeschooler.com

Find out more about us here:


Blog: www.selfdirectedhomeschooler.com


Facebook: facebook.com/The-Self-Directed-Homeschooler

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 33 (KJ)

Introduction

I’m Katie-jo, but my friends call me KJ. I have two gorgeous children (not that I’m biased); a boy, William, who is nine, and a girl, Lila, who is six.

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How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?

We have been home educating for nine years! My husband and I got married in second year at university and graduated five months pregnant with Will. He was hoping at the time to be playing rugby for his career and the travel would have left me alone for a large portion of the year; so we felt it would be better to home educate and take the family on the road with him.

Unfortunately, he suffered a very serious injury which meant that he could no longer play at a professional level, so plans changed, and we started working in private schools, but our plan to home educate never wavered. We love it!

Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?

I would say our style is eclectic… and evolving!! The children really enjoy choosing their own activities and my six year old will often say ‘can I make this my home school?’ meaning – ‘am I allowed to do this with you every single day please mummy?’ She loves art and is really into fimo at the moment. 

My nine year old likes to have work books. He loves independent learning and gets frustrated if he feels like you are watching him. He rarely asks for help, so when he does it’s tears and frustration that have brought him to me. I’m always amazed at how much he accomplishes on his own. I shouldn’t be. His favourite book when he was four years old was a Haynes manual about steam engines!

We have a ‘no screens after 3pm’ rule in our house (to protect sleep patterns) and also a ‘no screens until something productive has been done and we’ve been for a walk’ rule. It’s super important because both myself and Will struggle with low vitamin D levels in the winter months and getting out and getting some sun light helps to set us up for a productive day. That and Lila is obsessed with nature and insects, so she likes to go and inspect the local park for changes each day. In the winter William will race through his workbooks and show me because he is desperate to join some of his other home ed friends on a minecraft server, but in the summer he frequently chooses to forego screens in favour of playing outdoors. 

We attend a few clubs, and these have changed over the years, but they have included art classes, parkour academy, gymnastics, trampolining, swimming, skiing etc… and the co-op we are in allows them to go on a trip most Wednesdays. This week we went to see Fantastic Mr Fox at Milton Keynes theatre. I highly recommend it, it was fab!

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Playing in the forest with friends

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

My home ed highlight last week was William asking me for help with programming his Arduino board. Like I said, it’s rare that he wants help with stuff. He usually likes to figure it out on his own, but with Lila out an art class, we got two hours alone together and he eventually conceded that he would like my help 🙂

That and we hatched some new chicks. One of them was born with a malformed leg and was clearly dying. Lila made her a ‘private nest’ in a tissue box with a wheatie bag and fed her from a syringe. I told her the chick was going to die anyway, but her response was very of factly, ‘she doesn’t need to be thirsty whilst she’s dying mum.’ She even diffused essential oils to help her be less scared (because ‘you’d be scared if you knew you were going to die’). I love that she is learning compassion and emotional intelligence – way more important to me than curriculum ever will be.

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Lila with her favourite chick ‘Topo’

What is your favourite thing about home edding your child/ren?
My favourite thing about home ed is how much time we have together. My children are so close. They fight sometimes (all siblings do) but mostly they are best friends (true fact. Lila even made a poster with both of them on and ‘You’re my BFF’ on it). I love watching them grow and plan together. When they are adults they plan to own a farm (with their cousin Ruby) and adopt children to live with them, who they will home educate, obviously.

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Will teaching Lila how to bowl

What do you find most difficult and why?
Second guessing myself. I’m a researcher. I love to research EVERYTHING and make sure that I’m being the best mum there ever was. Unfortunately, I don’t have that capacity. I do believe I am the best mum for my children, and I try to be the best mum I can be, but sometimes the pressure of that can lead me to feel very stressed. Then I have to let go, and remember, that God placed these children with me because He wanted them to be raised by me. All I ever have to be is what I was made to be, and that is enough.  

I think the pressure to be ‘perfect’ when you are doing something a little different is immense. If my children went to school, no one would think very much about their faults, but because they are home if they are shy it’s because they are home educated, if they are too boisterous it’s because they are home educated. It’s not true, but it can sometimes feel like that. 

I have to remind myself regularly that most people probably aren’t judging me, but even if they are, so what? 

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Relax, have fun, and enjoy your children wherever possible. Be gentle with them, nobody learns well from somebody they’re scared of. Relationship is always more important than academic outcomes. 

Katie-Jo blogs at www.katiejogracie.blogspot.co.uk and/ or find her over on twitter at @KJGracie 

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 32 (Jo) 

Today for #100DaysofHomeEd I have a guest post from Jo. Here is her home ed story…

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I am Jo, single mum to two boys aged 7yrs (T) and 12yrs (C ). I am diagnosed ASD (PDA) and both my children are on the spectrum, one with other complex issues. We have been HEing for 5.5 years, my oldest being removed from school and the youngest never having been. I realised when my oldest son was in reception that the state school provision just wasn’t suited to him or his needs, he was often confused by the interactions there and would be upset for hours after and before school times, yet the school claimed to have no issues. 

As time went on, my son was getting hurt standing up for other children who were being bullied and on one occasion he came home having been hit in the face with a rounders bat and having been given a detention for kicking the child who hit him (the child who hit him went unpunished). After rounds of meetings with head and class teachers talking bout how my son “wouldn’t listen” and finding out just how ‘behind’ he was, as well as being miserable, I started to look for alternatives. I considered a range of ideas including home education, but was concerned I wouldn’t be ‘good enough’ to meet my sons needs due to my own health. The school he was in turned down my proposal for flexischooling so I bit the bullet and  deregistered. 

We have not looked back for a SECOND! I can hand on heart say choosing Home Education has been the absolute best thing we could have done. My child became the happy, bubbly boy he had once been and he (eventually!) began learning; and not just about how to write out sums or reciting poetry but REAL learning……learning about life and happiness. 

We quite quickly realised that our lifestyle and general outlook leans itself to us being unschoolers and we have been that way since the beginning. It is an approach that fits in with my needs and my childrens needs and allows us to be exceptionally flexible about what we all do on a day to day basis to enable us to be happy and healthy. I learnt a lot from the ‘mistakes’ I made in sending my eldest through nursery and school and my younger son did not attend those things but instead has been immersed in the unschooling HE world from being very small. Although he has fairly complex issues he is thriving in a world where he can learn as he needs too and at his own pace, with no pressure or timescales. 

He recently decided to start learning to read and within 2 months has progressed from letter recognition to reading books by Roald Dahl and Dr Seuss; this learning has been entirely self-guided with my input when and as requested. T enjoys flashcards, its been a funny one trying to fathom as his older brother loathed them at school! T likes to do some work with flashcards every night in bed before he reads part of a book, then I read him a story. He currently has 6 packs of various flashcards, most of which contain sight words, and games piled up next to his bed! T also enjoys workbooks when he is in the right mood, he gets great satisfaction from completing them and will choose to use them a couple of times a week. 

This is a distinct difference to his brother who was partly schooled and whom generally has negative feelings about anything that looks like “formal learning” and whom chooses to do a lot of his learning through reading and asking questions, as well as visiting places of interest. Both boys are free to pick and choose what they would like to do and pick and choose how much input they would like me to have with those things, we have no timetable or structured “must haves” in any one day and I have found this has lead to a desire for knowledge in both boys that means they often seek out the answers and problem solve for themselves. 

Both boys enjoy a range of activities which keep us all very busy! We regularly enjoy meeting up with other similar minded Home Edders, many of whom we have become long term friends with and our children have formed close relationships with, as they have similar attitudes and likes, regardless of age. We always find that breaking up our week with trips out is helpful; we all enjoy museums and art galleries, as well as community farms and National Trust. I feel we are privileged to be living in an area of beauty with an abundance of resources on our doorstep from ancient woodland to old railway lines to monuments and a rich local history. 

I may give the impression that Home Ed is all starshine and fairy dust, and for the most part, it is! We all need realistic expectations however, and with two children with additional needs who are both very different, it can be a struggle to effectively balance these needs and ensure that both children are always getting what it is they require in the moment. What I have found is that Home Ed has opened up our relationships and made us a great deal closer, meaning these harder days where one or both children are struggling are not just fewer and further between but that they are not the sort of days that result in anger or upset; instead they involve duvets and hot chocolate with films and hugs. 

I often feel that Home Ed has been a dream come true for us as a family; to have the freedom to pursue our collective and individual talents and abilities in a supportive and calm environment, without the strain and pressure of exams and meeting targets. It has certainly developed who I am as an individual and as a parent, and I also strongly believe it is leading my children to be confident, self-sufficient individuals in their own rights. 

I am often astonished by, and incredibly proud of, my oldest son and his strong moral compass and his underlying desire to help others and propel others forward. He is a genuinely wonderful person whose personal and group achievements speak volumes, and the respect he has from both peers and adults in everything he does is touching and inspiring. Hearing my 7 yr old explain to me why he believes racism is wrong or listening to him being cross about a misunderstanding of feminism on the News report, watching him be passionate and concise about those things he loves and cherishes gives me all the hope that he too will turn into a rather spectacular individual who will be strong, moral and HAPPY. 

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 31 (Charlotte)

Note: This guest post was originally written and published back in 2015, and has not been updated.

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We have been home educating now for nearly 2 years, our decision was based on the ill-health of our twins and the school’s inability to support them. It’s not always been easy (having to fit my counselling and meditation work around the boy’s needs) but I am so glad we have, the boys are both more confident but also more competent.

When they first left school, they needed to be directed to do anything. So much of their time had been taken up with people telling them what to do it was ridiculous; for example they were told which order to eat their lunch in and if it wasn’t obeyed you could get sanctioned in some way!?!

As time has gone on they are much more independent, they have learnt how they study best, what interests them and have taken an active role in choosing what subjects they study. They are now 15 and have sat their first 4 IGCSEs, we are currently waiting for the results.

We decided together last year that they would take four subjects each year and we would do them as 1 year courses. This was in part to give them a real in-depth exploration and understanding of a subject as we knew, due to repeated medical absences from school, that they would have knowledge gaps. So we do one subject per day for around 4 hours, 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours after lunch. This means their learning day is shorter but much more intense. They enjoy having 3 days a week off but I now find they fill it with their own research.

Projects they have done that were not linked to our formal study but were of interest to them include: building and calibrating a 3d printer from scratch (one wants to be an engineer), looking into a favourite illness of the month (the other wants to be a doctor), illustrating their own cartoons/writing and model making.

We socialise through a home ed meet up every few weeks at one of the local adventure playgrounds, they have air cadets and they are learning German with a few friends.

We have just started on next year’s IGCSEs which are physics, maths and German. For our fourth subject we have decided to do an AS level in thinking skills as it will help with both medicine and engineering.

We really enjoy learning together, discussing the important topics of the day and the science experiments. The hardest things are fitting in hospital and doctor’s appointments and finding exam centres that will do a modern foreign language exam at a reasonable cost and distance.

Hopefully next September they will be well enough to continue their A levels at a sixth form and go on to university.

Charlotte also does counselling and meditation work; her website is www.infinitedimensions.co.uk