Yesterday the children were off school again. This time it was my decision as the snow started just before I was due to take the children to the school bus.The snow drifts are still by the sides of the road leaving single lanes in many places and the roads were becoming slippery making the fell route to school lethal. With no pavements if the road became blocked the children could easily become stranded as many motorists were , just up the West coast over the weekend.
As a non working mum I now have the luxury of making such a decision without the feeling of guilt that I am letting work colleagues down.Years ago I would have been worried about the detrimental effect on the childrens' education by having a day off. I no longer believe the government statistics and propaganda As a home educator I know that the children learn just as much at home ,it may not be the subjects upon which they are being tested but they are gaining the ability to think for themselves.
My daughter sat down and began to draft out an English essay she is preparing for school.Without the distractions of assembly and break she completed the task much quicker than she would have done at school. In fact that's often the case with home education. What takes a lesson at school can often take ten minutes at home. She then turned her hand to spatter painting and had a great time painting my floor (oh and the paper)
In the afternoon her friend (whose parents had also decided against taking the risk of the school bus) came round and they asked whether they could use our Chemistry kit. They set it up in the kitchen and broke the surface tension on water by putting washing up liquid inside and then successfully completed an experiment their teacher had done unsuccessfully at school with food colouring and hot water which you can see here! The food colouring rose to the top showing heat rises.
Meanwhile my eldest prepared a job application and CV letter. He wants to do Motor sports and hopes to get more experience in Motor vehicle maintenance before he starts his level 2 course at college next year.
As the main road to our nearest town was clear then he also went with his dad to the Fire station for a couple of hours to learn about his dad's work doing risk assessments on public buildings.He came back with a much better idea of the work involved. When he was little and his dad rode the pump he used to sit in the driving seat of the Fire engines and try the sirens. Now he was learning about the legal implications of not conforming the the health and safety building regs!
We are really proud of him.Whilst not being an academic he is growing into a mature and sensible young man who knows what he wants to do and is prepared to go for it.Only yesterday he was awarded his Diamond Queens scout award.Scouting has given him so many opportunities and the cost has been negligible Simply completing his CV showed us how much he has achieved. Currently he is undertaking a leadership course and is planning to go to camp in Austria in the summer!
Once again I was reminded about the effectiveness of home education when I got a phone call from his D.T teacher saying the class is rapidly running out of time to complete their D.T projects and is my son available during the Easter holidays to come in for the day? My son doesn't mind at all, in fact he has already been staying voluntarily after school to work on his project but it's a harsh reminder of the pressure being place on the teachers and pupils to 'achieve well ' in their GCSE'S in order to succeed in life!
As my son told his teacher one day- his GCSE's results will bear no relation on how successful he will be. He will do his best but if that's not good enough- well he intends to work for himself anyway and any work experience he gets he will happily do for free to show how motivated he is so the grades on his CV will have little to do with how he gets on. I wonder who told him that?.........