Saturday, 9 July 2011
It is a curious thing piloting the ship that is our local home ed group, there are many co-pilots now, the group has 135 member families but it hasn't always been so large.
New people find the group, often scared, full of questions, they may have used a national forum like Education Otherwise or Then to scope out the idea of removing their child from school and, by the time they start to look out a regional group, plans are generally under way.
Of course some people know that there children will not go to school from the off and they merge in very organically and then there are those who, due to bullying or simply a faliure to thrive at school, arrive in home ed land feeling very desperate.
Slowly they mould into a new form and find a new groove and then, sometimes, they fly and that is the story of the family whose Grandmother gets a mention in this post and who we have been to wave good-bye to this afternoon.
Because once you remove school from the equation suddenly so much becomes possible, established ideas about bedtimes, mealtimes and computer and TV time are often the first to be challenged but then, the whole status quo can be up for question.
Earlier on theis year we waved goodbye to another family from our local group who are off WOOFING for a year, maybe more, and indeed the family that hosted the farewell party this evening recently spent a year in New Zealand and have cashed in teaching jobs to live a life close to a self sufficient goodlife existence on a local organic farm where their children are clearly thriving and glowing from the outdoor life. Many other local home ed families are involved in their adventure including part ownership of some pigs we met today.
I took S with me to the party, I had taken the boys to the park for an hour or so earlier so that The Daddy One could watch Grand Prix qualifying and prior to that walked into the village with S to go to the library. I wanted the opportunity to talk to some of the people who were going to be at the party and I knew that couldn't happen if I was also toddler shadowing. There are so many interesting people in our local circle, who, for the last six years or so I have been having half conversations and unfinished sentences with I really enjoyed the opportunity to have a proper dialogue with them at the party today.
Before the party, on the way home from the library today, walking through the woods, S (6) said to me:
"These Green plants are green because they absorb green light and reflect all the other colours of light, so the yellow flowers are yellow because they absorb yellow light and reflect all the others. Do you see Mum? That is how the whole light colour thing works."
At the party S had a fabulous time on the rope swing, trampoline and even collected some eggs from the chickens then, she really took me by surprise by climbing upon the roof of the bus and in through the skylight to the bunk beds several times over.
It has been wonderful to chat and catch up with some of the truly inspirational families in our local group. So unacustomed am I to this opportunity that I even found time for a little cry about the highs and lows that go with the MOB territory.
The bus they have to travel in has speakers on the outside and has been thoughtfully kitted out inside with a shiny pink table and comfy sleeping area.
On the barbecue were the venison burgers from a butchery course that several of the children at the party had attended.
So, as I wish that all the families in HEWS would move to our village instead their new confidence has given them wings to head off on far greater global adventures.
S was very unhappy to leave the party, she sucked in her cheeks into her cheek bones all the way home and when we arrived home declared that her mouth hurt, she had wanted to stay for the bonfire, it would appear she has inherited The Daddy One's love of all things fire.
I hope they have a fabulous time in their very cool white bus.