After all the judgments about Archie’s education, (as seen in ‘Feral Families’), I wanted to give some perspective.
De registered from School aged 7
Watching a 7 year old sink into depression is heart breaking. We persevered with school. You think that’s what you ‘should’ do. I was aware of home education, but I had to work full time. And anyway,what would everyone say?
We stuck at it, but there was no improvement. In fact, the school were putting so much pressure on. I was starting to feel more and more uncomfortable sending him. Especially as I was having to pull him down the stairs in a fight to get him to go.
I was on maternity leave during the summer holidays, due to return to work in the November. While on a break from work, I organised my first festival which took place in August, the weekend before school’s opened again.
During the festival, I had the most inspiring chat with a lady, that would change my life as I knew it. She home educated her extremely sociable, well grounded amazing kids. I spent the whole weekend admiring their family dynamic. She explained more about their general lifestyle and I knew instantly, it was the right thing to do.
So Archie was due to return to school the following day, but instead we just posted his de-registration letter through the school door!
Tried to Mirror school… but that didn’t work!
We started with a timetable. But it was clear Archie needed time out. His self esteem was destroyed.
Out with the timetable, in with fun!!
We just enjoyed each other, and had lots of day trips out. Beaches, Walks, Picnics. Archie loved history at that time so we visited castles and museums.
With all the free time, he started gravitating towards doing things he enjoyed, like practicing drums. As he got better, people would praise him. I watched his confidence grow in front of my eyes.
It’s amazing how quickly Archie learns new skills.
He’s determined once he sets his mind to learning something new. He doesn’t give up until he’s nailed it!
When he bought a Yo-Yo, he took it everywhere with him. Practicing constantly, and eventually he had learned every trick. Then he got the fire stick and did the same.
He impresses people with his talents and their reactions further improve his confidence.
We never returned back to the timetable! I saw the benefits of a more ‘unschooled’ approach, but we did find time to practice reading daily, and we worked through Math’s and English workbooks together. Archie is great with Maths, he really enjoys it. However, he developed a block with English.
Struggling to progress a a faster rate, I felt I was out of my depth. A search began for an English tutor. I contacted a few but they were out of area. My Mum showed me an advert for’ Kip Mcgrath’ who have an education center in town. My parents offered to pay, so I organised it.
He has been attending for about a year now. In which time, progress has definitely been made! I recently sent his work off to a dyslexic specialist and we completed a questionnaire, he scored positive. However, he isn’t far behind his peers anymore. He read to me this week and I was blown away. He has come so far, and I can honestly say I don’t have any worries now.
We are aiming to start traveling around UK and Europe in the next couple of months. Kip Mcgrath are able to continue his lessons online, so he won’t miss out.
We have a history folder which we have divided into ages, and dates. Every time we visit a place of history, we take a picture and put it in the relevant time. We are excited to do this as we travel. I would like to create a Geography folder in the same way.
Recently Archie has started doing Biology worksheets, and lots more Maths. On average he spends 2 hours a day doing workbooks, work sheets or BBC Bite-size. He prefers to do these things in the evening after dinner. He spends the day exercising, drumming, writing music, practicing basketball, helping with the smaller kids, doing laundry, baking, and chills watching films.
People have commented that a child out of school won’t be able to get work. Just this summer Archie has had 3 paid jobs!
He had a Saturday job in a Barbers, where he mostly swept the floor, cleaned up and ran errands, and gained more confidence speaking to strangers.
A friend with a marquee company, needed his help for a day. He reported back that Archie worked really hard, apparently a great team player.
He spent 2 weeks helping his step- dad do a big job for the poppy appeal. (working pictured above)
Each day he was up, dressed, ready to go, way before it was time to leave. He has great work ethic. The men have been impressed. I’ve been told they will happily give him a full time job when he is old enough.
Archie has years of experience rigging festivals, as we have been doing it since he was really small. He sees what needs doing and just gets on with it. I have no doubt the experience he already has will help him get a job or apprenticeship.
He could be his own boss. A skilled Archer, Drummer and Fire Twirler, all of which he could teach. A fire performer maybe?… doing festivals and events around the world.
Lets not rule out professional drummer or Olympic Archer!!!
It’s now a digital world. Old mindsets on education are outdated! It is possible to make a living out of your passion. It’s more beneficial to help children explore the subjects/activities they gravitate towards, because that’s where they will get their sparkle, and that will become their passion and purpose.
Archie already has lots of options!!
I couldn’t be prouder. Archie is very thoughtful and considerate. I never have any problems with him. He is happy living in his own groove all week, and is an awesome big brother.
He spends weekends at his friends house, and does everything boys of his age do. Skate boarding, BMXing, Parkour, Gaming.
My Dad fears he doesn’t socialize enough, but that’s not the case at all. It’s simply not true! Some people aren’t into hanging out with everyone for the sake of being popular.
Archie is very fussy about the company he keeps, he has friends he likes, so he gives them his attention. He is quite happy hanging out with all ages equally.
My family are extremely sociable and loud. In comparison Archie is very different.Where my Dad will have the attention on the whole room, Archie prefers to sit quietly and chat 1 on 1. Because Archie doesn’t behave how they think he ‘should’ it is thought that not sending him to school is to blame.
It’s as if school is ‘normal’, and without it people worry you won’t be’ normal’! (wow, that has just inspired another post!!…. watch this space!)
Best decision EVER!
My family still don’t approve that Archie isn’t in school, but I know for a fact, I saved him. From always comparing himself to others and feeling stupid. Or living a childhood depressed because he hated school so much. And never thinking he was good at anything, by giving him the time to explore his own interests. He has such confidence and a content sense of self.
I often wonder what ‘rackets’ he would have developed if I had left him in school. Often kids in his situation acquire behavioral issues, or loose themselves trying to ‘fit in’
Archie is happy, content, educated and has a full list of hobbies and interests. However, we will still be judged! As long as we are being judged on a true representation, Archie and me agree, we don’t give a rats ass what people think!!!!!