I was chatting to a grandmother at M’s summer chess club this morning (more on that later) and we discovered we’d both come from Wimbledon. She asked me which school M goes to and I replied that she’s home schooled now. She was amazed, shocked and fascinated. She asked a few odd questions like ‘won’t they [the girls] be lonely?’ And ‘isn’t the school environment something they will have to learn to cope with in life?’. The answers are ‘no’ and ‘no’. But generally she was just curious and friendly rather than rude and judgemental as some can be. She was also amazed that my girls would be open to learning from me and I said that they are good at listening and are generally very well behaved. She didn’t seem to understand that we hadn’t used some form of ‘discipline’ to make them like this and looked quite thoughtful when I said that I only speak to them as I would want to be spoken to. Before we parted she said ‘aren’t they lucky?’ Which I thought was a lovely thing to say! I always feel nervous telling strangers about home educating and find myself sounding almost apologetic but hopefully confidence will come in time.
So we started a 3 day course of chess today. Initially, M was reluctant to go but when I collected her after class she was bouncing around with happiness! She still isn’t sure if she wants to go back because she feels like she has too much to do here so I tried to explain to her that she’s got months and years to play at home now!
I had to wait around for 3 hours while the chess course was going on. I’ve been trying to find home education groups to join and as I had so much time on my hands I called a lady who runs the South West London and Surrey Borders Home Ed Group. She advised me not to start on a formal education for M just yet as she will still need time to recover from school. She said to just read to her lots, take her out to places and leave things lying around for her to pick up if she’s interested. This makes sense to me as M is LOVING just pottering around with her toys upstairs and playing in the garden with D and gets quite annoyed if she gets interrupted. She couldn’t do all this when she was at school because there wasn’t enough time and she was too tired.
J has been off work for the long weekend and has taken more days off to look after D while I take M to chess. On our return home I was seriously expecting J to be asleep while D watched Tinkerbell but I was very surprised to see them both in the garden! Wonders never cease.