Home education to inspire you

Today I interviewed Antonia, a home educator, artist and printmaker from Lancashire, UK, and mother to Noah who is 5.

antonia2

How did you start home education?

I can’t think of a pinnacle point, it was a long process for me to come to this final decision. I was certain I was going to home school but I did like the energy of the Maharishi Free School in Parbold so I put down his name for this and then whithnell fold as a backup just incase. I was called from Withnell fold a few weeks before school start date telling me Noah was 1st on the waiting list and he has a place, on the phone I hesitated to say, no thank you I’m homeschooling.

Where had my confidence and assertive belief in this decision gone? I had to give an answer by the next day. And in this time I was unsure, with that unsure energy I doubted myself and if I could give Noah everything homeschooling him on my own and just starting out self-employed? Would I be better getting my act together and a regular income together before I homeschooled him?

So with those questions I sent him to this little school around the corner from us. In his time at school I learned they had an allotment and also an after school garden club which helped me like school. But apart from this the rest of my experience of it was just not sitting right. Noah stayed at school for the first term only and I took him out in the holidays. I took him out because I thought his first year would just be fun and games, but I was wrong. He was sent homework and expected to learn words, read, and practice writing at home- which we didn’t do as I was against this. School learning is for school learning not for home time with me.

And then secondly I saw Noah deplete in confidence. His dad cut his hair one weekend without my permission, really short. When I got Noah back, the next day for school I found Noah staring at himself in the mirror. I watched him a while then asked if he was ok, he burst into tears and told me that he didn’t want to go to school as the children will laugh at him. Because he had a hair cut. After a lot of reassurance and lateness for school we got there, only to find Noah not wanting to walk into the class room. And when he finally did, a girl smiled at him and he ran out crying saying she was laughing at him. This upset me, Noah is a confident self assure little boy. But somehow he had doubted himself and was afraid and unsafe in being in school. What had happened for him to think people would laugh at him because he was now different looking? He had never had this realisation/worry/fear before.

Thirdly Noah was so tired, he usually sleeps in until 9/9:30 but for school we had to get up around 8 and then a long day in school meant Noah was just really tired. Fourthly, I had a meeting with the teacher about Noah crying about his hair and now having self-doubt in school to which she replied that’s normal. It’s a normal thing for kids to go through. Also I remember one night we went out for a full moon gathering and I wanted to dance with Noah, but he looked around embarrassed and said everyone would laugh at us, so I dance to encourage him but he hid away- another strange thing for Noah to be like- it just wasn’t him, or the him before school. I had a meeting with the teacher and head teacher, who was too busy and only came in on the last 5 mins. Which I expressed my concerns and their basic reply to my worry of Noah’s tiredness was – it is normal. They told me most parents have expressed the same concern and its ok, in fact the next term at Christmas is the worst as the children get more tired. But then after that it will get better. To me this just seem backwards, it didn’t tell me it’s ok it’s normal, it told me ok this isn’t right. Children aren’t meant to be doing this at this age.

He was only 4. An angel, an innocent angel. After all this at school it reaffirmed to me why it was I wanted to home school in the first place. And now I really do see school as a babysitting service, basically. Controlled by the people up there, as a social experiment to grow people who conform. I remember the teacher telling me Noah is getting better at standing in line and waiting his turn to go out of the door, before he use to want to be at the front, now I think what a load of rubbish. I don’t want him to be progressing in how to take orders and stand in line. (I realise sometimes we have to but on a bigger scale, I don’t want this of my child)

I chose to home school because I believe that’s what is best for Noah. Because I know him and I have a lot to give him as his mum. Because he was born through me for a reason, I am his perfect teacher in life, and all that surround him. He is his own perfect teacher too. I don’t believe in all that school represents. Iv grown too much on my path to not be conscious of what school is and how I feel about it. I do love the Maharishi school I felt a great energy from this and if a place came up and I if I had my car back I may consider part time but right now the universe isn’t giving me this. I think it knows I’m ready to push through, the only reason I’d put him in is because of their ideas and beliefs and it’s a conscious school, and mostly because it would give me time to put into self employment to secure money for us to not rely on benefits.

antonia3

 

What top tip would you give new mums and dads who are starting out with home education?

Remember your child is an angel, I mean really that is what they are. Try to always understand them and be on their level and remember that their time goes so fast being this age- the best learning I feel we have is relationship learning and how we get through each dad together as a team. How we speak to each other, how we interact with others. Be patient patience is so important. And fun! Having fun and playing games is how a child learns! Always act through love and forgive yourself and your child the instant you want to scold either of you for what has happened.

 

What do you do on a typical day, if there is such a thing?

Get up, say thank you and let the sun shine through the windows, Noah wakes me up and we smile and cuddle, we make a smoothie or Noah eats the contents of the fruit bowl depending on what fruit we have in. I check my emails and check online business. We have no plan for our days, every week is different.

We do seem to spend a lot of time walking to town which is 3 miles away and Noah bikes it, and at home we live across the road from a park. And around the corner from a woods walk and the canal. Today I have written a story and Noah watched 2 films on his DVD player whilst I did that and Etsy then granddad came and we went for a family bike ride. The day before we spent the whole day at the beach. Most nights Noah plays with the children in the village when they get home from school and he has the freedom of the park as we are so safe here and it’s right across the road.

Noah will almost everyday stroke a dog, he will stop everyone passing by to ask to stroke their dog and even run out from the front room after seeing them from the window. He’s so social and will talk to everyone.

antonia4

What is the worst thing about HE?

Trying to do all this on my own and push myself forward without money, relying on benefits when they could in the future be taken away. Feel like a failure sometimes when I get stressed trying to do some art work or online writing and Noah wants my attention and I get stressed and impatient at him it’s not his fault and I feel like I should give him all my time, but I know I need to do stuff. Being pulled between self employment and Noah and finding the balance thinking I should be a bit more structure some days when I need to do work. At the moment the worst thing is juggling living in a society which is for schooled achievers, and living a passionate life outside of the box- training myself to be in the concept of money and pushing my business forward. But then it’s a positive thing cause Noah inspires every part of it.

What is the best thing about HE?

The best thing about home educating is how much Noah inspires me to be a better person everyday he inspires my art work, he inspires me to be the best me I can be, he inspires me to think about things differently, he inspires me to practice patience, he inspires me to push forward, he inspires me to sow seeds, sprout them, love them, grow them and then let go of the closed buds and bloom into life in ever-present moments.

antonia5

Thank you so much Antonia for taking the time to share your home education journey. If you would like to find out more about Antonia and Noah’s home ed journey check out her blog and website

Follow her artistic journey on her Pollyanna Principle website.

Find her artist page on Facebook – Pollyanna Principle

Buy her amazing prints and badges on Etsy.

antonia6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation