Last week Elen Hewy Morrigan needed a structured home edder to talk to her on her podcast for her FB group H.E.F.A (Home Education For All UK). Every year we change our approach to education but we do keep some kind of structure so I was happy to step in. Here’s the link for anyone wanting a listen: Elen talks to Jessica about structured home ed.
The beauty about home educating your children is that you can adapt it to your own family. Elen is an advocate of free-schooling – when the children take the lead in terms of what they spend their time doing. I am in a little bit of awe of these families as it must be incredible liberating for all involved. It works really well for Elen. The whole family tend to work on their screens in the day – their screen time is unlimited, “but not unregulated” Elen explained. In the evenings all screens are off to spend time together and unwind. They go to plenty of activities in the week too.
Our approach is almost the reverse. We only allow screens in the day for educational purposes but in the evening we may all watch something light-hearted in the evening. My son is only allowed a maximum of 1.5hrs on his play station and not every day.
Finding Their Passion
After recording the podcast we chatted a bit more and what is really interesting is that our eldest daughters have both ended up going onto further education following their passion. Ours is studying performing arts and Elen’s is at University studying a BA (honours) in computer games design. Both are very happy. Many home ed parents feel that finding their child’s passion, and then as parents working out how to help them find the best place to follow it, is the most important role we have.
Is Getting A Job So Important?
This is what I ask myself all the time. I have had a large number of jobs in my time – too many to count. Not many made me happy and none I wanted to do for longer than a year. I felt an eternal and internal frustration at being restricted into what my job role required of me. I wanted to be creative, to learn, to be outside on beautiful summer days, inside when it was freezing cold. I wanted to thrive. I couldn’t do that with the constraints my job roles required me to do.
Learning To Be Free
One of the best days of my life was leaving a job for the very last time. I had become a registered childminder and had my first child starting soon. I never looked back. The feeling as I walked away from work was like flying – I was free.
This is what I want for my children – to know what it feels like to be free and to make sure their work gives them that feeling all the time. Our daughter is entering a very competitive world where dealing with rejection will be a weekly occurrence. I always tell her that if she’s not getting the roles she wants to create them herself. Set up her own theatre company, dance group or teach dance or travel and learn different cultures dances and movements. Every country will have its own unique way of expressing their culture and their history.
The best advice I could give someone is that as long as your children are given boundaries, what it is to be someone with empathy and compassion for others, there is no need to fret about their education. As parents our role is to be there for them, to guide them, to give them a childhood with love at its core and to listen to them. If they don’t want to do something don’t make them do it. Allow them the opportunity to be bored. Boredom is an incredible gift and it’s often in those moments they will pick up something and become immersed in it. Children are naturally inquisitive and like to be busy.
Learning To Be Free
If we allow them freedom to be the person they were meant to be they will find and follow their passion.