Monday, July 30, 2007

Gobsmacked of Orpington

Well I'm officially gobsmacked!

We are mainly autonomous in our approach to home education, as regular readers will know. However, we do have the occasional collywobble where we worry how things will turn out, and whether this will prove, with hindsight, to have been the best approach.

It seems to me that for every committed autonomous home educator, who knows why they are doing it, and believe in what they are doing and the outcome, there is one like me - believing, but realising they are relying on the "proof" of other families who have done it and "turned out all right" (whatever that means!).

Hence the occasional collywobbles.

However, today, I've had a jaw dropping experience that reinforces EVERY STEP we've taken so far on our pseudo-autonomous route.

For the benefit of anyone reading for the first time, Samuel is my number two son. He has Aspergers, ADHD, and Semantic/Pragmatic Disorder. He has been out of school for two years (as of 4 days ago), after having been bullied to the point of self harming.

Anything associated with school, "workbooks", education etc, can easily bring him to the point of a full blown meltdown. We are 99% autonomous for him, in terms of any academic kind of education, relying almost exclusively on "life skills".

Today he went with his Dad to take an overdue book back to the library. On the way, he was chating about his Dad's new business venture, and asking how things were going. He expressed an interest in getting involved, saying "I've always wanted to know how the paperwork and stuff goes in business".

At the library, he found - of his own accord - a book in the children's library on business studies.

A GCSE course book.

Which he asked to take out.

He also saw in the books for sale, another book on business studies, which he bought with his own money.

He then spent the journey home talking with his Dad about primary, secondary, and tertiary businesses, and is downstairs now reading aloud the GCSE coursebook and answering all the questions!

He is 9! And he's just finished section 1 of a GCSE Business Studies Course!


If you haven't completed your response to the consultation yet - do it! Home Ed Rocks!


Mieke said...

Wow Ann! That is so great! Grinning from ear to ear here. And so good to share this experience, because I for one suffer from similar wobbly moments every now and then (always to be proven wrong afterwards, but still...).
Way to go!

Clare said...

Well I'm like you, but having only young children it's more worrying about the future than what we're doing now. But what a wonderful post to read - very confidence inspiring. I certainly notice with our oldest (4) that if she asks a question and we answer her with more info than she's asked for, she stops asking about it. If we only tell her what she's asked for, she'll keep talking about it. Or if we pass any judgement, positive or negative, on anything she's done. Autonomous is the only way to go, I feel, as she certainly expresses more excitment about the world and about what she's doing if it's solely on her terms.


Carlotta said...


Gill said...

Brilliant post - fantastic news :-)

Alice said...

That's very impressive! My 16 y.o. has just done the Business Studies GCSE and liked it enough to opt for it at A Level.

Alice (flapjacks) (yes, me again - got back into blogging this week and trying to catch up on everyone else's blogs!)

spinninglovelydays said...

Hello. I stumbled upon your blog through the Unschooling Blogs Web Ring. I'm seriously considering unschooling my daughter, but when doubt creeps in, I get so overwhelmed that I just put off deciding to go for it. She's only 10 mos old though, so I feel that I have time to make my research before finally making an informed choice. Where I am, it's practically unheard of, so I'm pretty sure I'll have very little support here. Anyway, I really enjoy reading your blog and just wanted to say how much this post inspires me.

:) Ivy

Dawny said...

looking through my sharp reader to try and salvage some of OLT and came across this post - wow you must be soooo proud. wonderful , is he still into it now?
love d xx