Today a friend and I took four children out for the day. One was T, the other was my friend’s child and the other two were our other friends’ children. All of the children went to school together, until I de-registered T in December 2018. They have known each other through school since they were 3 years old.
One of the children asked me “Why is T homeschooled?” my reply was staggered, I wanted to say because T wasn’t at all happy, and that school (not just their school but any school!) is not right for him, but I refrained and simply said “Because I am able to home school”, T interrupted “No its because I wanted to be homeschooled” to which the asking child replied “Aw I wish I could be homeschooled, I absolutely hate school”. T and the child then proceeded to have a full-on conversation about school and how bad it is!
I then interrupted and asked the child if there was anything good that he could think of about school, his reply was “Lunchtime, but that’s not enough”. It reminded me of the endless conversations that I would have with T trying to get him to see the positive side of school, asking him to try to learn to enjoy it, when really deep down I knew that him just saying that he hated school was enough, but at the time I felt powerless as I wasn’t in the position to do anything about it! I know ‘hating school’ is a common thing said at some point in most children’s lives and in the past I would have just said “Oh well school is school” without much thought. But now I’m on the other side, I feel like a fraud saying such things as I know there is an alternative, well for us anyway!
I know children are going to be curious about T’s journey but I also do not want T’s schooled friends to feel down about their parents not choosing to home educate, it’s an entirely personal decision and not everyone wants to do it, or would ever want to entertain it, but how do I explain this to an 8 year old?!