Sunday, 6 December 2009

The ghost of home education past.....

I went recently with my daughter to see Christmas Carol, which I can thoroughly recommend. Although she is now sixteen, by God's great mercy she is still happy to go to the cinema with me, for which I am grateful. One scene of the film in particular set me thinking. It is the one just after Marley's ghost has visited Scrooge and he looks out of the window into the street outside. There he sees legions of ghosts, all trying desperately to interact with the world of the living. The tragedy is of course that they can no longer do so; they are trapped on Earth, but do not really belong here.

The idea struck a chord with me, because this is what I sometimes feel like. I have been heavily involved in home education for all those years and now the enterprise has ended and I am left roaming aimlessly on the fringes of that world. I cannot quite bring myself to abandon the whole thing. I have a suspicion that this is not an uncommon experience for those who have been devoted to home education for many years. I have at any rate heard of several others in a similar case and I wonder why this should be?

I suppose that home educating a child does have the effect of making one closer than would otherwise be the case. It is not that I am sorry to see my daughter go off to college each morning; quite the opposite. For the first time in years I am able to knuckle down to serious writing again. I am however having to restrain the impulse to read up on Vietnam, which she is studying in history, and arrange for visits to museums and so on to back up what she has been reading. Then I remembered that I am no longer home educating her........

This is not really to any purpose, just that I am noticing the feeling strongly lately. One does not need a therapist to point out that this Blog and various other home education related things are really no more than displacement activities. I believe that other home educators have felt the same way and I dare say that the feeling will pass in time.


  1. Simon, I feel quite moved by that post. :-)

    After seven years of deep involvement with my son's learning experience, I can totally sympathise. He's 14 now and I suspect I will be going through something similar myself two or three years from now.

  2. Once a teacher, always a teacher. :-) Why wouldn't you read up on Vietnam, point her towards a couple of films etc and be available for great discussions? I wish my parents had shown such interest in the things I studied at A Level.

    Having fun with her, such as going to see A Christmas Carol with her, is just as important though. Was it good?

    Mrs Anon

  3. Christmas Carol in 3D was absolutely sensational, Mrs. Anon. Yes, we did watch Platoon and Amocolypse Now together. The point is that whereas before I was working closely to the Edecel specifications for the varios IGCSEs and knew precisely what was required, these days my suggestions are met with the curt response, "That's not what we need to be doing." This is of course very right and proper and simply means that she is an independent learner, somethingwe all want! I shall get used to it by and by, I'm sure.

  4. No comment on the presentation of the parliamentary petitions, Simon?

  5. Well Erica, I have been away for a few days and only just returned. Rest assured that normal service will be resumes over the next day or so, including a comment on the petitions!

  6. hi si si i'm back !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!