At what price?

Oh I do love photos. Not only do they remind me of all the lovely moments, but they make me look at those lovely moments and realise that although I was thinking of 101 other things while that moment was happening – those 101 things weren’t as important as that particular moment as it was happening. It never fails to amaze me how difficult it is for adults to live in the moment and how difficult it is for kids to do anything else but.

We have had lots of lovely moments. Lucas, Anton, Dante and I are continuing to enjoy our home ed days together. We’ve carried on doing lots of arts and crafts:

Lucas has done several drawings of buildings using the book on Architecture that Santa gave him: I’ve been doing all the arty stuff alongside him which we’ve both loved.


Then we tried soap carving which was a great success. Even Anton enjoyed cutting it up. It’s very easy to do, even with a blunt instrument (my favourite is a teaspoon handle) and very rewarding. Luc has wanted to do more and more.



Lucas made the car and the house and I did the turtle and the castle.


Then we made the soap chippings in to bath paints by whisking them up with lukewarm water and adding colouring. It works beautifully and was such fun as a one off (Soap is far too harsh for Luc’s skin usually and recently he has had some eczema coming back on his elbows and behind his knees.)



They’ve made dens in the sitting room…



and Anton has been doing his piano practise.


And we’ve had a flashback to the old home ed days when Oscar needed to do a treasure map for Geography homework and Lucas joined in so we got out the teabags and matches once again.


It’s all been quite exhausting for some



but we’ve packed it in at the weekends too with a trip to Blackpool sands last weekend




I like that photo but this one is probably more typical


Anton managed to get this kite flying when the rest of us had given up on it (TOO windy apparently!) He was so proud.


And so all would be tickety boo if only it was crystal clear to us as to whether Oscar should continue at school or not. It is hanging heavily on me at the moment. I can’t think about anything else. I wonder if we have just fallen in to so many things (Acorns, school, playgroup) that we have lost too much.

I feel so aware that there are so many things I resent about school that I worry that I won’t think clearly about it. I don’t know why I have so little faith in myself though as I usually pride myself on being very honest about all the things I feel and I usually dig deep to work it out but I feel blocked about this. Every now and then I get a vision of packing everything in: school,Acorns, playgroup, Forest Friends – the lot, and just finding our own path again. After all, there never will be another chance to do that and I don’t see why it shouldn’t work. We would own our own lives again then – not having to jump through hoops to get through each day ready for the next: getting the homework done and the meal ready on time so that everyone is in bed on time to start the whole rigmarole again the next day. And are those hoops the best way of moving forward for us all – are they worth it? We have a chance to do it differently and I feel we could. We did do it, and I think we could again.

But that’s just it. I only “think” we could, I don’t “know” it. My biggest dilema is that I don’t “know” Oscar at 14/15 yet. Will he be the sort of boy then who will have got through this awkward stage where nothing sits quite right and school behaviour doesn’t work at home? Perhaps he will be flourishing and loving all that the grammar school can give him including the fact that he has a very independent life from us. Or will he have grown away from us as I did from my parents, as most do but is that the only way? Is there another way where growing up is smoother and more gentle, where you can embrace a more independent life later and simply enjoy having more say in all you do. I hate the fact that all he learns and all he does is decided for him for 5/7ths of his week/life.

He is changing daily. And while I accept that I won’t always like his behaviour, it doesn’t feel very positive at the moment. I don’t mean he’s not lovely, of course he is. He’s as generous and forgiving and enthusiastic and optimistic as ever and I love his company. We all miss not seeing more of him even though he can be infuriating too. He’s just catching on to a culture of going against things to be cool which he’s never done before. He told us he leaves taps on at school to “Cost them money” although when Joth and I were shocked and pointed out that he was costing the earth he looked taken aback and quickly said he wouldn’t do it anymore. That’s how it is at the moment. He says things out of bravado and we disagree and he thinks again. Soon they’ll be a time when he won’t be so open to our opinion, and then a time when he won’t tell us. He came home with bad burns on each arm yesterday from rubbing a pound coin against them. He seemed quite excited about it. They’re quite nasty burns. Honestly.

And so can I think positively about this? That’s what we have asked Oscar to do for a few weeks after all while we are discussing it. There have been huge changes in Oscar. He has done really well in that he organises himself and thinks ahead and he has been very responsible in his attitude towards school. He seems to be doing fine academically and there is no doubt that the amount of sheer writing he has had to do and planning and being on the ball has brought him on leaps and bounds in that department. He has taken full responsibility for his work too. I teach too much in the evenings to keep up properly anyway and it’s often too difficult for him to explain the assignment anyway – explanations aren’t one of his strong points. One of my worries about home education is that I have a high level of expectation for his work (he can be slapdash) and my frustrations could take away his ownership of his work.

So there we have it. I’ve found a worry about home education. I do have other ones. Namely that despite his ambitious ideas (of which he has many!) he might sink in to a life of lying in and Warhammer. Not that there’s anything wrong with Warhammer. In fact I think it’s a wonderful wonderful world for them to be in. It’s funny how Oscar still tries to tell me all about certain figures or battle rules as if he really believes that deep down I understand what he’s saying. It’s like another language. I also worry that we’ll fall out and that I never will learn how to bite my tongue enough to stay friends with him. On the other hand, I wonder if our best chance is spending more time together as a family rather than less.

Round and round in circles I go and I haven’t even scratched the surface.



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2 responses to “At what price?

  1. Some LOVELY photos (your boys are quite gorgeous!). Can totally understand your school worries. I don’t think I felt settled with it until they were all there and happy, and then *I* got a job that I enjoyed. Then and only then was I ready to give up the things that *I* loved about HE. I’d still go back to it like a shot if I thought it was the best thing to do …

  2. lindsay349

    Thanks Sarah for your honesty. Yes I’m always questioning how much is me wanting home ed and how much is them but at the moment it’s clear that as I’m at home anyway with the younger two it is a choice just about what is right for the oldest. School does impact on us all too of course and you’re right in that it all needs to work for everyone. It’s amazing it ever does really! and good to know that it all has for you.

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