Thursday, 30 April 2015

The end..

Of April..
So much for my blogging everyday! I've tried to but some days I just really don't feel like it. I spent several hours at the weekend looking for blogs of home educators with older children and found very few, I'm finding that very disheartening to be honest. I feel like we are going to become one of those rare home ed families that home educate to the end. I'm not criticising anyone or judging I know the minefield that is exams etc and the panic of will they get into college? What will happen when they get to 16? But I'm less worried about that now that Bailey has got into college after completing only two GCSE's, he was moved up straight away to the higher level 3 group, which on the entrance requirements should have been for students with 5+ A-C GCSE's. Now he is actually in college I am less impressed than ever with the actual system and if the younger three don't want to enter college I really won't mind. I'm hoping the hobbies and interests that they currently/will have will be enough to carry them into working for themselves, qualifications are not the be all and end all of everything.
I do love reading all blogs but things change so much when your children hit the teen years and I'm finding that I want to read how others have dealt with these things. I know its hard to write about your teenagers for fear of embarrassing them and that has put me off writing things about my own teenagers but then my home education blog is not the "real" reflection of home educating is it? I wonder if I wrote about some of the real things how would people react? Its an unknown entity that I to nervous to try. But then I get annoyed that I can't find other blogs out there to relate to, so really I'm just as bad!
I'm also finding the adjusting to older children exciting, challenging and if I'm honest a bit sad. I've spent nearly 17 years as a parent and this week for the first time in my life I went to a park (to meet my sister and niece, not just by myself because that would be really sad...) without any of my children! A park that I've spent years driving too, walking round, running round, playing in and it made me feel so depressed! I know I'm supposed to find all this new time on my hands exciting because I probably spent lots of hours wishing for 5 minutes to myself but now I have 5 minutes to myself I haven't got a bloody clue what to do with it! Nor do I feel ready to leave it all behind. I know there are mums out there that can't wait for their children to be off doing things on their own but that just isn't me. I miss it. It is like a grieving process which I'm finding difficult. I realise, of course, that my youngest is only 11 but its the shift in direction. Already he has started asking if he has to come out with us, can't he stay home with Bailey? etc Gone is the boy who gets excited about putting his wellies on and collecting sticks in the woods or playing on the park. Now its "how long will we be?" and "can we have a mcdonalds after?"
I've been reading this book this week:

Product Details
I've tried several (hundred) books about teenagers but so many are school based and I feel the issues I'm dealing with from my own teens aren't always the same as the ones parents with school children are dealing with. This book is still school based (maybe I should write my own home educated teens book...) but I'm finding it so reassuring. I've had a few moments of clarity already and I'm only on chapter 3! The fact that my own parents were pretty absent when I was going through my teen years hasn't helped. I don't feel like I have any guidance to follow and I suppose even if I did things are so different for teenagers now and the issues as parents we are having to deal with I don't even know if it would help. So at the moment I feel like I'm treading new waters. At the same time, and also with reassurance from the book above, I feel like, so far anyway, I'm doing okay. Up until this minute today none of my children have said they hate me, there's still plenty of time so I'm not being smug about it or anything, it just feels good to know. It also doesn't mean they don't secretly hate me, because let's face it there is a definite possibility that could be the case.
Gosh I've rambled on, not the post I was going to make at all for my rounding up of April but hey ho and all that. I feel better for writing it down. I know my blog isn't one of the reveal all blogs that's out there, that probably comes from me being very insecure and not being able to deal with all the comments that might come my way, sometimes it feels like its just us dealing with all these things and then I talk to friends and know that is not the case. I'm lucky to have some really good friends, I don't have a big social circle and home educating has only made that circle smaller. I have to admit I've found the home educating groups just as cliquey as the school groups and I'm finding myself less inclined to want to join in. The fact is that everyone home educates for different reasons, there's no right or wrong way to home educate, everyone is following their own path because that is the beauty of home ed. You follow your children's interests, sometimes your own interests and you live quite removed from the social boundaries that most people do. Even more so for us now hubby and I run our own business from home. The business has even become part of our children's life, they are involved and enjoy being a part of a business we are trying to grow. Piper has been writing articles for the business blog we set up a while ago, in fact she is our main writer at Loki The Confused Horse. I suppose it helps when your business is based on all things geeky and toy related, it might not be as exciting if we sold car parts....most days, if I'm honest, I haven't got a clue what day it is. My week is defined by days Bailey is at college and the weekends purely because we have to go to car boot sales to find our stock or comic cons we have stalls at.
I'm pretty sure I've missed my actual point, but I'm not sure I actually even had a point in the first place! I'm just emptying my thoughts on to here, which actually feels very therapeutic.
Anyway, the last week we have had a trip to the park for a picnic with friends, it was just Ruben and I and my friend and her little girl J. We had a good catch up and J managed to completely tire Ruben out, such is his lack of energy at the moment, he was so tired when we got home! Piper went to meet a friend in town and Cordelia stayed home to do her art.

A photo of Ruben from the park, I decided to try the #100happydays challenge again after not finishing last year, so this was my first photo.
Monday we had the dentist, the first time the children have had a new dentist since our old dentist emigrated to Australia last year, he was also a home educator!, we missed him but the new dentist seems good. No need for Cordelia to have braces, so she was thrilled and all her baby teeth are now gone. The last two currently in my handbag as they came out whilst we were out and about. I probably should move them... Piper had another orthodontist appointment where she had moulds taken ready for braces and lots of photos so she wasn't too happy. Just waiting on an appointment from the hospital now to have her 4 teeth removed ready for the brace to be fitted.

We took the girls and Ruben to see the new Avengers film on Tuesday, Cordelia wore her new Link backpack with her Black Widow costume! We never had the children that went out dressed as superheroes and didn't think at 13 this is what Cordelia would be doing but I think its really cool.

I love how different my children are, so comfortable in their own unique styles

We all loved the film :)

Wednesday, apart from my solo trip to meet my sister and niece for an hour, was a home day. There was IXL, Upwords, Uno and black jack along with my baking of two lemon cakes. Was a good job since one cake only sliced into 5 on the first day. Ruben isn't a fan of the lemon cake.

Cordelia bought new patches for a new waistcoat bought with her birthday money, felt funny sewing patches on to my 13 year olds clothes but I think its cool that she is happy to have superhero patches mixed with bands like Black Veil Brides..

Yesterday we went swimming for the first time in ages, in fact its been so long that when we headed into town to go to Ponds Forge we arrived to find the pool has been closed during the week for the last year! OOOPS, so we headed a bit further across town to a different swimming pool that still had slides and waves. A quick game of table tennis after we came out..
This morning has been IXL, messaging friends, Minecraft servers and now we are off to see some friends we haven't seen in months. Cordelia has been doing some really amazing pieces of art this week so we have started scanning them into save and Piper has gotten back into drawing and is wanting to design her own fabric, hopefully she is going to get to grips with the bamboo drawing tablet which will help with her fabric design. And that's this week!


  1. Firstly huge ((hugs)) and secondly I do understand exactly how you are feeling. I was there a few years ago and found it frustrating to not be able to find blogs of home ed teens entering the world of college and beyond. I look back on those days as a bewildering fog of emotions for me. Excited that they were about to start a new journey, but scared of the empty nest syndrome swallowing me up in a few years time. Nervous about them taking their first steps and how they would be received for being home educated their whole lives.

    There are times now that none of our three girls want to spend their days with us parents, so we have had to learn to enjoy just each others company again. I too have had to adjust to new direction in my life. It has been several years of huge change, and it's been changing constantly at a break neck speed ever since.

    Our youngest has had to learn how to cope from going from a three child home educated family to a one home educated family and the feelings that it encompasses. We have changed from a cosy home nest of hatchlings, to an expanding nest of fledglings ready to take their first flights into the great unknown.

    Currently I am facing the dilemma of the older two having to possibly move away for work experience / Internships / University and beyond. It will all start to snow ball from here on in and I am looking at perhaps just two more years left of home education with my baby, whilst deeply embroiled in time consuming exams.

    I keep telling myself that Change is good and that without change there would be no butterflies. My girls are all starting to emerge from their chrysalis'; it will soon be time for me to emerge from mine also.

    I am here if you ever need to talk. Much love Mel. xXx

  2. I'm completely with you on the teenager thing Zoe ! It's not just the children that change and home edding a teen is different to younger children. Hormones in the mix and all that. I have to say that Alex is a very different teen to how I think he would have turned out had he gone through school. We have a pretty good relationship and the one comment that I hear over and over about home educated children is how mature they are for their age. I think that school in many ways conditions children to behave in a juvenile fashion. Teen behaviour is different-more angst ridden at school-so it seems ?

    I agree about college too-we've tried 3 different ones and still weren't impressed with 'the system'. There is always another way. Chin up you're doing a marvellous job xx