To school or not to school?

Henry Christmas 2015


Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen news articles that say that if you have a summer baby, you can delay them starting school for another year. In the UK, children have to start school in the September after their fourth birthday and for summer babies, they will have only just turned 4 and their peers will be turning 5 soon. It seems a huge age gap, especially with how young they are. Henry was born in June so this news applies to us. However, since having Henry, I’ve been fighting with whether or not to send him to school.

I hated school. Primary school was ok but I remember being bullied from about the age of 6. This carried on throughout my school life. I went to 9 different schools in the end (we moved around a lot) and I hated them all. Every school I went to never did anything about the bullying and when I had eventually had enough and fought back at the age of 12, I was arrested and charged with assault. SeriouslyI had mugshots taken and I had to give my DNA and fingerprints. After that happened, my mum took me out of school for a year and homeschooled me. It didn’t work out for us because of the location and I ended up going back to school but I did enjoy it. And even after I went back to school, the bullying still continued. I was about 14 then and decided I wasn’t taking it any more and things went downhill. I was involved in so many fights and spent most of my time in isolation. Because of this, my grades slipped and I was on track to get D’s and E’s in my GCSE’s. I moved school once more and finally got my head down and I got decent grades in my GCSE’s, mostly B’s and C’s.

My school life wasn’t easy and I’m so glad it’s over. But thinking back on that part of my life makes me wonder…do I really want my innocent little baby to go through what I went through? He knows nothing of the world and I don’t want him to experience that, especially at the age of 4.
There are a few things that are putting me off sending him to school. Firstly, I will have spent 4 years instilling the views and morals I want him to have and as soon as I send him to school, that will all disappear because of his peers and him trying to fit in. Secondly, another article I saw today said that while primary schools are excelling, the first 2 years of secondary school are being failed because the teachers and school are too concerned with GCSE’s

He can still sit exams if that’s what he wanted to do but a lot of colleges are accepting homeschooled children based on a portfolio of work, not exam results. I want to teach him about life, not ridiculous things that he’ll never ever need. Obviously, I would teach him things he’d need but I wouldn’t teach him meaningless things because I needed to fill the curriculum. I want to make his childhood fun! I don’t want him to only remember copious amounts of homework or exam pressure. There are a lot of home education communities around the country so he would get socialised more than enough.

I might change my mind when I have another child/ren but for now, I’m 90% sure that this is the route I’ll take. I didn’t have children so I could spend 4 years with them every day and then send them away, 5 days a week for 6 hours.
I know people have their opinions on homeschooling (funnily it’s usually the exams or socialising they’re concerned with) but I know my child and what’s best for him. People are scared of what they don’t know.

Below are the links for the news articles I referred to above.

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