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An update, for our own family history as much as anything. We are now entering home ed two point zero…

A couple of weeks ago we deregistered Hatty from school and she officially began home educating alongside Wilf. In many ways this transition has been on the cards for some time, but the decision to leave school also happened much sooner than we had anticipated.

Hatty started year 3 at school after a very restful and fun summer break. There was definitely a hint of resistance about going back to school, but there was also excitement an anticipation. We expected that she would finish the academic year and there was discussion about staying in school until the end of primary. But things changed fairly rapidly. Hatty always found the academic demands of traditional school quite straightforward, but during the first term, she became increasingly anxious about the demands of school work and the school setting in general. We felt that she was building up a resistance school and increasingly it began to impact her wellbeing. She starting missing a few days as she was just too anxious and stressed to get into school. There was little support from school and it was more difficult to explain to them Hatty’s challenges, compared to the similar experience we had with Wilf a year ago. He had recognised additional needs and got a lot of support from the SENco and TAs. By half term, things had gotten pretty bad and Hatty was under a lot of stress and anxiety about attending school. We worked out a timetable with her, aiming to get to the Christmas break. Then adjusted it to try and do three more weeks of school. On the first Monday back after half term, we had a fraught few hours trying to support her getting into school, but in the end agreed that we didn’t need to put her through any more distress. She changed out of her school uniform and we wrote an email to the head, requesting to off-roll her.

It’s not how we had hoped the end of her time at school would be. With Wilf we were able to plan for a departure date and in many ways, finishing school felt like a celebration. With Hatty, for me at least, it felt like failing and I’ve definitely had a touch of sadness about her not getting a chance to say goodbye to her friends and the staff at school. It’s going to be very odd no longer being part of the school community, which we love.

It’s also shifted the dynamic at home considerably. After 9 months of home ed, Wilf and I just about felt like we were starting to get into a groove. Part of my motivation to support Hatty to stay in school a little longer was to allow Wilf and I some time to prepare for the addition of another person in our cosy little home ed bubble…

But, we’re here and we’re feeling really positive and excited about the next chapter in our family life and in the education journey of our kids. We’re more convinced than ever that home ed is the best solution for us. It’s going to take some time to adjust and there are so many logistical challenges to navigate, but we can’t wait to see what home ed 2.0 brings for us.