Friday, 31 July 2009

It could be called a holiday. Or the way we've lived life

I cannot sit still. Life is urgent. I cannot waste a moment, don't want to come away without doing, feeling, smelling, seeing, touching, being.

Where the need comes from, I don't know. It might have been a blow to the head. Perhaps I have dwelt too much on Memento Mori. Perhaps I yearn to live different from another generation, one who told me it is a long-established way that adults must rest, and I must sit and watch the clock tick.

But this week, we have been doing. And our activity and energy have been so right, so normal. With my children I have done so much, and we have packed so many moments into our time. We have toured like tourists, played on the beaches, found the rain and the sunshine, said hellos and goodbyes, lived how we wanted to, made our decisions, followed what we thought, been free to choose.

I have been away, of course, from the place where people without right stood in our way, took a role for themselves in my family that I did not give them, made it their job to malign, bully, push me into doing what they want, told me what I should do, how to bring up my children, how I should live, how I should comply, what I should say, what I should teach, how I should be.

I've been away from those voices. This week, I have had freedom again to turn to the children each morning, and say, Hey! What would you like to do today?

We built each day from scratch, and they, like me, don't want to waste a moment. Today, our last day on the island, we buzz, eagerly and happily, from garlic farm to lavender farm, to museum, to cliff walk, to beach.

But before this week, before this year, many of our days were like this. This was our home education life, and for this week, here it is, back again.

Which makes me know that this year, unlike any before it, has been so draining, so destructive, so damaging. It was brought, not by our doing, but by the interference of others who think themselves perfect engineers for my family; those people who would try and fix something that was never broken.

I can only say that in all our time together, our family has made our own decisions, followed our path, built our own lives. Shark would lay down her head on the pillow each night and say to me, I don't want the day to end.

You're not alone, Shark. I know we have had an extraordinary life, and we won't give up our freedoms.

But we also have a community of people, scattered all across England, who will support us, and we them. They would never say you're doing it all wrong. They would never say this is how you should live life. They would never dream of telling us what we should do today, making out that what we do is wrong, telling us our instincts and feelings are the wrong ones, that they have better, and know better.

When we return home, we'll continue living the life we choose. Because, my children, you have always lived this way. And I don't want the day to end either.


Sam said...

Thankyou for this post. I agree, this year is unlike any other since we've been home educating, and I want to get back to the freedom from worry that I had before.

I don't want this day to end - good thought :-)

The Green Stone Woman said...

This is a wonderful testimony to home education, especially when Shark says that she doesn't want the day to end. Imagine that every day can be like that for your kids, isn't that great? I wish we could all say that we didn't want our day to end.

Ty said...

This is beautiful. This is the way things should be. Home educating is a wonderful thing. There is so much more you can offer as a parent and teacher. Parents are the first teachers, what's wrong with us being the only teachers?

zooarchaeologist said...

You are so brave to home educate. How fantastic for a child not to want the day to end, that is a brilliant testamony to your good work. I am in awe!

sharon said...

Bravo. Wonderful. More power and less interference to your elbow Grit!

Angela said...

The children I am dealing with here, whose damages from school I am trying to heal a bit, they would not say such a wonderful satisfied thing after a long day at school, for sure! All I can try to do is give them an extra hour of self-determination, before they have to return to a place they do not profit from. WHY don`t your bureaucrats ever ask your children how they estimate their lives???

Thames said...

You are obviously doing something right. Keep it up.

-A Modern Mother

Grit said...

hi folks, thank you for the support; people from all areas, home ed or not, are doing great things I see - i've been looking round since we got home on lists and blogs and feeling better than when we went away.

angela, some home ed kids have got themselves organised and created Heyc; the Home Educated Youth Council.

You can see what the kids have been up to at

kellyi said...

This is the lovliest post. It made me feel all smooshy inside (in a good way.)

Also, if the IofW is recruiting for marketing people - you should apply. You've made me want to go!