Where do I start?

Well, I'm 27 now, I was HE from the age of about 6.5 until a month before my 16th birthday, when I started FE college to study A levels.

Before this, I did GCSE's, one at the age of 12, one at 14, and 2 more at 15. In my first year of college I did another GCSE alongside my A levels, so I had the 5 which seemed typical at the time for University entry.

Taking GCSE's whilst HE was sometimes awkward for my family. The one I took at the age of 12 was at a community college on what was essentially an adult course in the evenings (my dad had to come with me for the first few lessons, I think he ended up staying in the car after a while!).

The others were IGCSE's, with the first one (in 1997) sat at a 6th form college about 15 miles away that doubled as it's examination centres for IGCSES exams alongside it's regular exams,. The last two (in 1998) were sat in Cambridge as local colleges stopped offering support for IGCSE exams to be sat at them - this was a 160 mile round trip per exam, and I seem to recall there being at least 6 of them. I hope things have changed again for this now so that local centres are available again!

College was only complicated in that I was 15 on the point of starting, and turned 16 a month into the first term. They weren't sure if they could accept a student younger than 16. The principal met with me, talked through the exams I had, my interests etc, and was happy to do whatever hoop jumping needed to be done to allow me to attend.

Academically, college went well, I stayed an "extra" year, and picked up an extra A level to the ones I started studying, and I finished up with 4 A levels there. Socially I loved it and adjusted pretty quickly, in fact some of the students who had come from school seemed to find the little differences from their former world harder than me - like not calling teachers "Sir" any more, or a lack of bell ringing at the end of classes.

After college I went to University, locally, but moved in with some friends I'd made (not via college, but from the local rock and clubbing scene!). I dropped out though, after 4 months, as I was really disinterested in the course I was on and it hadn't cracked up to be what I'd expected.

I feel like I'm rambling now, but I can carry on with how I entered into work if anyone is interested!
 
Work..

hello! I'm not so much a new comer to the forums as someone who hasn't posted here for a while, and under a different login, though some of you might recognise me from twitter! I abandoned the old login as a few horrible types from other places may well attempt to google it back to me and I'd rather they didn't when I'm posting info like this :S

OK, so work happened in a fairly 'lucky' kind of way. After leaving university, I kept my student loan on for the whole year (there was a period where I wasn't sure if I was going to attempt to go back to the course somehow). I was fairly economical with the cash (despite regular partying as a 19-20 year old is wont to do!) and managed to last out until about the middle of May (in 2002). I did end up surviving on not a lot and very cheap meals though. I feel like I learnt a lot, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

I took on a job working evenings, doing simple data entry for an energy company. At this point, I was going to attempt to go back to University after the summer, and try and get on a course that suited me better. It turned out I liked having a regular income, so after a few weeks I managed to transfer into a different job at the same place, day time hours, full-time.

After about maybe 2 months of that, the senior manager of the department (telesales, about 200 people) realised I could do a lot more than just inputting, and I essentially became a (cheap) junior reporting analyst, producing sales reports. I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but the money became regular, I was largely enjoying the workplace even if the work itself was boring, and I was glad of being able to support myself and eat reasonable food again (!)

I feel I was quite lucky, in that essentially I was mentored by that manager, and given a large amount of free reign to learn on the job and acquire new skills. Within the year I was pretty good with databases, and then moving in to things like process design, and I moved into a job where I was doing a programming in equal parts "boring business stuff".

And I've stayed with the same company ever since. I've had a succession of different programming related jobs, and I now work largely with data. It's got that mix of "boring business" along with creative too, and overall I'm pretty happy with where I am. I'm a lot better paid these days too, and I don't think I really suffer for not having a degree, as what I lose there I gain in terms of actual real life working experience. I'm happiest where I have a job that enables me to learn new things.

I think my HE childhood has really helped me with this though. I was taught with a mixture of both core subjects that were taught fairly formally, along with a more autonomous styled free reign on other things. My mother knew that everything was heading towards the digital communications age that we've got now, and I could touch type from the age of about 12 ("Learn to touchtype on Mavis Beacon and we'll buy you that DooM game!"). So I was able to spend hours doing things like taking computers apart, or programming, or coordinating gaming projects with people around the world on the internet.

All these skills have quite obviously paid off in my working life, but, the hugest part of my upbringing has been that I was never prevented from learning something. If I wanted to learn something, either I went off and taught myself from whatever resources learning resources we had, or my parents taught me, or someone else that we knew taught me. So learning doesn't scare me or put me off, and with a working environment that changes and updates on a regular basis that's probably one of the best abilities I could have.

Apart from *work*, along the way I was introduced to the world of VJ'ing (projected visuals in clubs, usually reacting to the music!), which has given me a creative outlet that is also quite technical at times too. So, occasionally these days, I get rid of my Clark Kent work persona and go and rock some funky graphics at an event!

I'm also father now to two lovely little boys, and husband to a great wife. We're HE'ing now, but it's early tentative days yet, and my wife is the primary parent doing that while I'm at work. It's hard to say if we'll always be plotting the HE course, and things could change, but, while things are working for everyone, that's what we're doing.

One of my biggest worries is that with the way things keep going politically, my sons may not have the freedom to offer their children a HE way of life. The attacks on HE in the last year, politically and through the media have quite literally felt like not only an attack on the way I'm choosing to live my life with my family as an adult, but an attack on my own upbringing. It's safe to say I felt like my very culture was being discriminated against, and not just my educational choices!

I really have rambled this time, and I think that's about all I have to say :laugh:
 
I really have rambled this time, and I think that's about all I have to say
Far from it! Please keep us updated with your thoughts. I too was home educated from about the age of eleven and share the common experience of being able to learn what ever I wanted to. Your comments about socialising as an older teenager/young adult are particularly interesting. Do you realise you probably never learned to bully, snitch, tell tales, skive, answer back and treat others with disrespect? I am not surprised that you were popular with your employer!

Also, you obviously think autonomously in an homogeneous world. How do you cope without a set of rules and a pre prepared script? How do you cope without peer group pressure? Does it inconvenience you that you obviously are able to think through things for yourself without following the rabble in whatever they do? Please do home educate your own children - and enjoy the time you have with them.

And keep us posted!
 
Last edited:

Diane

HEdups
"...the hugest part of my upbringing has been that I was never prevented from learning something. If I wanted to learn something, either I went off and taught myself from whatever resources learning resources we had, or my parents taught me, or someone else that we knew taught me. So learning doesn't scare me or put me off, and with a working environment that changes and updates on a regular basis that's probably one of the best abilities I could have."

Ah, yes, real learning from the heart. Learning the things you want to learn. Glad to hear that you've done so well. Lovely to hear your story!

Diane
http://www.threedegreesoffreedom.blogspot.com
 

Admin

Administrator
I really have rambled this time, and I think that's about all I have to say :laugh:
Please keep rambling for as long as you like. Real life stories are very much appreciated by parents who are still in the early stages, or indeed the challenging later throes, of home ed.

I know when we were newbies, I hung on to the experiences of a couple of families I knew who had done it 'successfully'. The first HE family I ever met was Mark Beaumont's, followed by a redoubtable lady who had removed her non verbal autistic son from school 10 years previously and had managed to get him to the stage of working as a furniture restorer.

Having 'role models' helps immensely as all parents are destined to suffer from a healthy dose of self doubt from time to time.

Thank you again for sharing. :humble:
 
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are in year 2 of home educating and still have the odd wobble not knowing if we are doing the right thing or permenantly damaging our children. Its so great to hear such a positive story from an adult and makes us trust what we already know in our gut just a little bit more - that is that we are doing the right thing and our kids will be just fine.
 
We are in year 2 of home educating and still have the odd wobble not knowing if we are doing the right thing or permenantly damaging our children. Its so great to hear such a positive story from an adult and makes us trust what we already know in our gut just a little bit more.
Would just like to say, our girls are 3&6yrs and feel similar to Suze some days - thanks from me too for sharing your experience - really helpful to hear real life experiences from the 'child's' point of view.

As for the wobbles - the time it gets me right now is when I think they'd be better off at school, but realise they (6yr old mainly) would be 'behind' classmates in things like reading/writing. So I feel a bit trapped - can't send them, will be behind - can't keep them home - not 'doing' enough (Also realise it is my hang ups/crazyness that's the issue, not their ability to learn about life - all they need, all by them selves). I know they'll get there in there own time, but it is difficult relaxing and letting that time come!


Almost there............

Good Luck every one!!!!
 

Diane

HEdups
"As for the wobbles - the time it gets me right now is when I think they'd be better off at school, but realise they (6yr old mainly) would be 'behind' classmates in things like reading/writing. So I feel a bit trapped - can't send them, will be behind - can't keep them home - not 'doing' enough (Also realise it is my hang ups/crazyness that's the issue, not their ability to learn about life - all they need, all by them selves). I know they'll get there in there own time, but it is difficult relaxing and letting that time come!"

It will come, Moonrabbit. You have to trust your children. I know it's hard. It's a thing we're not encouraged to do in this society. Children learn to read when they learn to read, not in arbitrary time slots. Something that has helped a few people is to watch what the kids do when they're on games. They often learn to read to make sense of the game instructions. I think it's Finnish children who learn to read Finnish subtitles on American films (they start school later than children do here)!

It'll all be fine.

Diane
 

banshee

ScotHE
I know I can do this. I know that my children learn, because it is their nature to do so. I have a firm belief that they each have their own clock, their own path and their own way. I see the magic everyday. But my biggest wobble is the interfering opinions, lies and misinterpretations of others who have no experience of HE and possibly(/most likely) have never bothered to educate themselves; I worry about the damage they could inflict. I 'grew up' in an industry where having a tough skin was second nature; if you want to do something you love and believe in, I guess you can't really take no for an answer, and you will probably do it regardless...

I worry about the labels they may place on my child if he doesn't fit into the little pigeon hole they have constructed (sometimes only in their minds)for children his age, demographic, or whatever; I worry about the lack of freedom to be open and proud of our beliefs, opinions and choices. I worry about the possibility that my child will have to carry a 'pass' that segregates him from other children and stigmatizes him. I worry that I will have to explain that kind of madness to him. I worry that he may understand injustice before he comprehends justice, fairness, equality. I have a tough skin. What is precious about my child is that he doesn't see the need for armour.
 
Top