22/08/2013

The end of the (home educating) road.

Both my children will be going to school at the beginning of September, so our home educating journey will be over.

It has been interesting.

The 'am I doing the right thing?' element has been terrifying, and I think I would have had an easier time emotionally if I'd just trusted myself totally from the start.

Yes, I was doing the right thing.

After meeting hundreds of home educating families who are also doing the right thing, I wish I had read more about HE and networked within the community earlier, in order to help assuage some of my fears.

I should have been less polite with the useless jobsworths at North Yorkshire Local Education Authority, and shut down any communication with them long before I did. As it is, they have not contacted us for over five years - and we liked it that way.

I am undoubtedly closer to both my children than if we hadn't had this opportunity to spend so much time together.

We have all learnt a lot - especially me.

We have met some wonderful friends, all of whom would not have crossed our paths if the children were in school.

We've been to some amazing places, and benefitted from being able to avoid the crowds by timing our visits to museums, art galleries, historic sites etc.

My children are kind and confident, one more quietly so than the other, but no less effectively.

They are independent, enthusiastic learners who know how to occupy and motivate themselves.

If something needs doing, they do it.

I hope they are resilient and I hope that, as I entrust them back into the English state school system that failed them so badly all those years ago, they know that if school doesn't offer them what they need, they can stand up, excuse themselves... and come home.

I think that is the most important thing I have taught them.

They can always, always come home.
 








01/07/2013

""The last thing MPs should be talking about is their own pay rise".

Quite!

Keith Vaz, to whom the title quote above is attributed, is amongst a group of MPs vowing to reject any proposals for a large pay increase.

David Cameron is prepared to sanction a modest pay rise for MPs on condition that they forfeit other perks to ensure the overall costs of Westminster are cut.
As Ed Miliband indicated that he would reverse a planned £10,000 pay rise for MPs if elected prime minister, Cameron said it would be unthinkable if the overall costs of Westminster were not frozen or even cut.
But in the face of intense lobbying by Tory MPs for Downing Street to allow them to receive a pay rise, the prime minister stopped short of ruling out a rise in their salaries.
From article by Patrick Wintour and Nicholas Watt in The Guardian

Link to full article in The Guardian

The fact that MPs are even broaching the subject of a large payrise during such stark economic times demonstrates clearly how out of touch they are with the realities faced by many of the people they are employed to serve.

Either they haven't grasped how angry the electorate truly is, (not that this Government was actually elected!) or they don't care - neither is acceptable.

The UK has the sixth largest national economy in the world, yet there are families that would starve without food banks, and many people that can't afford to heat their homes.

Bankers are rewarded for their mistakes/criminal acts, and pandered to by a Government that has only served to deepen the financial crisis.

Our MPs have done nothing to deserve a payrise.

They have, however, done plenty that should keep them awake at night.

Maybe it's easy to ignore your conscience, or to hide your moral compass in your armoire, when your bad decisions don't affect you personally?



29/06/2013

Stephen Twigg is weak and ineffectual.

Michael Gove ain't no prize either.

Keep trading insults, boys - it's only the future education of our children at stake.

Haven't we had enough of over-privileged white men fucking up our country yet?

Link to article by Isabel Hartman on the Spectator blogs.

13/06/2013

Don't let your guard down!

Being a parent of a child with SEN often involves communication with their school.

My eldest son is in Yr12 and, after contacting AQA directly in order to clarify a couple of points, we managed to persuade his school that he was entitled to a scribe and extra time in his exams.

This provision was duly set up for his January exams and they passed without a hitch.

Then came my big mistake.....

because I trusted that the same provision would be arranged for the June exams, what with Dyspraxia and Dyslexia not being issues that one can grow out of in five months.

I didn't want to nag the school, and, more importantly, I trusted that they'd have it sussed.

So when my son telephoned straight after his exam to say that he didn't get the extra time, and that he had been unable to complete the last three questions, I was disappointed and angry for him.

He'd done his bit.... y'know, the workingyourbollocksoffallyearandrevisinglikeademon aspect.

So I went in to school and it was confirmed that they had made a mistake.

The SENCO (who had done her bit - the fault lies firmly with a different teacher) was in tears and apologised to my son.

As did his scribe.

As did the Head of Sixth Form.

The person who was to blame lurked firmly in the shadows and kept his (or her)(but it's his) weaselly head down.

So we asked whether we should lodge an appeal with the exam board, or whether the school would do it.

The school said they would, so now we wait to hear what can be done, if anything.

Yes, he can resit it next year if necessary, but his workload will already be very full of Yr13 exams, and why should he have to be disadvantaged because of a mistake made by someone who didn't tick the right box on the right piece of paper?

Your work as a parent of a child with SEN is never really done.

You are pretty much destined to be one of those parents that teachers roll their eyes and look heavenwards over, because you HAVE to nag, you have to check, and you have to double-check.

But being perceived as a nag / Helicopter Parent / overprotective mother / bitch from hell..... whatever, is a small price to pay to ensure that your child gets the support they are entitled to.

Extra exam provision for pupils with SEN is not a perk, it is a way of attempting to even up the playing field so that the work they produce is a more accurate representation of their true abilities.

So make sure everything is in place for every exam, preferably via email so you have written proof of the school's response.

Don't let your guard down.
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