"Once your consciousness has been raised, it cannot be lowered"

My parenting journey, our home educating family and some other stuff here and there....

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


This past week has been both terrifying and enriching.

We've always been pretty dreadful managing money, but I've really pulled my socks up over the summer and we're now super organised. In theory. However, this month has been a disaster beyond my imagination!...worse than when we tended towards gambling each month, wondering if we'd have enough.

Anyhow, miraculously, we seem to have managed to get by this last week with about £10 for food. I've been using stuff in the freezer and more store cupboard staples than I knew I had, but we've also not been short of fresh food. I find it quite remarkable that we haven't really gone short, in fact, we've eaten really well and it's not felt like we were scrimping and saving at all.

Obviously it's not sustainable! We are now really low on stocks of everything and it was only due to my stockpiling of washing powder and other expensive items that we managed in that respect. But it is heartening to realise that we can probably manage with less than we're used to, as yet another round of belt tightening needs to happen now.....

In sharp contrast to the scarcity of hard cash, we have been overwhelmed with generosity and an abundance of love from a really beautiful friend with a desire to share and give to us in a time when we needed support. This week could have been really stressful and unpleasant for us, but we were blessed with more than money could ever buy and it's really helped keep things in perspective. Thanks so much for everything Sue-Ann, I'm so grateful for your friendship. xx

We went to Jodrell Bank today, (just) to the arboretum. There's so much to see there. It was a repeat trip for us, we visited in the Summer and vowed to go every season to see the changes.

The autumn leaves were magnificent, and there was some interesting fungi about. The girls had a fabulous time climbing trees and pretending to be birds, with ferns for wings, and later, tails.

We had a picnic in the bird hide and just enjoyed being outdoors, it was incredibly mild.

Nature also gave us a treat today, an abundance of pears. We literally stumbled on them...all over the floor. They looked hard and not that appetising but the first bite gave a surprise- they were so soft, sweet and delicious with a fantastic texture. We brought a bagful home, very happy ;)


We're still in a time of big changes here, and there are many weird contradictions playing out in my life at the moment.

I'm really interested in the funny mixture of situations and states I'm finding myself in... exhausted/energised, motivated/lethargic, optimist/pessimist, joyous/terrified, clarity/confusion, euphoric/blue.......all these stresses and strains, forces at work. The bizarre physics of my inner life, too much to write about in one post!

I'm trying to be Buddhist about all this, and just notice these things in the moment and not get "stuck". I'm not finding this so hard as I'm a pretty intense person, and something usually comes along that can move me into a different place, be it for better or worse. I find my intensity an unsettling quality at the best of times....again, that's another post.

Despite all this turmoil I'm feeling pretty content, so I guess I must be getting better at letting go of my attachments. ;)

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Badman and the Balls up

The consultation on the Badman Review of Home Education is still running until 19th October. As all the questions are leading ones, beginning "Do you agree.." all you have to do is say NO to all 11 if you don't feel up to commenting or ranting. Please add your voice and help Home Edders stay free!

Complete online at 
www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations or download a response form and email it to
homeeducation.consultation@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk  Children can complete one each.

I attended a meeting last week with the Deputy Director of the Dept for Children Schools and Families, and I feel more worried about all this now than I did reading it all on paper...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The times they are a'changin'....

Busy busy busy here: we've started our first forays into home education. Most of Esme's friends disappeared off to school at the start of September so we have been out and about getting into a new autonomous learning groove. I'm sometimes slightly resistant to change, but this transition is bringing a lot of excitement, fun and growth for us all. It's cool, as well as being unnerving and a bit scary for me at times.... The kids are loving it!

We had always considered home education as an option but it's still far from a mainstream choice here and it's tricky to go against the flow with something as "big" as education. Everyone seems to have an opinion about it, and their views are stronger when it concerns alternatives to conventional schooling. For most folks it seems to be a step too far along the continuum of "weird". Far "worse" than a baby peeing and pooing in a pot...hehe ;)

As the time for Esme to go to school was looming closer the (very good) Community Primary School here was looking fairly attractive, an easy option if I'm honest. Despite being less than half a mile from all the schools we applied to there were no places locally, all schools are oversubscribed and have massive waiting lists. A gross failure on the part of our Local Education Authority. The school we were eventually offered was a 2 hour round trip walking from our home, and it was only an OK school. Plus it was still a school, which was always something questionable in our minds. So our hand was forced really. I'm pleased it's worked out this way for now, I'm not sure we would've had the balls to try home education if a "decent" school place had been offered.

".....And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should"

It's feeling like all this is a definite move away from the baby stage of my children's lives. They really aren't babies any more. This new phase is making us branch out into a new community and become part of other groups away from our established "tribe"....who we found through La Leche League. Our snuggly, cosy babywearing days are feeling distant, toddler-lugging is a more accurate description of me carrying Magnus now. Breastfeeding in public can be hair raising as my shirt gets lifted and my little gymnast writhes at the nipple. ECing seems to have become potty trained. Just like that.

We are still ECing but it's so normal, so much part of life, and so similar now to completely potty trained that I can't really think of things to write about it now without it seeming slightly absurd.

I am so pleased to be meeting people who are aware of and interested in EC, and new ECers with tiny babies. It really does seem to be a growing trend. I feel so privileged to be able to talk about my experiences with people who get what it's all about. I love spreading the word generally, but there's something super satisfying about being really understood and being a guide.

So, a while back I said I was thinking about blogging on a more general theme, and I think the time has come for this to happen. Watch this space!......