People home educate for all sorts of reasons but you may recall that our main reason was because our son was bored at school. He was fed up of repeatedly doing times tables and never feeling like he was learning anything. If I spent half an hour a day teaching him something that was more than he would have done at school as he kept covering old ground. Now entering our second term of education we are approaching the 11 plus (which is the entrance exam for grammar school).
Our home education journey so far has been really relaxed, doing what we enjoy with very little academic learning. In fact most of their actual academic study has been with Explore Learning. I have been building on their confidence and creativity. Our 10-year-old has loved having more independence – especially when it has come to cooking. If you ask him what I have done then he’d probably tell you nothing! We have regularly visited the library, and without a forced reading schedule a lot more books have been devoured! He got through loads of them just whilst we were camping! But apart from the odd test, and some fun science things, it has all been laid back. So now it is time for the exam have I done enough?
There is the argument that if children are meant to get in then they will. I don’t really believe this anymore. Some of it is to do with the fact that they need to have the knowledge covered to answer the questions – and I hope in the most part he has this nailed. But have I let his times tables slip so that he is slower? Should I have been helping him with spellings more? Know more words? I am sure these things would have been done at school – and I think there’s a lot more pressure if he would have been taking SATs.
With just over 10 days to go am I worrying unnecessarily because in all honesty it is too late to do much about it? Is this now the time to relax and say whatever will be will be? Or is there still time to make sure he does not slack off? Luckily he isn’t fazed one bit. He knows that he can only try his best. That he will not end up going to a school he does not want to, and the option to remain home educated still will stand. He certainly knows that we think he is amazing – and that his intelligence is just one of his many qualities that we are super proud of. But I just want it over now. I want my worrying about whether I am getting him to do enough or too much not to be an issue any more. I know I shouldn’t and in honesty he should be just fine but I cannot help it.
If you are home educating and thinking about the 11+ then you just register for the entrance exam in the same way as everyone else does. You will have received your result before then having to register them for secondary school – again in the same way as everyone else will.