School - it has been one of the most challenging experiences in my life.
I devour stories about unschooled adventures with envy and lust.
My very limited understanding of unschooling is that it's all about the child following their needs and wants - finding their rhythm and finding their 'thing' - it is about the child being at the centre of their learning.
This has been the problem - we placed Calum at the centre of his learning from day one. We have been guided, supported and nurtured by him every step of the way. In turn we've guided, supported and nurtured him.
Learning for Calum has included school - he has chosen to go to school. At every step of the way he has made choices about where to go to school, what schools to go to, what to study and how hard to study.
He has learnt well. He has had some amazing teachers. He has had some fantastic experiences. Our family's ideologies have been challenged - he has gone within and speaks his own truth. It's not always the same as ours - he is far wiser than I shall ever be.
As we approach GSCEs and talk turns towards A Levels I realise that my 26 years of struggling with the school system is almost over. I reflect that this has been my struggle and not Calum's. We challenged his decision to go to school a couple of years ago when we were very unhappy with the bigger picture and how that was influencing him. A few visits to Findhorn sorted that out and school has continued to be a large (and expensive) part of our lives.
Yes I would have loved to have had unschooled adventures with Calum - but you know what, he found his own rhythm, his 'thing' and all is well - all is very well.