This is a slight break from the normal post, written with full permission and understanding from my daughters, just to let you all know that our home situation has changed a little.
Last year I alluded to having a difficult year. The reality of that year was that our older daughter had an extremely hard time with school, self-harming, and suicidal thoughts and actions. After months of trying everything we could, and I do mean everything, we ended up withdrawing her from the school system, to be educated at home once she has made a full recovery.
She is now 16 but it’ll be a couple of years before we contemplate GCSEs. Our younger daughter experienced all the upheaval and trauma on a daily basis for a year, and has suffered as a result. So much so, that we have taken the same decision for her, rather than wait until the worst happens again.
They are both bright and sociable girls with extremely high predicted grades. Grades that are irrelevant if we lose one of them, or if they are miserable to the extreme. So we’re going to do it our own way, and I have full confidence that they will get wherever it is they want to get to in life. It might be a different method, and to a different timescale, but they will be alive and healthy and happy, and that is literally all that matters. I wish it hadn’t taken us so long to understand this.
I say I have full confidence, but of course I’m forgetting that you know me a bit by now. You therefore know that what I really mean is that I’m completely terrified, second-guessing everything including my own name, and already listing everything that’s likely to go wrong. Not to mention remembering how terrible I am at Maths, and wondering how many more bottles of wine I will need on a monthly basis. Yet it’s underpinned with a determination that this is the right thing, and an excitement to get going and prove all the naysayers wrong. Plus, we have a brilliant Maths tutor for them both, so there’s that.
Why am I telling you all this? Don’t panic, I’m not going to start making my posts about mental health, or anything else that will drag everybody down. Every single person has their own problems to deal with and I like to think that normally, this page is a two-minute respite from those problems for some people. I want to continue to try to find the funny in my daily life as always. I just can’t pretend that my daily life is something that it’s not.
This is therefore a heads-up that you can expect to hear my take on educating teenagers at home, with all the hand-wringing, head-exploding, alcohol-requiring moments that this is sure to bring. Watch this space!
In the meantime, my older daughter wrote a poem about her recent experiences, which I’m sharing with you because a) I love it and b) if ever anything explained why this decision is the right one, this poem does.
Sincere apologies for the serious nature of this post and rest assured the next one will be back to normal.
Bring on Bedtime!