365 days later

It is now a year since I removed Evan from  school and decided to teach him myself.

Keeping track of the countless things Evan has achieved in the last 12 months has been almost impossible and perhaps the only thing that has been difficult about home educating!

It feels like a lifetime ago that he was at school.

Together we quickly got into a routine,our days structured with an equal mix of formal and practical learning.

Although there is no requirement to do so we follow school hours and holidays as Evan thrives on routine, for us it makes perfect sense.

We follow the national curriculum for Literacy and numeracy, although almost all of the work we do is applied to real situations so that Ev can see what he is learning, why, it’s relevance to real life and how he might use the skill in future.

In the last year Evan has exceeded all expectations with huge achievements like traveling by train,visiting London,attending the Autism show,staying in a hotel and meeting Ben Fogle but more importantly he enjoyed doing these things.

With planning,preparation and understanding there is nothing Evan can not do.

Education for Evan involves learning to cope in social situations,employing strategies to deal with the everyday things that he struggles with, stepping outside the box and helping him explore the world.

 Evan has learnt to tie his shoes and tell the time, has swum a mile and passed a canoe course. He attends trampoline lessons and gymnastics alongside his peers, he has walked the fells and climbed some ridges that men would be proud of. He has guitar lessons with the very patient Mr S and is making movies on the computer with self taught skills.All this in a world that is like a foreign county to him.

The boy I was told would simply grow taller.

Life for Evan is, without a doubt, going to be an uphill struggle.

 He makes it look simple, he never complains..

I don’t believe it was a choice to take Evan out of school,at the time it was a necessity.

 I had lost all faith in the education system and it’s willingness and ability to meet Evans needs.

I had run out of steam. I was frustrated and exhausted dealing with the difficulties Evan was having on a daily basis and the huge impact that was having on him at home.

It was a bold step into the unknown.

I felt bitterly disappointed.

Evan had a statement of special educational needs.

A legal document,providing 1-1 support.

A document that clearly stated his diagnosis of autism.

Having “coped” all day Evan would come home , a boy I no longer recognised. Biting himself,head banging and smearing.

It was heartbreaking.

It was also a battle of ignorance and misunderstanding I was never going to win for Evan.

I feel deeply saddened that Ev is unable to receive an equal opportunities education alongside his peers.

Sadly the education of children with special needs such as autism seem to depend on the integrity and commitment of the staff at the time.

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One Response to 365 days later

  1. Yvonne Frost says:

    Its such a relief when you finally quit the system and discover your way is better isn’t it Lin. Even on the worst days we love our children and have their best interests at heart. They are not an ‘inconvenience’ to be tolerated but wonderful human beings to be respected and learned from!

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