Mayhem and Stardust

We are the proud parents of, amongst others, Jig, who has a handsome collection of diagnoses (ADHD, AD, FASD) which probably mean nothing and a generous smattering of fairy dust which probably counts for everything. School was a huge challenge and so we decided, probably rashly, to move to the country and home educate him. No medication, no 'support', chickens, space, a farm on the doorstep and a beach nearby. What could possibly go wrong?

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

Up days and down days

We have had a wonderful few weeks – Jiggy’s big sister got married from home last weekend and the day was perfect. He rose to the occasion with elegance, empathy and enthusiasm – and how many other 9 year olds could you say that about?!  He also looked devastatingly gorgeous (which always helps!)


The days since the wedding have been oddly quiet.  We have nothing to organise or prepare for and today we were just exhausted.  Jig isn’t particularly well and I was bone tired.  Since my self questioning in the summer I am working on being  kinder to myself and trusting the ebb and flow of Jig’s days and natural intelligence and so today we simply walked on a practically deserted beach near us in beautiful North Cornwall.   We had the sort of unusual conversation that we often have (Fibonacci and cockroaches today) and I just know that he learned more in the five minutes of that chat than he would have anywhere else.  What I need to celebrate is the fact that I did too. I am learning, slowly, that my role as a learner is just as important as my role as his teacher. Yes, I want him to know maths and facts but I also want him to learn how to be kind to himself and to make the best of the down days alongside the exhilaration of those high days and holidays too. I know more about numbers and bugs this evening than I did but I also put a new theory into practice and it worked.

I think we nailed it. Yay.



A friend of mine calls what I have just had as “Periodic Unschoolers Panic Disorder”. It could just as easily be called PAP (adoptive parents will know where I am going with this) The symptoms are; a sickening lurch in the pit of your stomach when you think about the responsibility you have shouldered pretty much alone, unreasonable outbursts in response to fairly ordinary childhood issues due almost entirely to an over investment in another persons every waking thought, word and deed, a sudden and uncharacteristic addiction to anything screen based that will buy you just one more minute of quiet and a financial investment in parenting and education advice resources that would otherwise fund a small county.

The treatments for PUP disorder include; allowing yourself to seriously consider putting your child back into school without allowing any sense of failure or loss, listening to friends with differing opinions, disregarding most of the advice you just bought making no decision at all until you feel as though your feet are on more solid ground and taking a few moments every day to look into your children’s eyes, properly, in the way that you last did when you were feeding them.  Turning an eyeball to eyeball conflict into an honest look into each others eyes is a new trick for us.  I recommend it.

I am not yet out of the woods with this disorder but am certainly off life support.  We have home ed plans for September at least and, for now, have planned no further.




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