This time last week we were at Disneyland Paris. We went by Eurostar and had a day in London either side and, on the way, when we were waiting for the train at our local station, I got talking to a woman.
She asked where we were going and said she was going to London too, to visit her daughter. Then she said, “Is there no school today or…” and as I said, “No, we home educate” she finished “… do you home educate?” Then she said, “I knew it!”
I looked at the boys. No, they were dressed relatively normally. Joe was wearing multi-coloured knee-socks over his trousers, but apart from that… I asked the woman how she knew. She said she knew because of the way David and I were interacting with the boys. She said it was obvious that we were engaged and interested in their education (we’d been talking about looking out for Mary Anning dinosaurs in the Natural History museum) and we wouldn’t have taken them out of school. And then she said she was a retired teacher.
I was really surprised and also quite proud that she’d recognised that in us and didn’t seem to disapprove at all. I get the impression sometimes that people – particularly members of our family! – think home ed means we’ve decided education isn’t important, that we can do without it, when that isn’t the case at all. I know how important education is and that is why I want to be involved with the boys’ education. And of course I know that education doesn’t only take place in school, even if we didn’t make it to the Natural History Museum (there was a 40 minute queue!).