Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A bit of pessimism, or is it realism?

I thought I should consider the options if our home education application is turned down.
So I found myself looking up the International schools in the area. I was thinking that maybe the committee who makes the decision about the home ed might try and suggest they should attend one of these if I am concerned about their English. (International usually meaning that English is the main language of instruction.) I was thinking (and hoping) that these schools would have no places anyway so I could reject that idea, but I called the one which has no fees, and they said I can apply and it depends on our situation as to who gets the places (we are prioritized as we have come from an English-speaking country). This school is slightly nearer but will still mean a car drive every morning. The other main one is a private school (a rarity in Sweden) with fees in the region of thousands of pounds, which rules that out.
The problems with the kids’ current school are as follows: apparently lack of stimulating lessons my kids need and hence a struggle to get them to school, questionable behaviour of many of the kids. S has no firm friends in his class, made harder by the fact out of 17 only 3 other boys.
A 20 minute drive, plus they get tired of travelling home on the school bus as they have to take another boy to the other side of town home first.
Positives, they have Arabic and Islamic studies (but I am starting to wonder if this is not making their approach to Islam as positive as could be i.e. they are v reluctant to go to these lessons.)
They have halal food, and the school ‘understands’ issues relating to the religion e.g. not changing in front of others in P:E.
M’s 2 best friends are in his class (although he can see them outside school, no problems)
It has actually S who’s been more reluctant to go to school of late (although he does not need physically dragging to get him to the car) and regularly declares the boringness (must be a better word, tedium?) of attending. School has an ‘Open Day’ the weekend after this, so I can see what it’s like in the class, but to be honest, as it’s on a Saturday (many kids will not attend)and because obviously the teachers are prepared for observation by the parents, I don’t know how typical it will be. Anyhow what can I do to address this issue?. I have already explained S’s main interests to his teacher, but they have a curriculum to follow and I don’t believe I’m in a position to dictate their teaching methods. (More hands-on practical stuff would help S I think), and ideas I’vepreviously given to M’s teacher haven’t been taken on board as far as I can see.
I feel like I’m waffling a bit, but it always helps to write things down. I’m hoping and praying, that InshAllah a clear path for their education will emerge.


Anonymous said...

Even though I am pretty much 'against' school as a place to house kids, this is due to what we experienced over the years with consistently failiing schools who tended to want to shove all the 'blame' on our kids.

There wasn't a school we could find that had the right balance, although for years we busted a gut to try and be 'reasonable' and compromise and put up with the way things are.

So now we do what we do instead (home ed) because we won't put our kids into another school environment again just to experience the same madness. However, IF we could find a school that was ace, and had a good balance or subjects, and whose staff were lively and inspired then we would consider putting them in.

This is because despite having a few family members around and a bit of a community, we are in essence parenting alone, with little or no extra support..we don't have a 'tribe' is all up to us.

It's not easy. We pull it off somehow, but who am I kidding? The ideal would be to live in a community where there were more home edders..or at least another home edding family. Or to live in an area where the schools are excellent and not the same old same old dumbing down crowd control set ups.

We would consider moving to the other side of the world at least if we knew we could get this (i.e: more home edders in community or better schools)..and for that reason we are setting certain things in place so at least we have that option if we need it.

The last school we used was a private one and with three kids (plus all the extras that come along in bills for private schooling) it was well over 500 quids a month..with a rebate (the government subsidises private schools to a degree) and we got a slight reduction due to our low income.

In my political days I was a great one for free schooling for everyone, but these days I would always go for private schools. How things change eh?

I hope things work out for you one way or another dearie xx

EF x

ummrashid said...

Whatever is best, inshAllah.

Diana said...

Hi, thank you for your blog. I am in the UK and would like to know whether HE is legal and possible in Sweden on and unschooling type of way, therefore I found your blog. It seems that HE is difficult in Sweden.
Wish you the best with it.

UmSuhayb b David said...

EF and UmmRashid, JazakAllahkhair for your well-wishes.
Hi Diana, HE is legal here but from the perspective that it is an adequate replacement/ equivalent for the 'skolplikten' (school-duty) many are so proud of here. So suggesting you'll be unschooling in your application would most likely make your appliciation fail. I'm finding I'm having to carefully word things so they like what they hear whilst still maintaining the truth. I wish I could be spending this much brain-power on my kids, but that's the way it goes.