Being Confident and Taking Pride
All last week these two themes keeping coming up and shouting in my face. I have taken on some new learners this month. During our introduction meetings, and bare-in-mind most of these people don’t know each other, all basically said the same thing and that was “I was not learning in school” and “I am asking you (Nicola) to deliver something different.”
Now it takes a lot of strength of character to go against convention. To look at something and say this is really not working for me, I want something different! It is a testament to the relationship that you have with your parents that they not only listened but acted upon those conversations because what you are asking - is for your parents to pay for something that you are already getting for free.
‘Free’ is a very subjective word, as adults we all pay for schooling out of our taxes and you’re paying with time and effort. Along with a lack of freedom in that you are having to allow strangers to tell you what to wear, where to be and what to do, that to think and how to behave and you have to spend a lot of time with people you don’t necessarily like. However, there are over 10 million learners aged between 5 and 19 in school, in the UK. That is 1 in 6 of the population and what you are saying you not one of those. That takes confidence!
Homeschooling is not necessary an easy route, it comes down to your time management skills, your ability to work independently and often working by yourself for a lot of the time and if you’re an audio learner, one who learns by listening and talking, homeschooling can be quite isolating.
Throughout the last week, different people have told me how they are overcoming this isolation, how they have problem solved and how one of you has learnt from a complete and utter failure. One of our new learners contacted me, to ask if I minded if she could go up to the next years’ work, then aced 25 activities in that high year in less than a week. I have had a couple of parents say to me how they no longer have “to sit over the doing of homework”, instead the conversation has been “is this homework good enough to hand in and how can I make it better?” Phrases they never thought they would hear said in their home. One of my young in-schoolers told me this week, how for the first time ever she put her hand up in maths to answer a question and got it right and how that felt. Another in-schoolers has made so much improvement in his reading that he received a certificate in assembly, which he proudly showed me. In a conversation with three study buddies, we are practising college entry interviews and part of the discussion considered what would happen if only one of them got place. Two felt that they could not go on their own, one said they would go, that they had the confidence to go, and rightly so, she has the confidence that the other two lack.
Having that kind of confidence or what we are going to call ‘pride’ is partly to do with liking yourself and loving yourself. We are not talking about narcissism, where you think you’re the absolute best, or when you take excessive interest in or admiration of yourself and your physical appearance.
No! What we are talking about is self-love when we use the word ‘self-love’ we are meaning ‘confidence’, 'pride' and ‘self-respect’.
As home schoolers, although many may have chosen to be schooled at home – many have not! Finding yourself been forced out of school because of bulling, disabled or simply being different - is painful and can leave lasting emotional scars. If you have done everything in your power to fit in, follow the rules and tried to get the school to support you in the ways you need and it is still not working: then don’t feel a failure – you not!
Having the confidence and the pride in yourself to say I won’t put up with poor education, I don’t have to continue to accommodate crowed, noisy, disruptive classrooms, that I won’t submit to being bullied, or bad provision for my disability is one thing.
You need to love yourself enough to say - "I am worth something that and I don’t have to endure this" and then have the confidence to make a change. Having the confidence to say - I want something different and then finding it is one thing, getting on with the learning and to do your very best every single time is also very important. Coming to our sessions prepared, with homework done to the best of your ability is essential. Looking ahead and stretching yourself is vital.
Then, you need to take pride in what you achieve and if you have ‘done good’ – own it!