(I have already posted this on facebook, bu thought it was worth putting it on the blog as well, with some extra bits and bobs)
Feeling a little bit home sick myself, I was thinking about our boys and how they have handled the last year and a half. Thinking about what they have actually done and accomplished, I'm feeling very very proud.
In April 2012, they left the life they loved; the fairly unstructured homeschool life, with the friends they loved and would meet up with quite a lot. The house they loved, with the chickens, the large garden, the trampoline, the space in the house.
They went to a much smaller house, with a small garden, but luckily, they were sort of picking up where they left 2.5 years earlier, with the kids in the neighborhood. That was a great relief for Job and me.
In June 2012, they heard that they were going to be in school after the summer holidays. Adam was scared, the other two didn’t really know what to think about that.
Adam in May 2013, almost 12yo
In the summer of 2012 we did some extra work to prepare Adam for school. He went to ‘group 7’ in stead of ‘group 8’, because we thought he would at least need two years to get used to the school system and didn't want to put him in secondary school after only one year of primary school.
After some months of adjusting, he came out fine, doing really well at his school work. Not totally adjusted to the system, but he did it anyway!
In May 2013, we moved back to the UK. Part of the reasons was that we would be able to home educate Adam again. Much to our surprise, he said: I want to go to university, I might as well go to school there.
As I wasn't sure if I would be able to home educate them again myself and would only do it for the sake of the kids, and as you can take the children out so much easier than in Holland, we thought we should give it a proper try.
Looking at the schools and receiving information about the system, we learned that Adam would have to go to year 7 in the UK, which would be the same as the 1st year of secondary school in Holland. That would mean he'd have to go by (school) bus, in a uniform, to a different school than his brother(s).
He was a bit scared, but has done so much better at adjusting than the first time in school in Holland. He is now in his last week before the summer break, has made friends, got his progress report, and is doing really well, considering that he (within one year!!) went from no school to ‘group 7’ in Holland, and finishing off completing year 7 in the UK. That means that he did 3 years in less than a year (!), including a switch to a new school system in an other country. WOW!
Boaz in May 2013, almost 9yo
Boaz’ year was quite similar, with the difference that he hadn’t shown any interest in learning to read before 2012. When we decided that they would be going to school, I knew he would have to be able to read, in order to enter ‘group 4’ (age wise he would have been in ‘group 5’). So he and I worked really hard over the summer, and after a couple of months at school he had caught up and in the end he was ahead with maths and reading. Boaz never said a lot about going to school. He sort of just did it, with of course, challenging things along the way. In the fall of 2012 he somehow taught himself to read in English.
When we moved back to the UK, they told us that he would need to go to ‘year 4’ (‘group 5’). That meant that he'd have to skip a class. Adjusting again....in a larger class, in a slightly different system and all the British
sometimes over the top rules and regulations.
Around a week ago we noticed that Boaz is actually really done with this school year. He is tired, is coughing a lot and actually said that he didn't want to go to school this week (he normally doesn't say things like that). That was what made me think what the boys have done/accomplished in the last year; I think it's normal that he is tired; they were the first group to go back to school in August 2012 and now they're breaking up even a week after the last group in started their holidays. In one year, Boaz has learned to read both in Dutch as well as in English, he has adjusted to two different school systems, had to say goodbye to his friends in school and try to make new friends here. And now he is totally ready for the holidays!
Levi liked school, almost as soon as he walked in. Except for the first proper week, he didn’t have a problem with settling in; he loved his teachers and his school buddies. They didn’t have a place in year 1 (‘group 2’) in the village school here this year, but he will start in’year 2’ (‘group 3’) in September. He has been with me in the last two months. He has been my little sunshine whilst we were trying to settle in. That was good, fun and ok, but he misses playing with Boaz when he is at school and he misses playing with other children on a regular basis. So he is really looking forward to going too in September!
Ah yes, of course we've got a trampoline again! :-)