Three years ago, our daughter entered secondary school and, initially, seemed to thrive. It is a well respected school, the same one our boys had gone to with positive experiences. However, as time went on, we noticed her getting more insular and less excited about school each day. There were some relational conflicts emerging that were fuelled by the essential WhatsApp groups she was part of and one minute she was ‘in’ and the next ‘out’, like an emotional rollercoaster. It got to the point where we felt like we were losing our daughter and she couldn’t escape from the constant barrage of negative messages. It was tough to watch and hard to walk her through it.
Meeting with a close friend who we knew home educated was a major shift in our perspectives on home education, having had some previous ‘not so positive’ experiences in the past. She presented options in a manner that empowered us and gave us courage to walk away from the traditional methods of education and into the somewhat uncharted waters. So, we took the plunge and removed our daughter from school and enrolled her with GalileoXP, an online learning community.
The shift in emotional wellbeing was obvious. Our daughter began to get her confidence back, reverting back to her bubbly self. The flexibility it gave her to pursue the things she loves rather than endure hours of classes that she has no interest in was great too. She then joined a local home ed group coordinated and facilitated by two parents; a group of 12 like-minded crazy kids who gather weekly to do group projects and drama. This has been amazing for her. She gets to interact socially with kids her own age, to be creative, to be expressive, to build friendships. Its a safe place to express who she is without the pressure that the school environment can create.
For anyone considering taking the plunge, we felt that our daughter’s mental and emotional health was more important than any academic qualification. Academic achievement is probably over-rated, with many of the world’s top leaders and entrepreneurs having few, if any, recognised qualifications. Those can come with time but nothing can replace good, positive emotional health and wellbeing. Reach out for advice and be courageous! We took the risk and got our daughter back.