It’s hard to believe, but this summer is my 10th as a mum (do I get a badge?!) I am acutely aware that, at 10 and a half, TK’s baby years are mostly behind her and from now on she will only become more independent (and opinionated!) Of course, there will be bumps along the way, but I am both sad and proud to say that I can see my little girl growing up in front of my eyes.
The next few months are set to be busy ones and with me working part time and school not looming in September, I may have become a bit over enthusiastic on the ‘activities’ front. TK seems to have endless classes, trips and experiences lined up to keep her occupied. From Cub Scout Camp to a baking session, there always seems to be something going on and it got me thinking: What had I done by the time I turned eleven?
Growing up, I was very lucky to get the opportunity to go to all kinds of places, both at home and abroad. We traveled, met interesting people and engaged in cultural activities; a level of independence was encouraged from a fairly young age. Confidence and self reliance were not things that came naturally to me and I struggled with even the most basic tasks in public (For example, asking for more water in a restaurant was virtually impossible). I’m always very thankful that this isn’t something TK suffers profoundly with; in the long run her life will be easier because of it and the lessons she has to learn won’t be as painful or as long in the learning.
I’m a great believer in educational experiences and ‘real life’ learning opportunities, and I think one of the most important things missing from the contemporary school system is the opportunity for under 16s to learn to stand on their own in the Real World. Part of the reason I have chosen to Home Educate, is that it seems we no longer deem it necessary to equip our young people with the skills, knowledge, and confidence it takes to do something all by themselves. With this is mind, I decided to compile a list of the top eleven things every kid should do before they turn eleven. Obviously, these are just my ideas, so feel free to comment with your own thoughts and stories!