I am Kate. I’m an educator, a mother, a wife.
I’ve spent 20 years in mainstream education, first as a teacher, then as a business owner working with struggling students in our community to help them lift confidence and grades, and to change their outcomes. I have a Bachelor of Education and am about to complete my Masters of Leadership and Management in Education. And with this in mind, we are embarking on new learning journey; one where we are going to ‘world school’ our daughter, away from the mainstream education system I know so well. This blog is about sharing that journey.
I am a work in progress; reflecting, growing, learning, changing.
What this is
This blog is about sharing our journey. It is not about being right or wrong. It is just about sharing our experience, our learnings, our chosen paths. It is a place where we can share and reflect and grow. It won’t suit everybody, and it’s not meant to. It’s about us. It’s honest. And it’s another perspective in a world of countless paths.
Indi is the most wonderful being. She is funny, smart, kind and creative. She is intense and carefree all in one. She is wise beyond that which I can explain. She is also Autistic. Indi has taught me more than any class, book, course, or degree ever could. Our lives are enriched because of her. The promise I made to her when she was a babe-in-arms, was to always do better, be better, and to be there in whatever ways she needs so she can love herself as much as we love her.
As an educator, I have always believed in schools. I believe they are wonderful places filled with passionate people who want the best for those within them. I believe that with the right leadership, and the right flexibility, (the right funding, government, access, trust and so much more than I am going to go into here), schools can be places that cater to the range of needs found in our diverse society. And although I still believe this, we are walking away.
2020 brought us COVID. And with COVID came remote learning. What we saw as a family during this time, challenged my belief systems and changed our path. Indi thrived during remote learning. She started her work independently each morning. When she got frustrated she would self regulate by jumping on the trampoline and return to her work when she felt calmer. She completed most of her tasks by mid day and then spent her afternoons riding her bike, playing in the garden, crafting, creating… and she sung. She sung all day, every day. She was happy and healthy, and retaining her learnings in a way we had never seen before. She wanted to share her knowledge, explore her world and engage with her environment and the people in it.
She attended a fabulous school, where she was well loved and cared for, where she accessed diverse curriculum and had wonderful opportunities, but even so, I was beginning to see it still wasn’t right for her. It wasn’t about the people (her teachers and friends really were the best people you could want around your child) or the curriculum, or the opportunities; it was about HER load. 5 full days of school per week was keeping her in a constant state of stress and overload. Because she ‘coped’ and she ‘masked’, she was ‘getting by’. But I had no idea that she was only ‘getting by’ and not thriving or meeting her own potential. I didn’t know, that underneath all her coping, she was not healthy. We just didn’t know it until we glimpsed an alternative.
And thus begins the new journey. One where we get to explore, to experiment and to find what suits Indi best. I expect it will change over time, but isn’t that part of the journey?
A journey well shared, is a journey well enjoyed.