Broccoli’s Dream

Here goes….[takes deep breath]…. I’ve published a book!

It’s for children (of course it is – I’m a teacher) and it’s about a fairy with a disability. I felt that there just weren’t enough books around with a disabled main character, so I wrote one. It’s called Broccoli’s Dream, published under the pen name Jennifer Victor. As well as covering disability, it’s about bullying, friendship and following your dreams…but mostly it’s just a story about a fairy who loves ballet.

It’s available to purchase from Amazon, or you can read it free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

There’s also an activity book to go with it, which is available from my Buy Me a Coffee page.

Why home education is better than school (for some people)

written by one of my home-educated pupils: S.G.

Many of you believe that home education is detrimental to children. I am going to prove that everyone who thinks being home educated is the wrong thing is misguided.

Being home educated means there’s no pressure to conform, you can learn valuable life skills and you can fit work experience into your timetable. Have you ever thought of that?
One of the many, many benefits of home education is that you can do the subjects you enjoy, whereas in schools you don’t have a choice. From my experience in schools, you do art once in two weeks, now that I’m home educated, I do art once in two days.

Having a flexible timetable is one of the best things about home education. In schools, lessons are about one hour to an hour and a half long and you can’t go over that time limit. Even if you didn’t understand a thing about the lesson. Even if you didn’t finish the work. Even if you didn’t have time to improve it. However, that rule doesn’t exist while being home schooled. You can spend how long you want on whatever you want. You don’t need to rush. Are you finding your new math subject easy and want to move on to the next subject? That’s ok – you can! Are you finding psychology so interesting that you want to spend a whole weekend learning more about it? That’s ok – you can!

Everyone has different circadian rhythms and that’s ok. With a flexible timetable you can arrange your lessons according to your preferences. However, in school you have no choice but to wake up at a certain time. This means not everyone would be paying attention to the first or last lesson of the day and so they would lose out on this part of their education.
This flexibility allows you to spend more time with your family whereas if you went to school, you wouldn’t be able to due to all the homework. In my family, my dad usually comes home from work early on a Tuesday. I can arrange my timetable so that I am free when he comes home. If you were in jail, you wouldn’t be able to see your family. It’s the same with school. You come back from school, and you go straight to your room to do homework. Being confined to your room doing homework all night is just as bad as being in jail.

On the subject of being confined, some people think I don’t leave the house. However, we go on wildlife walks on Wednesdays, daytrips and visits to museums. In London, we saw Big Ben, London Bridge and we even visited Buckingham Palace. We even were able to take an 8-week trip across Europe last summer. You can’t do that when you’re in school! We drove all the way to Turkey from the UK. In total we passed through 11 different countries, which means we got to learn and understand their cultures, languages and beliefs. We got to experience the landscape and geography of each country and we learnt a lot about them and which other country they share borders with.

“Do you even get the chance to socialize” I hear you ask? Every week I go to sport classes and socialize with teachers and children. Every week I have online lessons and get to use the chat feature to message other students. Every week I see family friends and get to socialize with them for backyard barbeques and bowling. Just think for a second – that’s a lot of socializing, right?

A lot of people who are anti-home education have said to me, “You don’t learn properly”. I disagree. While being home educated, you don’t need to rush to move on, you can take your time until you fully understand the subject. However, in school you usually only spend 2-3 lessons on each subject. Even if you’re not fully confident, you have to move on. Even if you don’t understand a thing, you have to move on. Even if you only understand a microscopic thing, you still have to move on. This can make you feel stressed and under pressure. It can also lead to anxiety. I, on the other hand, feel relaxed by being able to spend as long as I need on any subject.

Feeling so relaxed about learning actually helps me learn faster. In fact, I’ve helped my friends who go to school with their maths and English homework because they didn’t have a clue on what to do, and how to do it.
In addition to being ahead of other people my age, I get lots of helpful work experience, which is a great investment in my future. Don’t you wish your child had a secure future ahead of them like mine? I’ve been home educated since 2020 and I’ve been getting work experience ever since then. I’ve done everything from filing, invoicing and order filling to stock taking, customer service and health and safety inspections. No matter what job I decide to do in the future, I will have relevant work experience.

Following on from work experience, confidence is something everyone needs for everyday life, such as shopping, banking and catching different public transports. I have the chance to work on that even more while being home educated.
Finally, we get the chance to learn millions of different life skills. However, anyone who goes to school wouldn’t have this chance. My sister and I have actually learnt about the skill and importance of architecture by helping to build our own house in Turkey. We had to give our ideas and opinions and we helped pick the shape, size and structure of the house, ensuring it was entirely earthquake-proof. We also learnt about gardening, DIY, and budgeting. We currently have two whole gardens full of thousands of plants. A few months ago, we helped our dad build a hedgehog house. I’m also learning about budgeting, such as how to save money, electricity and food. But that’s not all! I’ve also learnt how to programme a washing machine, how to get between the buttons while ironing and how to bake. We’ve actually entered a competition which included creating and designing a cake for the queen. I highly doubt anyone who goes to school, gets the opportunity to do these things.

Just stop and think for a second… I’m ahead of my friends my age in maths and English; I socialize much more than people who go to school; we even drove to Turkey from the UK getting the chance to learn about other countries, cultures and beliefs. Many of you believed that home education is detrimental to children. I believe I have proved that everyone who thinks this is misguided.