|I was taken out of
Nursery when I was only three and although for a regular school it would have been
considered very good - it was a Steiner School and what we did there were things
like painting, singing songs and playing - all the same, I still had some of
the least good experiences there of any other time in my life. I
remember once, I came out of the class and my mother, for some reason wasn't
there to pick me up; at that age logic and reasoning just isn't in the picture,
all that mattered was that I was completely alone, full of blind panic and blank
desolation - for all I knew I could have been left there forever. That day
is still disturbingly clear in my memory.
But when my parents suggested teaching me (and my two sisters) at home, I was a little disappointed, I think that I liked the teacher at the Steiner School, however, I soon began to realize that it was a lot better fun at home with my parents.
|But three was not so much the age that I
was taken out of school, but more when I became free to do what I wanted
to do. I spent most of my time playing with my two sisters, Bethan and
Wendy, and any fixed lessons I did do I have largely forgotten. When I
was young I had very little capacity to learn anything of an academic nature,
but rather, through just living, I learnt all the things that have provided a
solid platform, so to speak, for all my present knowledge.
|Although my mother had
tried to teach me how to read when I was younger, I had never made much progress
and reading always remained something of extreme difficulty for years. I
had no interest in reading and so I never made the effort to get good. But
I remember, for one Christmas I received a book on world geography, which at the
time seemed particularly un-interesting, but after a few months I realized was
just the sort of thing I was interested in.
Of course, when I myself had an interest in books reading was just too easy.
I now read for at least an hour a day, and enjoy such books as Plutarch's lives and Livy's History of Rome. What I am basically trying to say is that, although I was what would be called a 'failure' at reading when young, it didn't mean that later on when I was ready for it myself I couldn't become a book fan - this applies to all subjects, which I think is very encouraging.
"But, what do you do about the social aspect", and "Are you going to go to university?". These are the typical questions that one gets asked. Personally, I think that the answer that they really deserve is "none of your business!" - but on the other hand, it isn't really feasible to make such a reply. For me, because I haven't been to school I have not been forced to be with lots of children of my own age, I have been lucky then, in that I have been able to carefully and cautiously choose who I would like to spend my time with - and so yes, I have got friends, but not as many as other children for the reasons just given.
My answer to the latter question is very clear, I really can't see myself going to university or getting any sort of degrees - I hope that that is one thing that the past 13 years have taught me to avoid!
Learning at Home
|And where does education fit into this? Well, what I do all day I count as education, but officially from 9-11.30 from Monday to Friday we all sit around the table and 'work'. At the moment the schedule is as follows: on Mondays I learn French from a course book, on Tuesdays oil painting, and on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays I am studying the History of Ancient Rome. For this I have a folder with good quality paper in it, and on each page I will write about a certain incident, draw a picture of it and write a heading in calligraphy - this improves one's skills in a lot of different directions at the same time. One of my parents is always hanging around. It took a while to get this formula, but it is a particularly good one, because when a few people are in the same room and learning about different things, one inevitably learns a bit about what the other people are doing, although it is not something that you would have chosen to learn yourself.|