As we have a 16 yr old son, Ben, who has just entered the school system for the very first time, it has been interesting, and intriguing to hear of what other Catholic families have chosen for their teens too.
Every child is different and hence will require varied ways of learning and teaching so school most definitely won't be for everyone. I think it is a great leap of faith and prayed very fervently about whether this was God's will for Ben. Going into the 'world' is a staggering change, yet it is an essential one too and we felt it was what God wanted.
Ben has only completed three days of school (!) so it isn't clear yet whether he truly likes it, will enjoy the four AS subjects he's studying or whether the teaching standard is acceptable or not.
The whole debut into school has been emotionally wrought; it is definitely tough to 'let go' a little and hand his education over to strangers after being in control of everything he learns at home.
One has to suddenly be open to other people's opinions being thrust upon their child and ways of teaching or even the way in which they are spoken to in another environment away from the family, and don't start me on peer pressure, something we have all been avidly avoiding for so many years! I think it will take us all a while to become accustomed to this change. I have gone through all the natural anxieties (probably at an elevated level knowing myself!) ; Will he fall into the 'wrong crowd'? , what will they be discussing at break time? will he stand up for his beliefs if attacked? will he use his time diligently? will he go to the chip shop instead of eating his home made lunch? and finally, but one of the most important questions, will he actually learn anything worthwhile?
Our decision for Ben to go to sixth form is purely academic; he chose to study A levels and I feel unqualified to teach them, plus I have five other young children to home educate and nurture.
Ben did say to me it it isn't ideal but it is the best way he can foresee to attain the A levels he needs for his possible career in the RAF.
So, did he enjoy his first three days at school after being home educated for 11years? I would say; so far so good.
He will hopefully take what he needs and leave the rest, although he has admitted to strangely liking the bell which alerts him class is finished and to make haste to the next one...order and discipline are obviously suiting him which can never be a negative attribute!
It would be wonderful to hear where other older home educated children are going next? Boarding school, college, sixth form...do share experiences!