About yesterday and me
My name is Dean James. I am twelve years of age, I live in Islington, and I am currently home educated. Although it is true to say that I have always been home educated, for not only was this the place that I learnt to walk and talk but even when I did attend state school, my father encouraged us (my brother and I) to do additional studies at home, however, the local education department would rather have it that I began home education about four years ago.
The reason I chose to become home educated was because I found the work set at school wasn’t challenging and I was forever bored, even though I was constantly sent from my class (year three) to the year six class to ask for the same work that was set for its pupils. I eventually left to be home educated. When I was old enough to go to secondary school, I decided to attend Acland Burghley School, as I thought that it would be far better than my primary school.
Unfortunately, I still found that the work was not challenging. When my brother and I asked our maths teachers if we could be advanced, they merely laughed themselves silly along with the rest of the teachers in the maths department (that we had gone to with our maths teachers to discuss our request further). Even after showing them a sample of our work that we had completed at home (yes, we were still studying off our own backs at home).
We had also asked if they would allow us to sit a GCSE mock exam (to prove our abilities), but the teacher in charge of the gifted children’s programme merely looked at the size of me and lead the rest of the staff present into a chorus of laughter upon being told that I was only twelve. Incidentally, we both sat the exam as private candidates and we both passed. I obtained an A*, whilst my brother obtained an A.
After this and many other bad experiences at the school we decided that Acland Burghley wasn’t providing an adequate education, nor was it prepared to aid my brother and I to fulfil our full potentials and so once again we asked our parents if we could be home education. Being home educated means that we don’t have to follow the convention of a school timetable (i. e. starting at 9 a. m. ). In fact, we decided that we would rather start out studies earlier, which means that we have to get up earlier than if we attended a conventional school.
Today was no exception, as usual; I awoke at 6 a. m. to the sound of my alarm. I got up and prepared for the day (eating, washing, dressing, etc. ). I spent the rest of the morning completing my studies for my next four GCSE examinations: English, Business Studies, Accountancy as well as Information and Communication Technology (all of which, I will be taking in May/June 2003). I find home study more stimulating than conventional schooling, as I get to study these subjects using a variety of resources, such as: textbooks, CD-ROM’s, the Internet, videos, etc.
Another bonus of this method of education is that my lessons are more focused, as there are no distractions (from students who don’t wish to be educated), as was the case when I was at school (both primary and secondary). Having completed all of my studies as early as I could (12 o’clock), I had a rest and read a book whilst my father prepared lunch (the book I was reading was called Star Wars: Hard Merchandise (science fiction is one of my favourite genres)).
Once the food was served, I sat down with my family and ate; I enjoyed the meal tremendously (it was my favourite meal – Tikka masala (we never have any chicken with this meal (as most people do), because we are all vegetarians)). After the meal, my elder brother (Adam) and I washed the dishes and cleared the table so that we could play (our father gets us to do a few chores around the house before we can play). With our day’s studies and chores completed, the rest of the day was ours. I decided to play a game on one of my consoles (GameCube) for half an hour (our father only lets us play for half an hour at a time, i. e. ne of us plays whilst the other rests their eyes and vice versa).
The game I played was called Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader. After playing I read my book and then played once again for half an hour. Later in the afternoon Adam and I went to our local indoor tennis centre where we met some of our friends (we usually do this every Thursday). Together we played a doubles’ mini-tournament, Matthew (my tennis partner) and I lost in the semi-finals against Jason and Vasipol. After tennis my father took Adam and I along to the local post office (to send a parcel).
Then we went to our local supermarket; as we arrived before 4 p. m. e could shop in an almost deserted supermarket (after 4 p. m. pandemonium breaks out, because many parents bring their children shopping with them, having picked them up after school and the supermarkets rapidly become overcrowded). I must admit that I was exhausted by the time I got back home, all I wanted to do was sit down and have a long rest, but I had to unpack the shopping and help my father prepare some sandwiches. After we had helped our father clear away the mess that we had made preparing and eating our food, my brother and I sat down together to watch The Simpsons, and Star Trek (our favourite television programmes).