Long Reads

‘There must be something very wrong with much of what we do in school, if we feel the need to worry so much about what people call ‘motivation’.’

John Holt

Anna Dusseau | How Homeschooling Happens | 2nd March 2020

This was definitely not the plan. Homeschooling happened to us, the same way it happened to most of the families I have met since, by surprise. And I mean birthday party surprise. Not the sarcastic surprise of a flat tyre, but the kind that lights up your whole face. Do you get that often? Because, since we started homeschooling, I always feel like the kid with a pocketful of jelly beans. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | Raising Bilingual Children | 2nd March 2020

It didn’t happen straight away for us. The bilingual thing. My daughter prefers English but speaks French well, albeit with a plummy, British accent. My middle son speaks French and English equally well and, astonishingly, without accent. The little one has adopted the Marseillais growl of his father and sounds ‘obviously foreign’ when pronouncing English words. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | Why I’ve Never Been On Social Media (and You Might Want a Slice of This, Too) | 6th March 2020

Social media is toxic. You don’t need the likes of Stormzy and Billie Eilish to tell you that. Although it certainly helps when high-profile public figures turn their backs on social media – providing a powerful message to young and not-so-young that it is a hateful and unhealthy place to be – what always surprises me, is the fact that these people were apparently addicted in the first place. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | No School? No Problem! The Calm Mama’s Guide to Surviving the COVID-19 Quarantine | 13th March 2020

Parents, brace yourselves. Because it’s looking increasingly likely that UK schools will soon be following Europe by closing their doors in an international effort to contain – or at least delay – the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Perhaps as you are reading this, you have just received the news that your son or daughter’s school are sending children home. And with over 126,000 confirmed cases across the world and the death toll rising toward 5,000, you can hardly blame them. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | Fake It To Make It (Or Why Radio 4 Women’s Hour Missed the Point) | 24th March 2020

Oh, what? Did I forget to mention that I was recently interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour? Apologies. I’ve been so busy going round telling anyone who’ll listen (my mum, the kids, the bathroom mirror, and teenwolf) that it must have slipped my mind to mention it in a post. So, . I should first point out that, when contacted by the show to come on to talk about homeschooling, I was fairly honoured, not to mention a teensy bit surprised. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | 101 Things I Might Have Done if I Wasn’t a Homeschooling Mum of 3 | 7th April 2020

1. Be a Spice Girl. (It’s not too late. Stop being negative.)

2. Drive a Porsche.

3. Wait, drive an Audi S7. Less noise. I still need to hear Kisstory.

4. Write a kick-ass Kisstory playlist with less garage and more grind.

5. Build a rocket. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | Reflections of a Reluctant Teacher: My Education Journey | 14th April 2020

Becoming a homeschooling family has been a cathartic process for me, as I realise now that I come from a long line of homeschoolers. We just didn’t know it back then. Both sides of my family are packed with incredibly bright, bookish people who simmer in that slightly hyper-intelligent way which might make one hope not to get landed with them at a cocktail party. We all hated school and, with the exception of myself and a few others, nobody made it through the school system. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | Playing on Bombsites: Interview with Grandpa Bob | 24th April 2020

Grandpa Bob isn’t your average octogenarian. A hangliding, homebrewing, pak-choi-kenobi who only recently ditched the ponytail, he is more likely to recommend a good book or tell a bawdy joke than complain about his joints. Which could be why I called him this week. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | Paperless Planning? Pah! | 29th April 2020

I’m not being funny, but the whole paperless environment trend has been a total fail in our house and that’s not because I own a Rottweiler and drink Stella on a folding chair the moment the sun comes out. Not that there’s anything wrong with these things, but I’m definitely the kind of organic wine drinking, One-Planet slogan-brandishing ball-acher who you might quite reasonably assume would smugly exist within the confines of a modest glass box somewhere on the Surrey downs surrounded by nothing by the steady whirr of my Dyson air purifier. Not so. Continue reading..

Anna Dusseau | Homeschooling is Dangerous, Harvard? Come On, Now.. | 30th April 2020

Last week was a kick in the nuts. According to the Daily Mail, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet has labelled homeschooling as ‘dangerous’, claiming that it gives parents “authoritarian control” over children. Okaaaaay. I mean, it’s the Daily Mail, so I’m easy like Sunday morning at this point. It was only when her comments went on to say that it’s “always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless”, that I actually laughed out loud. I mean, really? Has she met my kids? Continue reading..

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