On this date 33 years ago I gave birth to my first son – the minute he was born he was Daniel! Only in his adult life did he become Dan, Dan Rubin the designer.

How­ev­er, 33 years ago today my ear­ly child­hood learn­ing curve start­ed. It has been a fas­ci­nat­ing ride and to quote my hus­band (also my son­s’ father – that’s a rar­i­ty!) “I don’t have any­thing to reproach myself for”.

Because of what I learned in Daniel’s first 5 years of life and then the ugli­ness and hate­ful­ness of his 6th year in a US pub­lic pri­ma­ry school we decid­ed that home edu­ca­tion would be the route to go for the rest of his edu­ca­tion for as long as he was hap­py; after all wasn’t that what we’d been doing for his first 5 years?

Daniel was more than ready for school – well behaved (now that’s an anom­aly, as I know from my own work with 3 year olds!), clear­ly spo­ken and atten­tive (also miss­ing in today’s 3 year olds). How­ev­er, that didn’t seem to fit the pro­file for pub­lic school, much as ‘preparing your child for school’ was con­sid­ered a parent’s respon­si­bil­i­ty. You can make your child too ready for the mod­ern (in our case the 1983 ver­sion) school you know – and that was a big prob­lem for me. 

Aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly Daniel’s exper­i­men­tal Pre-1st Grade pro­gramme (quick­ly can­celled a cou­ple of years lat­er, #fail) of which we were not advised before his first day of pub­lic school (!), was a mis­er­ably mediocre pro­gramme. The prin­ci­pal of Dan’s ele­men­tary school didn’t see any rea­son to pro­vide any­thing bet­ter! He actu­al­ly told me that!

Thank good­ness I had read the hand­book for Flori­da school atten­dance and reg­u­la­tions! It was there I dis­cov­ered that by law Daniel didn’t have to be in that place for six hours a day, he was only required to attend for four hours a day since he was only 6 years old! A com­pro­mise of sorts was reached and I allowed him to remain for the extra half hour for lunch – anoth­er mis­er­able and very anti­so­cial (and by the way extreme­ly racist!) experience.

I’ve writ­ten pre­vi­ous­ly about the lack of recess/playtime for those 6 year olds. Had he stayed in school for the bal­ance of the day instead of just for four and a half hours he would have been……forced to take a nap until the end of the school day!

What a waste of a fine brain that would have been. Home edu­cat­ing became a viable legal option in Flori­da in 1984 and so we took the leap, albeit back to how we learned togeth­er before we knew there was any oth­er alter­na­tive to tra­di­tion­al school­ing after age 6. 

Well, the brain hasn’t been wast­ed – after 33 years of edu­cat­ing itself (except for that one mis­er­able year) it works won­der­ful­ly and is always on the go, it is diverse in its think­ing and inter­ests and is now pass­ing on wis­dom to the world at large. I’m so hap­py to have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn from Daniel’s brain for 33 years. 

My edu­ca­tion continues!

Thanks Dan Rubin – love you loads – Mum XXOO