Written by Hazel Davis


Hey! Teachers! I’ll leave my kids at home

Hazel Davis and her fella are home-educating their kids. This week, there just aren’t enough hours in the day or rooms in the house.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Where the hell do home-edders find the time? Oh my gosh. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do with my kids. And also check social media 275 times a day to keep abreast of the latest shitstorm. And also earn a living.

Being freelance is something I absolutely adore, don’t get me wrong, and I never ever ever hanker after a 9-5. Ever. But anyone reading this who works for themselves will empathise when I say, “WHERE ARE ALL THE HOURS?”

My other half and I share the home-edding (well, he does most of it), but there’s so much I want to do. SO much. And so little time. The other day I was en route to a job when I had to make the tough decision to get lunch or answer some urgent emails. The emails won.

I still stand by my hunch that if the girls went to school, I’d have even less time in the day (*rolls out the old school drop-off, lunch pickup, school collection, homework, etc, argument*). As the freelance parent and also the parent with the car, I would inevitably be the one all this falls to.

As it is, it already does. Musical theatre class Mondays, choir Thursdays, violin lessons Fridays. It’s all me. Then there’s the, “We’re in town, can you collect us?” thing. Anyway, lest this turns into a whinge about how I am the one who does everything round here (I don’t, just ALL the driving. And cleaning the bath), back to my point. Where in blue blazes do home-edders find the time?!

“In reality what happens is that I steam through the door, hastily scribble a row of sums, shove them under the eldest’s face and say, ‘Do these. Mummy’s got a phone interview and needs an urgent shit first.’”

I’m very passionate about learning and how we can make the experience joyful and exciting, and I walk around constantly thinking things like, “OMG we can make a stage set* from cardboard and make different Shakespearean characters and write stage directions and then compose music to accompany it and then gather the family round and perform it,” and, “Why don’t we make the solar system from papier mâché and hang it from the kitchen ceiling?”

I am full of grand plans. I have them coming out of my ears (ooh, let’s make earrings from buttons!). Just as soon as I find the time, I am going to spend a full day a week teaching the music from key composers, encouraging the children to write short tunes in their style and write stories about their lives.

We’re going to spend a day a week on a farm, getting to know the animals, writing about what they eat and how they breed, we’re going to learn about and make all the flags, we’re going to build a rocket, a cleverly engineered bridge from cardboard, a nuclear bunker (*holds that thought*).

In reality what happens is that I steam through the door, throwing my bag on the table, hastily scribble a row of sums, shove them under the eldest’s face and say, “Do these. Mummy’s got a phone interview and needs an urgent shit first”, gasp at the clock, make them go up and have a bath, promise them they can make a stage with Daddy tomorrow just as soon as he’s stacked all the logs, put the washing out, made dinner and walked the dogs.

Next week, next week we’ll make a stage. After we’ve made a replica White House out of empty Toblerone packets.

*Also, where the hell do home-edders find the space?

Read all of Hazel’s adventures in home-edding here.


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Written by Hazel Davis

Hazel Davis is a freelance writer from West Yorkshire. She has two tiny children but the majority of her hours are taken up with thinking about Alec Baldwin singing sea shanties and the time someone once called her "moreishly interesting".