Guest Blogger: This article is written by Maya Jagger, a former home-schooled student currently studying on Level 1 Progression and Employability.
Yes, the cat is out of the bag. I was home-schooled before I came to College. People who know me are very aware of this, but I thought if the rest of y’all knew I was, it might colour the way you read my article (aka, make it more interesting).
Well, the first thing I would like to say about Harrogate College, is that they bothered to answer to my email last July 2015, its content went something like this – Are there any courses which a home educated child could enrol onto? It was a good question (it’s a good question if mum doesn’t have an answer). It was a question my friends didn’t know the answer to.
I did get an answer. My answer was that they didn’t know either but would look into it – which sounds bad, but it was better than the response I had from Leeds City College (there was no response).
I don’t mean to put down one College in favour of another, but this is the truth. Anyway, back to Harrogate: After a short exchange, they booked me in to see a Career’s Advisor, called Kali.
The session with her concluded well; I had been told there was a course that someone of my background to enrol onto. Progression and Employability run by a tutor, by the name of Diane Bainbridge. I was told she would be good for me, and that she brought out the best in her students. I believed the career’s advisor and enrolled onto the course the next week.
September 8th arrived. My mum drove me to College, and dropped me off. We live in Leeds so we got lost on the way and had to find the route via Satnav. I was a little anxious. I didn’t know what to expect.
No one really talks about this, but home schoolers do get bullied. They get bullied for being different, for not knowing things that regular kids are taught in the school curriculum, for not or being home-schooled.
Even though they don’t go/never have gone to school, sadly, home-schooled children are still victims of bullying.
They get laughed at, they get pestered, teased, called names, beaten up, judged, quizzed, talked down to (often by their own peers, adults are usually more understanding, if just a little too concerned). There are a lot of horror stories which surround home-schooling, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about.
The people I met; they welcomed me with open arms, and no one asked me too many questions. I wasn’t stuck on my own at lunchtime that day, and I’m glad to say I haven’t been since.
Harrogate College lives up to its claims: they accept Equality and Diversity with open arms and they do not tolerate any kind of discrimination or bullying inside or outside the college.
I would like to say that the people I met on my first day I not only liked, I still like them now after 5 months of having to work with them and be in their presence.
I would like to thank my cousin (for telling me about the College), my tutors, my friends, the LSA’s and my family for supporting me through the first 5 months of College. I know I’m on my way to where I want to be.