The world is full of dilemmas and seemingly perplexing questions.

  • Sleep on your back or front
  • Tea or Coffee
  • Is Trump a criminal or political hero
  • To help the injured bird or leave it for the hungry predator
  • Football or Soccer
  • Is Brexit a good thing or stupid
  • Sunsets or Sunrises
  • Tomato Ketchup or Mayonnaise on Fries
  • Captain America or Ironman
  • Toblerone – best chocolate ever or a chocolate designed to do damage to the top of your mouth on every painful bite
  • Are we better people when at war or at peace
  • Is Boris Johnson a political genius and loveable rogue or is he a monumental bellend
  • Batman or Superman
  • Cats or Dogs
  • Yorkshire or Lancashire
  • Marmite on toast or put the marmite in the bin

At the moment we are wrestling with our own dilemmas. Ones only we can figure out but currently with no clear answer.

School is clearly not working for our son and yet homeschooling will significantly increase the risk of further social isolation. Both options have advantages but many pitfalls. Yesterday it was school, today it feels like homeschooling, tomorrow no idea.

The longer he stays in school the risk increases of him being lost in the system. Not given the chance to find his true talents and skills. Forced into a model which is not designed for him.

We could move to a better schooling area but financially that’s not really practicable. The close support open to us is limited. In fact it seems to diminish every time we look. My family is geographically spread and not near. The potential wider support infrastructure is very limited in our area. So again do we move but we can’t afford to.

With the help of the internet I could deliver a viable and tailored teaching programme. And yet, and yet. I would have to commit fully to providing the education and with just one variable income that would be financial madness. The bills only just get paid now.

And one final irony. Why do the most important dilemmas occur in life when you are at your most tired. Drained. Almost beyond rational thought. But at 2.31am I do have just enough processing power available to answer one question – that in fact Boris Johnson is a monumental bellend….Let’s see if I can answer some more dilemmas now.

87 thoughts on “Dilemmas

  1. You are doing such a great job of trying to be the best advocate for your son. None of the options feel good, I know. But, somehow, you’ll keep finding the strength and love for your boy.

    Wish I could help or offer a solution. I know he must be proud and grateful he has you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, some people have no drinking water or their island is about to be consumed by the waves but relativism doesn’t solve your dilemma re schooling. It sounds like you do a lot with your son, which must provide balance to what is happening at school. Maybe your role right now is to help him feel better about himself while he is in the system? Tomorrow is another day and new opportunities will present themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have it easy, sorry ur in such a dilemma time but for me givi g all to Jesus and take a step in the dark, is wirth the try but you have a child which makes things a lot harder. I will pray now for you. Rest your head give it all to God, sleep well and in the morning if u pray or not Hod loves you so, sleep knowing you will get and answer if you trust in the Lord and just tell Him everything. You might already do that, if so, trust in the Lord. I pray you will find peace tonight. You are already strong. Trust also in yourselfers. Goodnight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can give you a decisive answer to all of the important issues:

    – sleep on front (or on side) never back
    – strong coffee when you get up so that you snap out of zombie mode and then tea for the rest of the day
    – always help an injured bird
    – football (people who say soccer are wusses)
    – sunsets (because you get to go to bed soon after with those beautiful images to give you wonderful dreams)
    – mayonnaise
    – never put a Toblerone in the fridge, it becomes more hazardous – let it go a bit melty to avoid injuires
    – dogs…no wait, cats…no wait dogs…erm…forget them both Goldfinches are the best
    – Lancashire!!!
    – I have a high appreciation for Marmite as a vegetarian food that is supposedly full of useful vitamins – but it is foul, so although I would love to say on toast…it would be down the insinkerator for me

    As for the less important issues, I steer clear from superheroes and politicians for good reason:
    – all superheroes and politicians are those who had major emotional disturbances in their past (childhood usually) and have now become detached from reality and live in a strange fantasy world in which they think their ideals should be everyone else’s. So I cannot give credence to any of them.

    It is urgent that they get their act together and start addressing the specific needs your son has regarding his education – what on earth is going on up there? Tell them Caramel, whose mum is an important lady when it comes to the education system, is on the way wearing her boxing mittens. And in the meantime, please make sure your son doesn’t start talking about wanting to become a politician, rule the world, wear a cape or underpants on the outside of his trousers or try to fly or anything else superheroes or politicians do. But we want him to have a fantastic education and have an array of choices and opportunities so that he can have a wonderful and fulfilling future.

    In the Madagascar clip below…King Julian talks about how he would like to invade a neighbouring country and impose his own ideology…and although that is a frankly terrifying idea – there is a clear contrast between the no nonsense approach and the “I am going to say whatever I think most people want to hear” approach.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I will warn them but may give them a heads up that they might have to wait a few weeks for an available slot. Goldfinches probably don’t roll in cow poo, smell their own bums but not sure on humping a leg thing. That’s the age old dilemma the one way to get that varied and tailored education is the least financially viable option. It feels like the school system treats kids like ours as Morts…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have several friends who were home educated for various reasons. Some were being bullied at school, for others it was a case of the awful things happening at school and their parents did not want them to be mixing with such bad influences.

        Ooooh it is a tough decision for you Gary.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think it is the right decision, son wants it but financially not a viable option with one income. But I will continue to work on it. What makes it worse is I’m starting to see it as he’s been penalised for losing his mum again. Not doing my job if I let that happen.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Clearly Yorkshire over Lancashire! On home education, well I was home educated, and contrary to the stereotype of home educated people, I’m not socially awkward (well okay I am a bit, but we all have our idiosyncrasies (sic?)). Home education is what you make of it. One great thing about it is that kids can grow up to be themselves, unhindered by the pressures of bullying, peer pressure and societal moulds (depending on their siblings!).

    We weren’t socially deprived. We went to lots of social groups and had lots of hobbies. And although I’m a humble warehouseman when I’m not looking after my kid, my siblings have gone on to do relatively well for themselves.

    And in probably the biggest test as to whether I rate home education having been educated that way, I hope to home educate my daughter 🙂

    There are plenty of home ed groups and networks to encourage and advise you if you want (and me!)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Obviously at 2.31am you can still come to the correct conclusion on at least one problem. As for home education, Robert above sounds fairly typical of those who have gone that way. If you can manage it, it has a load of potential.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. On the social dilemma you are considering vis-a-vis Home school versus ‘a ‘Normal’ school.

    Have you considered the consequences of him socialising with a bunch of people that are not as intelligent as he is, not as compassionate as he is, not as free-thinking as he is and who can be both intentionally and unintentionally cruel to him in class or in the school grounds?

    And as if the teachers are not bad enough, then there are the other students !!!

    It’s a no-brainer, so now the dilemma comes down to time and finances – easy! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes, we face so many dilemmas in life. Our son has Retinitis pigmentosa from birth. There were so many questions about what to do and what not to do. We had to either face life positively or do nothing. And that was not an option at all. Our son completed his PhD in English literature in 2016 and is working as Assistant professor in the University here. He has many plans for his future. He has confidence in himself and that is important. We wish you and your son all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. So many tough dilemmas. The school one especially. When it feels right to make a big decision either way, I think you’ll know. Hopefully the answer or direction will be really clear. But for right now, everything is just confusing. I guess that is how I handle things. Thinking of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Being open to try new things is a great way to face dilemmas. One thing I think is that you can try one way and if it doesn’t work, move onto the next idea. Is it possible to try a combination of school and home school. Maybe a portion of learning in the social environment and the rest working one on one with your son. I don’t know if it’s possible but maybe this idea could help you solve this dilemma.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Well… I had to look that one up! Tsk tsk! But I’m sure you are right!

    Weighing the odds…. and money…. moving may be the best option even if one needs to borrow money? I could never gone school…. but others I know have done a brilliant job, but they had help… partners, neighborhood gatherings etc for social interaction.
    Keep pondering… ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree with Mary. I believe mixed-mode (school and home) might work best for you. We don’t have your issues but my husband and I are struggling with the schools and staff here. Options are very limited. Our kids go to school and learn a ton of what they shouldn’t, and very little of what they should. Yet, given our finances, homeschooling was not an option.

    Soon it became very clear that mixed-mode was the way to go for us. In our case it was normal school hours the entire week and about 3-4 hours of ‘homeschooling’ each night, a little more over the weekends. Be warned, it will take the life out of you. You come home exhausted from work, often having to continue working from home. The cooking, the laundry, the cleaning. But the kids need the lessons and teaching they didn’t get at school.

    So, you let love be the light that shines the way forwards. You put aside your exhaustion, your depression, your various, endless troubles – and you give your best to the kids. You teach and re-teach. You monitor homework. You fight with them (which kid wants to study after school hours?), you hug them and kiss tears away. You tickle them when tickles are needed.

    You do it every day because you don’t know if you’ll be around tomorrow, you don’t know how long you can give them this quality homeschooling where true love is combined with education.

    You do it until a better option comes your way.

    And then, slowly, your sight is opened to a miracle unfolding before you: you’re coping better than expected! Your body begins to cooperate with the pace. You manage time so much better. You’re learning as you teach.

    The kids cooperate too – though that’s seldom a given.

    And one day, you begin to realise, that as you give your children the best of yourself, you give them a gift no one else can.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hols was tougher when they were young but there was still structure, just more relaxed..
        From then till now, I still maintain morning study time, about 2 hours. I found that if they had too much play time all day, it resulted in some brattish behavior and a few (unnecessary)meltdowns.
        After study time, gardening time – just a ruse to get them out in the sunshine. They have a lot of fun minding their plots and poking their noses into their siblings’ plots. Gardening usually leads to tree climbing, tree house building, for the younger ones. My older ones usually read or do craft. I also get all of them to do some extra chores as hols is the time we do all the heavy cleaning. The kids also help with meal prep and they’re very good at it.
        By 2pm or so, it’s TV time till 4. Sometimes by consensus, they cut short tv viewing and play card games or board games. They’re also pretty skilled at coming up with their own games and make the cards and other items themselves.
        A nap for all after that. Yes, I’m a great believer in this mid day rest. They up soon enough though and it’s more or less the same as on school day evenings, except that they may help more in the kitchen then as I usually do more baking during the hols.

        The night study schedule is more relaxed during the hols. More reading, and they’re allowed to play online games about twice for each person, and hour or so each time. But I still do lessons. It helps them when they return to school. It also keeps them grounded. I found that for my kids, if I gave them a complete break from studies, they really struggle to get back into the school rhythm once the new term begins. Sometimes the struggle goes on for close to 2 weeks and that’s not good. With some lesson time during hols, they ease back pretty easily. Less stressful on us and on them too.

        Liked by 3 people

  12. I’m so sorry, I hit my Send button too soon on my earlier comment.

    We all get home by 3, 3:30 in the afternoon. There’s a general schedule we keep daily where the younger ones have a compulsory nap after school. Without this, I get nothing done with them later and fights start a lot easier. The older ones work on their homework during this time.

    Once nap is over, everyone has garden chores. My husband gave each one individual garden plots a few years back to teach them responsibility as well as open them to the many lessons kids learn best from gardening.

    Once done, they play soccer a little with one another till their dad gets home. Then, it’s athletics training as they are all runners and he is their coach. Some days, if I sense they are getting fed up with the training, they go cycling instead.

    As they cool down and wait their turn to shower, they do some chores – putting away laundry and sweeping or vacuuming. Everyone has chores whether they like it or not. I get dinner going and done during this time. If chores are done earlier, they read during this time.
    Then, we hit the books. Homework, lessons. I’m with the younger ones, hubby with the others. Sometimes, hubs and I work on stuff we brought back from the office as we coach the kids. Those are stressful days. We yell a lot then. Some days everyone is calm and focused, often not, but it’s all cool. In our own ways, we have come to accept this – as well as the fact that no matter what, studies go on. It helps a lot that our kids don’t dare sulk when things don’t go their way. I’ve been strict on this from the time they were young; they get away with a little more with their dad (!)
    Then it’s night prayers and bed time.

    Our kids have somewhat understood that if their work (lessons) is not done well, they have to re-do and that’s never fun. But if they’ve worked well, they earn a surprise mid-week break from lessons – they get to do whatever they want – draw, color, read. Sometimes, they just horse around.

    No tv or computers on school days but they get the computer if there’s specific school work.

    This is how loosely how it is. No 2 days are the same. And our kids are very noisy, talkative. Even during lessons, they sneak in a lot of chat on stuff-not-school. We allow all that, it takes the edge of lessons.

    And they can come for hugs at any time.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Caitlynnegrace seems to have some very helpful advice. Certainly, a child with Autism needs structure so that they can cope with the world when parents are long gone.
    The British school system, especially at secondary level, is hopelessly inadequate at turning out level-headed, compassionate adults that can actually benefit society. We are churning out a ‘me, me, me,’ generation. Your son will fall to the bottom of the class because he fails to compete in the ‘popular’ sweepstakes. If you can find any way at all, to take on the bourdon of home schooling, he will turn out more knowledgeable, more able to apply himself to situations and kinder. I think the social interaction part is important, but not in a school setting only. Kids are the cruellest people he will meet. Most grow out of it by University age. I made more (real) friends after school, than I ever did while in school.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have a friend who was home schooled until she went to college. She was able to develop her passions and she became a Rhodes scholar. I think her interactions with others was unique, but she was always polite and loving. I think it was a wonderful decision on her parents’ part.

    I understand finances and resources are an issue and I hope that a solution will come. Hope things get better for you and your son. Watched a documentary about dyslexia called “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia”. It was enlightening to learn how those with dyslexia managed issues and go on to succeed in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. On the one hand, yes, the isolation…but on the other, a chance to grow?
    Damn. I wish i knew the answer. The US has quite a few homeschool groups that create social situations for the kids, but I don’t know how that is in the UK. have you come across anyone else who homeschool on your side of the Atlantic. Maybe getting some perspective from those who do homeschool will help you make a decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not close by. As the Paediatrician said – the provision in this area is woeful and his advice was to move (but he then said the rest of the country’s trying to cut back as well)- but we can’t afford that and son doesn’t want to leave house, so why should he be forced to. xxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, true. But I just mean if you could talk to someone about it (the homeschooling), someone who already does it. You could get better insight on what homeschooling all entails, challenges and benefits and all, and better know if it’s what your son needs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I spoke to a couple of people from . Went well for them BUT they had quite a bit of free support available and had a fair amount of available external resources close by. The crux of the matter is trying to find a way of earning an income and delivering the teaching environment he deserves. The danger is we either go bust or I just run myself into the ground.

        Liked by 1 person

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