It has been a hard week. Two of my children are busy in the kitchen as I type, preparing for poetry tea. We have the unexpected gift of Cornish Clotted Cream so they are getting a traditional Cream Tea ready to share; my middle son is upstairs writing a poem. This time last week we had poetry tea. Since then I have spent hours and hours in long, emotional, difficult and often tearful conversations trying to make progress in some important personal relationships and defending home education for my children. Today I received an e-mail from a friend whom I have inadvertently offended and I am saddened by it.
The children are muddling along fine but I feel that my planned start to the academic year is having some trouble getting going. The suggestion to focus for the next couple of months on their emotional education: the expression and management of big feelings, being gentle and compassionate with each other, listening and talking, has proved hugely helpful. They are unlikely, many years from now, to remember the details of the curriculum they followed this Autumn but I will do my best to make sure that they also don't remember this term for the emotional stress. We can still drink tea, write poetry, take the dog out for a walk and enjoy living this life and being part of this family.