Today I'd like to welcome author Keris Stainton to my blog. Keris is the author of several YA novels, including Counting Stars, Lily and the Christmas Wish, and Della Says:OMG!
Keris is a fellow home educator, and I recently had the great pleasure of reading her e-book Happy Home Ed: More joy, together, every day.
(Disclosure - I have a bit part in the book, talking about how my family approaches home education)
Keris kindly agreed to have a chat with me...
Harry was at school until Year 3 and we were mostly happy with it. But then he started wanting to learn stuff that they'd already moved on from at school. I thought it was a shame that when he was actually interested and engaged in something, he had to leave it behind. I thought at the time that full time home ed wasn't appropriate for us, so we tried Flexischool and loved it so much that we decided to give home ed a go. And we've never looked back. With Joe, we never even considered sending him to school.
What's the best thing about home education?
The freedom. We can get up when we want, do (and wear) what we want. If it's raining or snowing we don't even have to leave the house. Also I love seeing the boys learning.
...and what's the worst thing?
I just asked Joe "What's the worst thing about home ed?" He said, without hesitation: "YOU." So the worst thing is probably that we sometimes get on each others nerves. But I think we still have fewer rows than we did over the school run or homework.
How and when do you find time to write your books?
Ha, well my two are unschooled, so I can just leave them to get on with their stuff while I get on with mine. When it comes to things like editing, for which I need a bit more quiet and concentration, I usually go to a cafe at the weekend while they do something with their dad.
Have you included any HE characters in any of your books?
Not yet! There's one in the pipeline though.
What's the one thing you want people to know about HE that they may not already know?
You don't have to be a teacher and you don't have to teach. Children are learning all the time.
How do you respond to the (dreaded and inevitable) question, "No school today?"
I used to worry about this before because I thought people would be rude and perhaps report us to the authorities. But I find that people are usually very interested. Which is annoying it itself, because I end up explaining what we do and why over and over. (This is a good thing, I know, but it does get a bit boring.) The boys used to stare at me when someone asked that question. Now Joe will usually say "We don't go to school..." and then Harry will say "We never learn anything!" just to wind me up.
Finally, what are you reading right now?
We've just started reading a proof of The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue. It's her first children's book and it's about a big, wild, home ed family. We're loving it so far.
Many thanks to Keris for taking the time to talk about her home-education-and-writing life.
Keris's website is at keris-stainton.com
She can also be found on Twitter @Keris, where she will often post pictures of Harry Styles!