When I was making the decision to take Oscar out of school for the sake of his mental health – and the fact that it was affecting his ability to learn, I asked myself why he was at school.

The answer certainly wasn’t to learn or even to learn to learn, and if it was, it wasn’t working. He’s learning far more now, and learning to enjoy reading and learning and pushing himself.

It wasn’t to socialise either; he was hardly allowed to talk to his friends in lessons, and was too anxious to socialise at break times. He’s infinitely more sociable now.

It wasn’t to prepare him for the world of work. He has far better job prospects now than I ever imagined for him when he was at school.

It wasn’t to gain qualifications. GCSEs would have been so traumatic for him and I don’t think he’d have passed any, though he’d have been forced to sit them anyway. He still won’t get GCSEs this way (though other home educated kids do) and he won’t get the trauma either.

No, it was clear to me that he was at school for two reasons: childcare, and because it’s just what kids do. I just never questioned school as an optional activity before.

It’s not the right thing for every child or every family, but questioning why we were doing something helped us find the right way forward for our child and our family.

If you are blindly doing something for no reason other than “it’s just what people do,” get in touch to see how coaching could help you question it and decide if it is indeed the right path for you or if there might be a better way.