Once or twice a year I have a conversation with a person who has a child, son usually, who is no longer following the expected path. I so recognise the sudden change in dynamics in the family:
There is the careful choice of words, wanting to protect the young person's dignity.
There is the clear lack of a future the parent can boast about, or rather mention to fend off assessments by curious relatives and neighbours.
There is a new living in the present, which is most disconcerting when this is not what mainstream society is about.
There is a need to really trust the child, themselves and the process, without the foggiest idea of what will happen next.
To me it is clearly the start of a time of autonomous home education. An open ended support time with lots of rethinking and relaxing, refinding interests, ranting, feeling very confused... for all members of the family. Oddly it may be about refinding the family itself, a place for having your own rituals and habits, fending off the world and others' wishes. Doing it your own way, not following an illusory perfect family life routine.
Others wouldn't use the term autonomous home education for this. It could be called a going back to basics, a time out, a pause or a time for rethinking things.
Draft post from 2/7/2013