Square Pegs and the complexities we face

Rosie Sherry
3 min readMay 10

I’ve been reading Square Pegs, a book written from the perspective of trying to support children who don’t fit into the system. I haven’t finished the book, so don’t take any of this as a recommendation to read it or not. I mention it because it has gotten me thinking.

It’s great to see the Square Peg topic being written about. The challenges of educating different kids out there are so varied and huge. Exploring the different viewpoints from education roles and perspectives is interesting too. At least some people are trying to make a change, to find their way through the current system to support children who desperately need it. We need all types of people to create change.

I recognise I have the privilege to unschool…yet at the same time, I’ve made many sacrifices to life and work to be where we are now. It hasn’t come easy. I’ve learned from experience, with so many failures along the way. I wish the journey had been easier.

Whilst reading Square Pegs and as an unschooler for over 12 years all I could think of is that I’m glad our family is not stuck in that school system. I’ve been reminded of all the hoops families must jump through to get support. All the things we are expected to try, often in vain and in the guise of trying to support a child. Of course it is great that more support is starting to become available, the hoops to jump through are still too much for me. Just reading about them raises my stress levels.

As a parent I’m internally screaming ‘noooo’ don’t waste your time trying to force something that clearly isn’t working. The stress and damage to the whole family in these circumstances can be huge. It can cause real trauma, especially when it takes months and usually years to get the right kind of support.

The complexity and the processses in the school system are mind boggling. The amount of people that can often get involved feels incredibly inefficient and costly. The things we are made to try are usually in vain. The stress of being potentially prosecuted for lack of school attendance. The paper work. The apparent experts that don’t really know your children. The waiting, the very long waiting and the suffering in between. The list is never ending.

It hurts me to just think about it.

In this 6 minute clip on investigating of school refusters a mother explains her attempts at getting her autistic daughter into school. Examples included involve…

Rosie Sherry

I ❤️ building communities • Researching, writing and creating community things at rosie.land