Starting a (mini) revolution




It’s no secret that I am stubborn and opinionated.  I have a thought on everything.  Sometimes I air it.  Sometimes I don’t.  Most of the time Mike and I put the world to rights ourselves.  Sometimes I’ll offload here.

When I watched the final edit of 16 Kids and Counting I was a little nervous.





Putting the world to rights.

Check. Check. Check.

It’s no secret that we go against the grain.  I’ve talked about why we don’t live according to society’s expectations here and here.

Like I said in my post ‘A different drum’ , I had expected to defend myself.

Instead, we are so in awe of all the positive messages of support that we have received!

We are trying to remain humble and not get carried away with ourselves, yet still be appreciative of everyone’s kind comments and uplifting words.  I can’t bring myself to retweet the lovely tweets we’ve had, and I much prefer to email individuals privately.  It feels a little narcissistic for me to do otherwise.  But then I wonder if we’re looking unappreciative and we certainly wouldn’t want anyone who took time to contact us to think that – because the messages mean a lot, they truly, truly do.

Never in so long… well never in ever, have I called Mike over so often.

‘Mike, read this!’

‘Aah, look at this message.’

‘Oh, this is so lovely!’

In the last week we’ve felt the sadness and despair of parents whose children’s schools are failing them.  Their child is being bullied, or not reaching their potential and they didn’t believe there was a way out.  They’ve written to ask for help or information and we’ve gladly given as much as we can.   Some stories were so sad I actually cried, thinking ‘they don’t have to go through this!’.  In some cases, they’ve taken the step to home educate.  They’ve thanked us for showing them that what they believed their child had to endure was actually something they didn’t have to stand for and accept.  They now saw a way out when they didn’t think it possible before.

We have had messages of support from families keen to raise their children in a strong, loving environment though with boundaries and limits, against the pressure of media and TV and magazines and… well, just others.

We’ve spoken with people who had chosen a path which was different to society’s accepted one.  People who had come up against criticism and backlash from those who disagreed – often from family or those who they had considered friends.  They thanked us for reassuring them they weren’t alone.

We’ve had emails from those too afraid to take steps to walk their own path – worried about the criticism and backlash from those who disagreed.

‘It’s not normal.’

‘It’s not right.’.

But they’re not afraid any longer.  They’ve thanked us for showing them you can live your life a different way and live it well, despite what others say, or how they tell you you should live it.

It made all the worry and concern of filming for the last few months worth it.  And I did worry and was concerned!  Greatly!  I text my poor director, with whom I locked horns more times than I care to remember.

‘Thank you so, so much.’

It looks like our little appearance may be starting a revolution.

It’s only a small one.  

It’s nothing big at all.  

But if we’ve helped just one child get away from the bullies, or helped one child have a chance of reaching their potential when a school did all but stifle it, if we’ve encouraged one family that they don’t need to follow the crowd, or given someone the push to be different – not bad, just different – then we’re happy!

If watching us helps someone find that they can be free of the restraints and the limits society places on them, if it encourages a person to question society’s expectations of them and if they needed a catalyst to encourage them to say, ‘no thank you.  I’ll do it this way instead,’ we’re happy!

So here we go!  Onwards with our dream, only now we have company!

Vive la revolution!








13 thoughts on “Starting a (mini) revolution

  1. That’s wonderful news Tania. You are an inspiration, your whole family is an inspiration and I’m just glad more people are being inspired by you! You come across superbly well – not at all mad or any of the above – just pleasant, intelligent, wise and sincere – as do your children! All credit it to you. Am proud to know you 🙂

  2. You are an inspiration! We have 4 children ourselves, so far, but I would absolutely love to add to our loving, precious family! Unfortunately, whenever I have any conversation with family, friends or others relating to that topic, the most frequent reply is “don’t you have enough already!”. I am truly fed up with this reaction all the time, which is why I find your tweets, blog etc so refreshing, so keep up the good work, and you never know, maybe we’ll have some good news of our own soon!! Love to your beautiful family! X x

    1. Do they have to look after them? no. Do they have to buy them clothes and food , no. its your decision, sod ’em 😀 I had the same thing with my friends and family with the ‘don’t you think you have enough’ No i haven’t, if i had enough i wouldn’t be wanting more would i! My partner and i have no help looking after our children (6 of em ) so no one can say anything if we choose to have more, they can moan about it and give you advice but ultimately the choice is yours……go for it… are brill 😀 x x x

  3. I love that my last blog post ended with the words vive la revolution, how we need to change the way society’s expectations are pressuring us to give up basic values. How anything that goes against the grain is classed as unconventional or worse. I want to know why being different or breaking the norms is so wrong.

    You I know I personally admire you so much and although you don’t accept this I think you are remarkable and courageous. Please continue to beat to a different drum as to me you are both inspirational.

    1. The thing is, few people seem to question the ‘norms’ – but just because the majority aren’t doing some things/are doing other things, doesn’t make it right. People are sometimes just too afraid of being seen as different, and those that criticise are threatened by someone who isn’t afraid to do against what everyone else is doing.

  4. Love this article! I am glad your story is helping people. People just don’t seem to realise they can homeschool or do anything differently. I always like to skip to a different beat.

  5. fantastic! I spent yesterday and today chatting with various friends who are so struggling withing the school system – and I want to cry out to them exactly what you said about there being another way, but I also remember how scary that decision was to make at the time. Since homeeducating we have met people whose children had become suicidal because of things happening at school and it made me so upset that something that should be a positive experience in their lives was totally the opposite. My children experienced the bullying and lack of support for special needs themselves and whenever I have a wobble about whether we are doing the right thing by homeschooling (which I still often do have wobbles) I think of you, your family, your fabulous kids and it just reassures me that this is what is right for my children too at this point in our lives. A huge thank you to you and your family xxx

  6. I am a 36 year old mother of 6 ranging from 12 years to 2 months i love all my children dearly, i would love to have more, never say never 😀
    i love watching the big family programs. Tania you and your husband are amazing, and your kids are a credit to you both. I have the same dream as you , a farm in the middle of nowhere so i don’t have to deal with the ‘normality’ of society! i could have free range kids as well as free range chickens 😀 self sufficiency is definitely the way forward especially for those of us with larger families. I already have chickens in my garden , i did try to grow veg and fruit but the chickens got in the greenhouse and had a whale of a time, i was left with a solitary cucumber!!
    Anyway, what i was meaning to say is, just because today’s society expects you to fall in line with everyone else doesn’t mean you have to, you should be allowed to do what is best for your family, not be received with frowning brows and tittle tattle talking, you do it your way ,we’ll do it ours, respect each other for the decisions we make not go against them because they don’t conform to whats ‘normal’!
    You guys are doing a fantastic job, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise 🙂 x x x

  7. Hi Tania,

    You made me stand up and take notice of you and your family in the documentary 16 Kids and Counting. I don’t even have any children yet! But I love how you are raising yours in such a great environment and going against the grain of societal education. I love how you are independent of society ideals and how intelligent your whole family are because of this! You and your family are an inspiration and I do think you have started a mini revolution… There are alot of people who feel this way but are not sure how to step out of it and you have given us some of the answers and shown us how it can successfully work! Thank you so much. A new fan, Mellow.

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