From being bullied to blooming – Blake’s story

3 min read   •   October 10, 2019
Danielle Barfoot – Copywriter

Parents are drawn to the idea of home education (also known as homeschooling) for several reasons – an unfortunate one of which is because their children are being bullied. For children who are the victims of relentless bullying, homeschooling can be a welcome relief as it allows them to thrive and develop their full potential without the constant stress and pressure caused by bullies.

Blake Gallacher, a Grade 7 learner making use of Impaq’s products and services, is a shining example of the benefits of home education for children who suffered at the hands of bullies.

Blake’s journey

During his Grade 1 year, Blake’s parents divorced and according to Blake’s mom, Carol Ferguson, this left Blake with emotional scars and feelings of betrayal, abandonment and loneliness. Carol says that Blake lost his self-confidence and zest for life. This led to both his emotional and academic life falling apart.

“Blake struggled to make friends. He started to gain weight, which resulted in teasing and incessant bullying. My once happy boy became lost in a big, overwhelming class, which was evident in his marks,” says Carol.

That’s when she started looking into homeschooling and came across Impaq. At the start of Grade 2, Blake started making use of the tutoring services offered at an intimate learning centre in Johannesburg. “With dedication, care and love, combined with Impaq’s academic excellence, Blake’s road to healing began,” says Carol. “For two years he was exceedingly happy. He started gaining confidence and loved learning! It proved to be the best decision I ever made.”

But life led them to Cape Town. “We were back at square one; loneliness, bullying, gaining weight, low confidence and poor marks,” says Carol. “Over the next two years, Blake continued spiralling downwards. However, Impaq saved us once again when another intimate learning centre crossed our path.” Carol credits Impaq for helping her son live a balanced life.

Blake now makes use of a tutor, which enables him to work in a small group environment without pressure, and he takes sensory breaks when he needs them. He has made friends with other homeschool learners, gained confidence and rediscovered a love for learning. He finds Impaq’s lesson material easy to understand and relies on supplementary products, such as Cami Maths, for an added advantage. Blake also loves letting his creative juices flow at Impaq’s annual Eisteddfod.

“With Blake in the capable hands of Impaq and an amazing and supportive learning centre, I have peace of mind that there is a bright and promising future ahead. Thank you, Impaq, for changing my son’s life and for giving him an enjoyable education and happy childhood memories. Blake’s story of tears and emotional turmoil has slowly but surely turned into one of courage, hope, success and happiness.”