We've had a good few months since my enormous GCSE-induced wobble that caused me to back right off until I had deschooled some more (you can read about it here). This last week I seem to have de-toxed enough to be able to think about it a bit more clearly again, as well as talking it through with Eldest and hearing his thoughts.
We have come to the agreement that as he is not very clear on what he would like to do career-wise, the best way forward would be to keep his options open. He knows he would like to do something in conservation, but he is also aware that there are very few conservation jobs that pay well, so he has a conflict that I don't think is likely to be resolved any time soon. It is a learning curve for me as I knew what I wanted to do from a very early age and simply pursued that throughout my school life. I am now realising how blessed I was and how rare it is to be so certain so young and not waver (well, not until later life anyway). However, taking into consideration Eldest's uncertainty about future career paths, he and I have agreed that there are currently many jobs and courses that do require GCSEs, and that although he may well end up not needing them, the risk of spending time achieving qualifications that he may not need is preferable to risking not having the qualifications that he may need when the time comes. So we are back onto the track of pursuing GCSEs, but now with a better understanding of why we are doing them (ie because Eldest may well need them, rather than because I always assumed he would take them). Maybe we didn't need those months off to figure that out, but who cares? We now have a much clearer understanding of why he is taking the course, so he is far more likely to be committed to his studies, and that is invaluable. Anyway, that's where we are now, and we have a way forward so it's all good (and - it probably goes without saying - it's all subject to change anyway!)
English is still far from his favourite subject (and if I were in school nowadays I think it highly unlikely that I would have retained my love of the subject either), and he is not yet up to GCSE level in Maths, so we are looking at Geography or Biology (or similar subjects) which he enjoys the most, to start with. I am hoping to find a tutor group or one-to-one tutor to help him as he will not only be learning about the subjects concerned, but also learning the necessary exam skills that he has been blessed to not need thus far.
We will probably start the studies in earnest in September, as it looks like we may have another house move happening in the near future and I know from experience that moving house interrupts all concetrated studying - although you would think we were 'pro's at it by now! I am just relieved that we have a path to start following again, even if we are going at a very gentle pace. I do enjoy unschooling, or as close to it as we ever get, but I am much happier when I can make plans, even if they are utterly flexible. So off I go to do some more research and planning, back on the iGCSE journey.