Missed my chance…

Well I completely messed up on the radio this morning.

I’d been asked to contribute a little on home education on Radio Berkshire this morning. Instead of using the opportunity to tell people about the wonderful opportunity to raise your children in an inspiring educative way, which home schooling is, I went all reactionary to the suggestion that we couldn’t be as professional. I suggested some of what went on in schools wasn’t professional either. I expect hate mail now!

And I’m kicking myself over the missed opportunity to tell people what a positive and uplifting experience home education is. How you can show your children the world, starting with the one on your doorstep, how it works, what’s in it, how they fit into it, the wonders of its quirks and systems, life and beings, its history, science and geography and how you can expand the children’s knowledge and skills out from there.

Okay, so you may well want to start with the school style approach we’re all familiar with through our own schooling, using academic exercises, workbooks, courses and programmes. But as you begin to explore resources and approaches, mix with others who are successfully home educating, see how they do it, you’ll begin to realise that everything is potentially educative and the world becomes your learning ground.

Your children’s education can be that broad. How amazing is that!

That’s what I really wanted to say!

So if you’re visiting here following that programme, looking for a bigger picture of home education, explore my site and stories and check out the list of other home educating family blogs listed here, as they give a far better and realistic picture of home education than I’m able to on the radio!

And you’ll be able to read all about the things I neglected to say!

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16 thoughts on “Missed my chance…

  1. I actually have a great deal of fun talking about homeschooling. I especially wait for them to ask those types of questions; about professionalism, and qualifications. Then I sweetly reply, “Oh I guess I can do it, since I teach at a University, you know – an institute of higher learning!”

    • Thank you Annie – wish I had your skill! :) I also believe that many parents demonstrate a professionalism sometimes lacking in schools, even though those parents may not be ‘qualified’ themselves!

      • Thank you for the compliment. I believe any parent is qualified to teach their children, because parents have a vested interest. Each parent wants their child to become a productive adult. I have seen parents that failed in school learn that subject on their own, just so they could teach it to their children in a different manner.

    • Aw! Thank you. Support appreciated! It can be daunting as folks seem so quick to judge – seems an area where they feel qualified to do so even though they are ignorant of the experience! :)

  2. I’ve been homeschooling forever (or so it seems most days) but I would hesitate to speak publicly about it. So good for you- it’s not easy to be put on the spot! And it is so hard not to get defensive about our choices, especially when confronted with ignorance. There are many, many misconceptions about home education, because most people simply can’t think outside the box at all. They assume things without even bothering to find out the truth. Those who want to learn more will find their way, but the truth is that we can’t change everyone’s mind.

  3. I am so grateful for people like you who are willing to engage with the media. I can’t imagine myself ever doing it – I don’t trust interviewers and am far too quick to react in a conversation, so you have my every sympathy. I know only too well how easy it is to mentally replay everything you regret saying.
    But even if you regret your claimed negativity, whatever you said will have been honest and experience-based, and therefore helpful to those who want to hear. Those who don’t want to hear it wouldn’t have heard anyway. And one glimpse of your blog/ books will overwhelm readers with the same warmth and wisdom that gave me and so many others like me the confidence to take the leap onto our own Home Ed journey – for which I will always be grateful and continue to recommend your books as the only must-read needed by those investigating HE for themselves :)
    I prescribe a lovely walk outside in this glorious westher, deep breaths, and maybe some chocolate – and to remember the innumerable children all over the country who you have influenced for so much good :) xx

    • That’s a truly generous and encouraging comment Rachel. Thank you for your powerful ongoing support. It’s meant so much and it is truly heartening to know that my books have done their job. Perhaps I should stick to the writing and leave the other forms of media to those who are happy to do it! :) xx

      • Always happy to encourage an encourager! :) I wouldn’t say to give up the interviews though – I bet it has borne much more good fruit than you realise right now :) xx

  4. Oh no! Poor you Ross. I find it rarely comes across well whenever I talk about home educating verbally especially if they seem sceptical, it just seems to immobilise me! It’s so frustrating. I find it so much easier in writing. Your blog and books were the first things I read when I started my home ed journey. They were and are invaluable. Don’t beat yourself up lovely lady you write wonderfully and have played a part in changing so many children’s live for the better. Mine included! ☺☺

  5. Ah, Ross, huge sympathies. Don’t beat yourself up about it! The trouble is that home education is such a big subject to talk about that it’s really hard to give a quick introduction in a general conversation, never mind in the kind of soundbites a radio programmes wants. If the opening question started from such a negative standpoint, no wonder you were temporarily blindsided, I think I’d have been the same!

    Hopefully, though, you’ll have given some food for thought to some people and if they come and investigate further they’ll find out all the positives of this wonderful way of life we live :-)

    • Aw thanks Jane. Trouble is, I have to admit it wasn’t a negative opening. That was just me reacting to something that was said earlier – I should have minded my own business and got on with telling them about this positive lifestyle we’ve had – as you so rightly say. Your support is greatly appreciated. I’ll keep writing for the wonderful EducationOutsideSchool magazine you produce and keep off the blinking radio!! :)

  6. Oh that’s so easily done under pressure. A couple of years ago, I was invited on TV to talk about Twitter, but the presenter hated Twitter, attacked me (only verbally!) and I immediately went on the defensive and didn’t say any of the things I wanted to say. But I love this blog post :)

    • Thank you so much Keris – glad it’s not just me then! The weird thing is my daughter is a brilliant performer – goodness knows where she gets that from – not me! :)

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