The need for home education

Sometimes you can feel quite persecuted as a home educating family, even in this country.

We don’t condemn other families for making the choice to send their children to school, but some feel justified in making judgemental remarks about our choices to homeschool with comments like ‘you should make ‘em go – school never did me no harm’ and ‘they won’t learn nuffink being stuck at home all day’.

And they probably wouldn’t, being stuck at home with attitudes and English like that from people who fail to see the bigger picture. And as if judgemental statements weren’t enough we’ve also been ostracised, boycotted and treated like aliens sometimes which isn’t very nice! All for simply wanting to do exactly the same as any other parents; provide in the best way we can for our kids.

But, none of this was anything like as bad as for the Romeike family from Germany who are in the news today. They have had to flee not only their home, but also their country, in order to home educate their children. To be able to do what they thought was best for their kids.

I might be a home-educator, yet I can see how home education isn’t appropriate for every family. But what is appropriate, for absolutely everyone, is to see that NO CHILD SHOULD SUFFER FOR AN EDUCATION. And I understand this family’s wish to home school, as thousands of families do, just to alleviate their children’s suffering at the hands of an education that wasn’t right for them.

We are extremely lucky in this country to be able to home educate. In fact, I don’t look upon it as lucky; I look upon it as an essential option. Essential to the rights of all children to have choices and alternatives in order to get their educational needs met.

For there is no way schools can cater for all the individual needs of all the children in this country. To me it’s obvious that no one system of education, one national curriculum, or one approach to schooling could possibly suit the diversity of children. So if we are going to be able to do what the government advocates by law we should do, and provide each child with an education suitable to their needs, then we are going to need to be able to use alternatives like home education.

Because for some children and families, in order to fulfil those needs not catered for in school, there is just no other choice.

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