What are home schoolers like?

I’m always quite shocked at people’s assumptions about home educators! They’re usually about as ignorant as society’s early assumptions that little green men come from Mars. And based on as much experience; none.

The first assumption that I came across was that we were all some kind of alternative weirdos who can’t take any kind of structure our lives. Then there’s the completely opposite assumption I heard the other day that we are all academic obsessives that want to make our kids brighter than everyone else’s by structured cramming. Seems we just can’t win! And another one we’re accused of is that we just can’t be bothered to get out of bed in the morning!

Well, it may be that there’s the odd family who fits these scenarios as is the case with schooling families but for the most part they couldn’t be further from the truth. And I hate to disappoint anyone who thought we were some elite crowd, but most home educators are just downright ordinary families. They are ordinary in that they want the same thing as any ordinary parent wants for their children. Namely, for them to be happy, healthy and achieving.

And the only way we differ is perhaps that, unlike other parents who complain bitterly about the schools their children go to or turn a blind eye to their underachieving or even suffering, we make the decision to do something about it.

If we are alternative it is because we choose to use the myriad of alternative ways there are to approach children’s learning, and the fact that so many of them do end up brighter usually has nothing to do with academic cramming. It has more to do with the care taken of them as people.

That’s all it takes, just to take care of someone’s development – quite ordinary really, with perhaps just a shade more bravery on the part of the parents!

Take care of someone as a person and being educated happens as a result. As home educators are beginning to prove.


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