They’re onto me after I put a rather strong comment on one of their news items about fuel prices a while back. I was in a bit of a rage at the time and tapped in a heated comment without thinking. I regret it a bit now as I don’t want to talk about politics really; I want to harp on about education but they obviously have me down on a list somewhere to represent the voice of ‘an ordinary family – for want of a better word’ he said, ‘would I comment on a radio programme?’
Actually, I quite like ‘ordinary’ as a way of describing a home schooling family as it’s a quest of mine to get home educating recognised as an ordinary and workable way to raise children.
To us home educating became as ordinary and as normal as you get. It was just a very natural family life way of showing kids how life is lived and enabling them to learn the things they need in order for them personally to live it. Because that’s all education is really; equipping children with what they need to live a life.
It’s not about ticking boxes on attainment charts, sitting tests, staying within your age group, or following prescriptive and generic methods that have little to do with individuals and a lot to do with institutions. Whilst some of those things may be useful some of the time, they are secondary to the primary goal of an education being to show kids how to lead ordinary lives. Or extraordinary ones if you’ve a fancy.
But schooling has corrupted that goal making education unnecessarily complicated and obscure to many ordinary people. Making them feel they couldn’t educate their children themselves.
Okay – maybe some couldn’t. Wouldn’t even want to. But many can and do, just by exposing their children to ordinary life skills on an ordinary day to day basis through encouragement, attention and care. Like we did. And according to the BBC we’re quite ordinary – or so they thought!
I was thinking, in preparation to them using me to comment on their programme that maybe I could use them too, to help my quest. So I dropped into the two minute’s conversation about fuel tax that we as an ordinary family home educated our kids. They didn’t see that coming!
Whether they’ll be using me for an ordinary family’s contribution in the future remains to be seen. But a few more people now know that home schooling can be an ordinary option.