The half term over, the children go back to school with both anxiety and excitement and I’m just the same as I launch back into my morning routine without my home educators!
Up in the village on Monday morning I saw the tiny tots dragged to school when it’s barely light, the older kids with rebellious slants to their so-called uniforms, and the trendy ones waiting to catch the college bus eyeing each other up. And I can’t help thinking about all the home educators who don’t have this to do. Brilliant isn’t it!
It seems ages since we were home educating. When we didn’t have to worry about uniforms or pack-ups, tests and SATs. When our learning routines revolved around all the wonderful things there are to learn about the world, to go out and do and see. When we could schedule our day to completely suit the needs of the developing child, rather than drag them from bed in the morning when their brains and bodies are switched off. When we could make best use of their potential by shifting our learning routine to later in the day and evening. I miss showing the kids our world and how to increase their understanding of it, even though it was a challenge at times.
Despite those challenges, home educating was a wonderful way of life, a learning way of life, a life of learning about the real world outside the synthetic one determined by a system that is far too out of date for our contemporary children. There is something almost archaic about seeing these uniformed school kids bound by this dated routine filing into dated buildings when there are so many other options available now in our progressive technological culture.
I know there is nothing more inspiring than a good teacher and home educating sometimes misses out on some of those. But they’re rare. Good teachers are often destroyed by the process they’re forced into; trying to teach kids who often don’t want to learn what the schools want them to learn, in a place they don’t want to be, in a way that isn’t working for so many. We read about the great grades that children get. But we rarely read about the thousands of children who are let down and don’t get the grades. And now some are having to re-sit because of the recent bungle over GCSEs, it’s importance sidelined because of hot election news from America. (Read about the GCSE bungle here). How awful that must be for those kids. But it’s indicative of what a farce the educational system has become; a commercial-like system that promotes the product – exam results – as more important than the process; the education and care and worth of developing human beings.
By home educating, parents have saved many kids from this big let down and made their education a successful demonstration of the value it brings to life and makes our kids feel worthy rather than let down.
It’s time to recognise that we perhaps need schools now for something quite different from merely schooling for grades and controlling what kids wear.
We need education to show our kids how important they are for our future and that their individual education matters more than the system.
(Read more about our family learning life in A FUNNY KIND OF EDUCATION – extracts on my books page).