Education is a parenting issue

Did you know that you as parents are the ones responsible for your child’s education? Probably not. Unless you’re a home educating parent, you probably thought it was schools.

It isn’t, but it is mostly only home schoolers who know this.

The jargon says; “The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable (1) to his age, ability and aptitude, and (2) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”. (Notice the ‘otherwise’ bit – that gives parents the legal right not to send their children to school by the way. See the Ed Yourself website;

However, the majority of parents opt to hand the education of their children over to schools as they are encouraged to do, believing that to be best. It is sometimes (only sometimes). But that still doesn’t mean all responsibility lies with the school.

For the fact is that however children are educated the outcome is very much dependent on the parents; on parental support, parental encouragement, parental outlook, parental involvement, and love has a good deal to do with it too. Children achieve so much when they are loved and respected.

But I suspect many parents of school children tend not to involve themselves with their children’s education because they think a) they can’t – they’re not clever enough, or b) it’s not their concern – it’s the school’s.

Yet neither of these reasons is valid really. Because despite you thinking you may not know stuff or it’s the school’s job to educate, it is parental involvement that has the biggest impact on what children achieve, most importantly their attitude.

One of the things that influences children’s learning is the value that is placed on it.  They learn which things should be valued and which not bothered with from their parents. In fact at the start of their life they learn all their values and attitudes from their parents.

Children of parents who do not display a positive attitude towards education will find it hard to have a positive attitude themselves. Children who are not encouraged will be less motivated. Children whose parents are not interested in the things they do at school will have no interest in doing them. Children whose parents cop out of it by saying they’re not clever enough (when often the reason is they can’t be bothered to learn themselves) will make their kids think they needn’t be clever either.

You don’t have to be clever at maths or necessarily understand the science your kids are doing you just have to show an interest. You just have to be positive about it. Take positive approaches to overcoming challenges (finding out yourself maybe) and make your child feel that you are on their side and you’re in it together – as a team. And it’s worth doing well.

Through your attitude to them they will begin to see education as valuable – which it is.

Although you may need to really sort out what you think education is – or should be – what it’s for and in what way it’s valuable, as this is also part of your responsibility as a parent.

There is no excuse not to think about it, or just abdicate all responsibility to schools.

Because education is also a parenting issue. And as parents, whatever educational path you’ve chosen for your child, you definitely need to remain involved.

11 thoughts on “Education is a parenting issue

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  4. Speaking as a teacher, who has friends who home educate and who tries to not provide the (non) learning experiences that too many seem to experience in our schools, I 100% agree – lovely blogpost!


  5. I wish I’d found this blog sooner. I’ve been home edding my lovely little girls for two years now. They are now nine and seven. And although I’ve really enjoyed the experience I often worried if I was doing ok. Your blog and your book which both me and nine year old have read. Have really helped me to relax be more confident. My girls are becoming so independent. They are thoughtful about their future. They want to help with chores. And already plan their own ways to get cash to buy the target rabbit hutch. It helps if anything that my own education was not great. I became well and truly switched off at school. This means that we’re learning together and not always knowing the answer means they get to feel great when they pick it up before me and get to teach mum. I know children who start secondary school without being able to do basic maths or read properly. In all honesty in the area I live I’d be hard pushed to do a worse job than my local schools. The main thing is though my children laugh and smile most of the time. If only my childhood had been like that! I would never of thought of home educating if it wasn’t for my youngest being on the autistic spectrum. But I’m so glad to of discovered it. It’s been lovely for the whole family.

    • What a really beautiful comment. Thanks so much Shannon for taking the time to post it here. And I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the book and it’s helped, that’s really good for me to know. All the very best. xx

  6. So true. I was stunned when someone said to me that they didn’t think they were clever enough to home educate! I hope that I have tried to give my kids the right attitude towards learning – I always tell them that they can learn how to do anything they want, if they put their minds to it. And I just try to give them as many opportunities and as much support as I can.

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