Start a rebellion. Take your kids on holiday in term time.
After my little holiday without them, I’m put in mind of all the times we took the kids away – usually only for little inexpensive jaunts – and how educational it was. And it makes me think parents should rebel because it’s as educational being on holiday as it is sitting doing stuff in a classroom.
Not that the schools or politicians would want you to know this. They’d rather keep your kids in schools with heads down taking tests so that they can collate results and put them in statistics and con us that the results show that kids are being well educated so we should vote for them!
They’re not being well educated. They’re just being well tested which doesn’t do a lot for the kids’ education at all.
Of course, it depends on your definition of education.
If your definition of education is to develop in your child the knowledge and skills needed to live a life out in the world beyond school then nothing could be more educative than getting them out and showing them that world.
If your definition of education is one that’s only measured by scores then I guess you won’t get what I’m on about.
Let’s face facts; scores are only scores on paper. Skills and understanding are what’s needed to lead life, not scores.
Going places, seeing different cultures, experiencing a diversity of lives, places, people, ideas, foods, dwellings, projects, conversations, languages, habitats, terrain, environments … these are the experiences that show kids the real world, that develops intellect and gives them a broader view of the world and how they might work within it, more than that just getting scores.
But they have to get scores – or pass exams, I hear you say in panic.
But do they? How many? And how much do they need to be in school to do that?
Most home educated kids spend most of their time engaged in the kinds of experiences described above and a much smaller proportion of their time doing stuff for GCSEs yet still pass them. Some don’t do GCSEs at all and still go on to Uni or work and productive and fulfilled lives.
And what’s even better they seem to understand what they want to do, how to fit what they want within the working world, and are therefore motivated to go for it.
And they find this from simply being out in the world rather than shut away from it. They’ve seen lives and have been educated to lead lives. That’s how it works.
So far from stopping parents taking kids away on holiday – whatever time of year – schools should be actively encouraging it. And stop paying lip service to this ridiculous obsession the government has with scores. And parents need to look beyond scores when they consider schools to whether the kids are happy there – if they’re happy, they’ll be learning.
Take them away as much as you can, there’s so much to see and do and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. A day in a wood, on a beach, on a farm, in a city museum, by a river – most are free – and they learn from the experience.
So I should start a holiday rebellion!