We used to feel people’s resistance come up like a prickly shield when we mentioned we home educated. It often provoked the response; ‘couldn’t possibly do that’!
But I think that attitude is changing with more and more parents considering home education as a real option as they become unhappier with schools’ provision. It often happens at this time of the year when their children, just started back in school, show dramatic changes in their behaviour and well-being due to the stress of it.
Right back when I started this blog I did a post outlining some little known facts about home education. So if you’re considering it yourself, I’m posting them here again in case you missed them:
– Most home educating families are just ordinary families trying to do the best for their kids. Most are not elite, or alternative, extremist or ignorant. They just needed an alternative to school which they feel is not right for their child or where their children were failing to thrive or reach their potential. For some, home educating changes academic failure into success. It changes nil self-esteem into confidence. And in some desperate cases it probably even saves lives.
– Learning can occur in a myriad of different ways not just the way they do it in school as thousands of home educators are now proving.
– Home educated children achieve good grades like other children do. They go to university, college, or into work like other children do. Their academic, social and personal skills are reputed to be in front of those of their school peers.
– Home educated children are not isolated. Most interact with a wide range of people, in a wide range of places, doing a broad range of activities. Some have far more life experience than those children in school. Most have mature social skills.
– Thousands of families turn to home education because schools fail to provide for their children’s needs, both academic and personal. In some cases this has been a life line for children who’ve suffered in school the kind of abuse that just would not be tolerated by adults in a workplace. Home educators are the parents who take initiative to do something about their children’s suffering rather than just ignoring it.
– Children who have been written off by the educational system or labelled as having ‘learning difficulties’ or ‘special needs’, for example, have gone on to achieve a good academic standard through home education.
– Home educating families have the same ordinary aspirations for their children to achieve and be happy as all parents. They come from all ranges of the social, educational, financial and cultural backgrounds that make up our society.
– Contrary to what most parents think, children learn in a multitude of different ways, not just in the conveyor belt style of the educational system. Home educating gives children the opportunity to learn in the way that suits them best, increasing their chances of success. This doesn’t necessarily mean academic cramming. It means acknowledgement of the myriad of alternative approaches there are to learning, to opportunities, to qualifications, to being educated, and making best use of them.
– In my experience as a home educator within a wide network of other home educators, and whilst researching for my book, I have never come across an incidence of abuse which sadly is the only time home educating ever gets talked about. However I saw plenty of cases of abuse when I worked in schools.
– Thousands and thousands of home educating families are now proof of how children can be educated successfully without school.