If you haven’t homeschooled, you’re not qualified to judge

As much to learn out of school as in it

As much to learn out of school as in it

I don’t understand some folk’s aggressive judgemental attitudes towards those families choosing to home educate. There can be some real personal mud-slinging on some of the forums about it occasionally.

What’s particularly offensive is that they’re often made by those who have no experience of it.

One of the most blanket statements I often hear is ‘It shouldn’t be allowed’.

I’d like to ask; why not?

Is it because mere parents couldn’t possibly get education right for their children?  Schooling doesn’t get it right for many either, does it?

Or because children can become isolated? But aren’t many isolated in school? Isolated by bullying, by cliques and gangs, by being different, by having different learning needs.

Or maybe people think it shouldn’t be allowed because parents aren’t teachers. Yet it’s sometimes the teaching in schools that’s causing children to fail – not because teachers are poor at what they do, but because their hands are tied by a system that identifies an elite few for success and makes failures of the rest.

Or maybe people think that children miss out if they’re not in school. Yet you could equally say that all those children imprisoned in school are missing out on a wealth of opportunities to learn that are outside it.

It’s even been suggested that some families home educate because they can’t be bothered to send their child to school. However, you could look at that the other way round too and suggest that school users do so because they can’t be bothered to take responsibility for their child’s education themselves or seriously look at whether it’s working for their individual. But home educators don’t usually make those kinds of judgements!

And there’s even been the accusation that home educators aren’t bothered with education. The reality is the exact opposite; home educating families are so bothered with education they daren’t leave it to the schools.

Home schooling families go on in their own quiet way, exercising their right to take full responsibility for their children’s educational needs, usually without accusing those who want to make school choices. And some might not be perfect. But when did school get it perfectly right for every child?

Home schooling is a huge undertaking and families should be applauded for their brave attempts to do something to fulfil their child’s needs, rather than be judged on possible failings.

Most of us have experience of school, so most of us get to know what it’s about and can make informed decisions about it.

But most of the population have not experienced home education. So if that’s the case, I don’t really think these people are qualified to judge.

And if you’re one of those who think it shouldn’t be allowed here are four clips that might change your mind:


24 thoughts on “If you haven’t homeschooled, you’re not qualified to judge

  1. I currently home-educate my daughter, who has also experienced the school system. I have experienced a largely positive reaction, so far. Although I’m sure not everyone will approve. I will respond at that time by assuring them that any negative comments will be regarded as ill-informed and therefore, irrelevant! However, I can’t agree that education is geared towards the achievement of the elite, in fact, my view is that that it caters largely for the child of average ability and although providing support for children with learning difficulties, the system often fails the brightest.

    • Thank you Helen – I see you’ve got a great response lined up! And I get what you’re saying about how the bright children are often failed; as you point out, it seems that the ones at the far ends of the spectrum of ‘norm’ tend to be neglected whichever end they are!

  2. Absolutely wonderful and so very true… i have only just started home educating but wish i had known about and understood it earlier. It feels like a whole new world where people are so kind, accepting and supportive rather than judgemental! Well done you for this supportive article.

    • Thank you very much Fiona. Lovely to have your supportive comment. I appreciate you taking time to leave it here. Have a lovely time home educating – it’s so fab! 🙂

  3. Amazing. What an inspiration these young people are. I don’t home school as I/we have not been brave enough to take the plunge yet!!! There are lots of things happening in our little ones school that we are not happy with and he goes through good and bad times there but I do keep an eye on here and various other home ed blogs and the more I see/read the more I like.

    • Thank you Morag. Super to have your thoughts here. Home schooling is a very individual decision and works in very individual ways – as school does really! 😉 All the best.

  4. Hi Ross, sorry, I’ve been really rubbish with posting comments. But this article is superb … actually all your articles are, but this one even more so! I cannot believe how people, especially those with zero experience of HE, insist on putting in their 2p worth, and it’s always disparaging!! I don’t know which is more annoying/offending – that, or their genuine surprise when they realise/discover that HE kids and families are, for the most part, able and functioning members of society. Been said enough times before, but weird how it’s natural and expected for parents to teach their kids from birth to age 5, then suddenly they’re viewed as being totally inept and incapable, and only trained strangers are supposed to do ‘impart knowledge’. I could go on …

    Love, love,love the video clips you included – those children are brilliant. And young Logan LaPlante – a TED talk, no less! I am in awe as I’d be a gibbering wreck, talking in front of so many people!

    Thank you so much for this xx

    • Hi Joy, what a super comment you’ve left me. You are so right! Thank you very much. It’s really good to know how much you’ve appreciated it. So grateful you dropped by and let me know! xx

  5. My husband and I have thought the same thing…what difference does it really make to the people who have their kids in schools? I would think the logical position for them would be to consider it better for their kids if there was less competition for their own children. If it’s really horrible to homeschool, they should be glad they don’t do it, and not worry about it.

  6. Thank you Ross, that was brilliantly said! Never thought of it like that, it’s enlightened me. Maybe I could use that one if I need too!

  7. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Such a well written post Ross and just what I needed today. The video clips were brilliant-amazingly I’d not seen any of them before! Thank you for sharing x

  8. Am doing a show and Tell for our LA end of the month. Can I print this off and include this in their little take home back? You willk obviously be credited.

    Thank you

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