Education is for life- not just for schools!

Times tables to be tested – teachers made accountable – another dreadful strategy for schools.

Christmas packed away it’s back to school for many this week. For thousands though it isn’t, as they continue with their home education, continue with their life education, which is after all what education is for.

And it is for reasons like this article displays that they do it; because of incompetent decisions to improve educational standards that do not work. All that improves is educational stress and there’s plenty of that already!

Education is for life, not just for schools, isn’t it?

It’s easy to forget what education is for, especially when you’re immersed in the system where the inherent purpose is grade getting – by any means. Although grades may be valuable in expanding choices and chances, they are not the only purpose of it.

The purpose of education is personal development. And to equip people to lead productive and fulfilling lives that encourage independence, responsibility and a contribution to society as an active member. I wonder how many school children know that’s what education is for?

When you’re home educating, it’s good to keep reminding yourself of that overall purpose. Keep it as a priority. Remembering that personal growth is developed through personal experiences, personal connections and practical activities as many physical as academic. And exposure to everyday lives, observation of how people live and pay for their everyday lives and building the skills needed to do it for yourself one day, finding out what you’re good at on the way.

Times tables are only one very small part of that – possibly!

It’s hard to get that kind of everyday exposure in the system, driven as it is by politics more than personal.

If you’re one of the many parents becoming disillusioned with what your child’s going to confront when they go back to school you might like to reconsider home education. there’s plenty on this site to start you off among my blogs and books.

And if you’re one of those inspirational parents who’ve now decided to give the system the push may this be a little reminder to stay with your priorities and educate for the personal good of your child rather than the political.

Nicky Morgan’s focus suddenly on times tables is just about the political more than the personal. It has nothing to do with what will educational benefit a child. It’s about popularity and winning votes.

Home educators can educate for the good of a child’s life, rather than for politics, which is sadly the fate of many in schools!

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10 thoughts on “Education is for life- not just for schools!

  1. Hello Ross. Every time I have a wobble day or feel the tide of what most other people are doing (school) hit me, it just so happens you are there, imparting wisdom and normalising us ‘different’ ones so that I feel calm again. I know what my family are doing is fab (nearly 2 years home edding) but it’s great to know there is experience out there that’s been through it right through to children reaching adulthood and being happy and content. I read all your lovely words and read your ‘learning without school’ before embarking on our journey. Thank you for all your encouragement and for continuing to share. X

    • What a heart warming comment Helen – thank you so much! It’s a delight to know that and so encouraging for me too. You might like to look out for my new book coming soon with many of these blogs collated in one place – just for those wobbly days! So do pop back and I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile continue to enjoy your days and maintain the strength not to be swept away in other people’s tides of insecurities!!! 😉

      • You’re very welcome to the comments 😀 It’s funny you should talk about exams and grades being the end product of school (rather than a rounded, happy individual?!). I took my son to visit some secondary schools recently just so he could see what they were all about. One was a very high achieving grammar school and the other a technical college. When there we wandered round many departments and were shown specific things by the students. At one point my son was engaged in an activity, so I wandered off to a maths room and started chatting to a teacher (who turnd out to be the deputy head of maths). I told him I wasn’t interested in grades or exams but what the school might have to offer my son outside those things. A ten second pause followed where he looked round behind him and then send in a hushed tone “I agree with you that the other stuff is more important but I don’t want my head to hear me!” Oh that made me smile. My son took a few weeks to reflect on his experiences at the schools and then came out with the fact that he liked the pupils at the technical college better because they were individuals and he didn’t want to end up a clone like the other school. He concluded that, no thank you, he didn’t want to go to either just now. He is 9. This is not something I can share with my friends whose children attend school. I just don’t think they would understand! 😀

  2. Happy New Year Ross and thank u! We just started home educating our 6yr old in October so this is the 1st “back to school” we are not doing. It feels great. I watched my son explore, examine and play with a stapler and staples for over half an hour undirected the other day and it was pure joy to hear him say “oh so that’s where it comes out” and “you know u can write letters on paper with staples”. So glad tomorrow is just a regular day for us and no added stress of back to school. We will be taking down our Christmas Tree and reading about the three Kings…looking forward to that! Love your blog!

    • Thank you so much for your comment Dierdre. It’s so rewarding to know this writing does the job I set for it – to support others. Great to hear about your home educating and all the valuable experiences your son is having. I always loved those not-back-to-school days too. Enjoy yourselves! x

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