The fight or flight response kicks in automatically now. Palms sweat, breathing goes gaspy, limbs shaky. I brace myself for an onslaught.
This is what happens every time I listen to another piece about home education on the news. For it’s often laced with an attack.
LBC radio featured a piece about it the other night with callers chirping in. (Sorry – can’t find a recording!) As well as a few positives there was a right barrage from an angry teacher (surprisingly it’s often teachers who feel the need to attack) who obviously felt threatened. But it wasn’t from directly offensive remarks the like of which we get, she was threatened by us mere parents assuming they can do what teachers do, without all their training, and educate our own kids. She was incensed at the thought!
It’s odd that teachers should feel threatened by homeschoolers – why would that be? And it also displays the depth of the misconception they are under.
For parents don’t assume they can do what teachers have to do because they’re not teaching in the way teachers have to teach and they’re not doing it to a system which requires them to teach it. They are educating completely differently from what teachers understand as teaching.
And ironically it is those professionals’ narrow minded view of teaching and learning that prevents many from understanding the true nature of education in the broader sense, as opposed to simply institutionalised schooling.
The other thing we were wrongly accused of in this particular discussion – and another common one – was of preventing our children from mixing and inhibiting the children’s chance to gain qualifications. Our kids have as much opportunity as they choose to go where they want to go, be with who they want to be with and get what they need to do it – how is that inhibiting? It’s school which inhibits those choices surely – for they should be choices.
With all the work so many of us do to raise awareness and understanding of home education you’d think people were becoming a bit more enlightened. So I find it totally ironic that whenever home educating parents are accused of being ignorant of educating – usually by someone in the teaching profession – those professionals making accusations do so from a position of their own obvious ignorance of home education – without direct experience usually. Is that not a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black as the saying goes?
When these ignorant people are being so insulting, they should perhaps remember they are also insulting all the EDUCATED, INTELLIGENT, QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL, HARD-WORKING home educated ADULTS who are now already grown up, already out in the WORKPLACE, who never went to school.
So despite panic attacks I keep on saying how it is when I can, as many other brave parents do, in the hope of lessening this ignorance about a positive and successful approach to children’s education.
And on a more positive note I’d like to bring your attention to a more enlightened piece here in the papers asking why so many parents feel the need to give up on school and home educate.
The question could also be asked – why are so many teachers turning to it too? For they are. Is it because they’ve seen what happens to kids’ in the conveyor belt system? Is it because they don’t want their individuals on that conveyor belt either?