A warm thank you to all those who came to our event at Waterstones last night to celebrate the new home education book. Lovely to have your support and to meet Home Educating friends from a while back.
I know some home educators feel reluctant to put home schooling in the spotlight like this. They don’t want too much attention, especially from the Local Authorities and consequently the government, who might interfere with this successful and alternative approach to what’s on offer in schools.
Some of the contacts from authorities who visit home educating families has in the past ranged from less than helpful to downright ignorant and insulting at times. Their remit seemingly to bring us all in line. And the call for registration of all home educating families, and consequently monitoring, is a constant threat we want to avoid as long as possible. (See this post). So, many like home schooling to remain fairly hidden and to get on with it in the own quiet way uninterrupted.
But the trouble with that is; if it’s hidden, those who need it can’t access it. And I like to think optimistically that the authorities’ attitude is changing.
I spoke to a couple of people last night who’d had helpful and supportive visits from their LA. The LAs are becoming more enlightened and aware of what their role is, thanks to the work many home educating parents do to maintain a dialogue with them. And they’re more aware of the successes of home educating families as the numbers increase.
And although I understand that some like to home educate on the quiet, I look at the work I do to raise awareness from the point of view that many parents are so grateful to discover this as an option, to find the support they need, so they can choose an alternative for a child who is failing to thrive in school. Some are worse than that; school makes some of the kids ill and family life an utter misery. I get messages of gratitude quite frequently from people who were desperate and thankful to find my blog and books. And it’s only by home education becoming more widely understood that these families can choose something different for their kids, some who were almost suicidal.
So, perhaps we have to be brave – even braver than we already are in home educating. As the home educating community grows, perhaps we have to risk being noticed, club together to resist intervention when the time comes, confident in the knowledge that the growing number of home schooled children graduating successfully into the wider world, are living proof of how well it works – even though it’s not school! Education is our joined goal – educating by approaches that work for the child rather than the government, whether that’s in school or out of it.
And this is really what my work to raise awareness is for. To increase understanding of this workable and successful option. And show parents that children do not have to suffer for an education.
And in turn, I greatly appreciate those who support me in doing so. Thank you!