It’s always so difficult to narrow an explanation of home education down into a few minutes.
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer who is over indulgent with words!
Or maybe it’s because home education is so varied and diverse, so beyond most people’s understanding of how learning works without conventional classrooms, teachers, structures, etc., it’s an impossible task.
Anyway I said I’d give it a go when Radio Humberside rang me to speak on the breakfast show with Lizzie and Carl about home schooling as it’s always referred to these days.
It’s not my thing really. Like most home educating families I just like to get on in my own quiet way. But conversely I also feel it’s also important to raise awareness and respect for this valid and successful approach to children’s education. Especially as I continue to read of more and more mental health issues among kids, school refusals and phobia, and ‘learning difficulties’. For I strongly believe that these issues are not the fault of the kids – they’re the fault of a failure to acknowledge that all kids are different and may need different environments/approaches in which to achieve their potential.
So I grit my teeth and do my bit in the hope it’ll help other families find and pursue this approach to education if they need the option.
I don’t do the public bit very well and often end up being rather defensive than informative, which is what happened this morning.
It’s just that I often feel we’re still justifying the position and combatting myths and age-old conditioned thinking. A hard task sometimes and I come away kicking myself for not handling it better. But if it ignites a gem of hope to a family whose child is suffering in the system then I’ll be happy.
Anything to help folks understand that the problem lies not with their child – as the professionals would like us to believe, but with the system we’re forcing them into.
Home educated children, who were ‘failing’ in school and who achieved out of it, are testimony to that fact!
You can listen here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05f8q4q around 1:10:28 if you wish and there’s more from others on home educating later in the programme.
(Browse through my books for more information and the story of how home education worked for us)