Ga-Ga on Home Education!

I always get a bit stumped when I have to say stuff on live radio.

The daft thing is normally, when someone opens up a conversation about home education, you can’t shut me up. But when it is really important to say the right thing in a short space of time I become as coherent as a kid with a gobstopper!

Currently the press are only interested in Home schooling because of the new bill going through parliament trying to get parents to register as home educators and the consequential monitoring. This is the result of total ignorance and misinformation so from that point of view alone I’m dead against it. However, I’m out of date with the politics now so had a quick binge research (Thanks so much to all those home educators on Facebook who so generously helped with pointers – much appreciated).

Having been caught out before by journalists looking for a quick comment and little else I now have a few generic Home Ed ideas already prepped for such occasions. I call it my Radio Ga Ga list, (thanks Queen for such an appropriate title).

I managed to use some of those existing thoughts (you can listen to the bit here – at 2.10)

But there’s always something that catches me out. This time the question that stumped me was ‘How do you think home schooling has benefitted your children?’ It’s not that I couldn’t gab on for hours on that, but you don’t have hours you have a few seconds in which to give that succinct one-liner that stuns everyone with its wisdom!

I didn’t manage it!

And I’ve been thinking since if there is a one sentence answer that really sums it up, for there are so many things to say and so many inspirational facets to an out-of-school learning life, it’s almost impossible to condense it.

I think this is what I’ll add to my Radio Gaga list for next time I get asked that question: ‘It helped them be a person rather than a statistic!’ And let them think on that!

If they gave me more time I’d add my concern over the statistics relating to mental health issues, to test ‘failures’, to bullying issues, to special educational needs and to the number of children coming out of school without basic skills or employable skills, having had their desire to learn, which was so prevalent at birth, completely eradicated! But that would be gabbing on again. And it would also be negative. A better one, from a positive perspective would be ‘It freed them up to learn unlimited and see education as the personal journey it is’. But they probably wouldn’t get that either.

So what would your one-liner be? If you can think of one I’d love for you to add it here in the comments. And with your permission I’ll plagiarise it for my Ga-Ga list!

14 thoughts on “Ga-Ga on Home Education!

  1. Mine would be “The space and freedom to choose what, how, when and where they learn “, like you say I could go on for ages but tried to think of something quickly and off the top of my head and that was what came! I asked my husband and his was ” The opportunity to learn about themselves and not just learn information”. I think you are very brave putting yourself out there to inform people of home education and thank you on behalf of all of us for doing that!

  2. My one liner would be “My children have spent every waking minute of their lives being themselves and growing into themselves as only they know best how to do.” (Always home ed, now aged 10 and 7).

  3. I think they are far more prepared for the ‘real world’ or ‘adulthood’ when they ‘leave’ home education having socialised, studied, played, interacted with varying age groups, walks of life etc. The experience they have had learning in this way is far more akin with what you experience as an adult where you are never in one room or working environment with a set of people exactly the same age as you are which is what school does. Your child is also used to his/her own company, they know how to follow their passions/interests & know how to study independently. At least that is the outcome I’m hoping for given my son is only 9!

  4. My children understand that learning is a good thing, something that enhances their lives and takes place anytime and anywhere, rather than being something that is to be endured between 9 and 3.

  5. Hi Ross, Words that come to my mind are, ‘freedom to individualize learning experiences with the endeavour to have self-actualizing and intrinsically motivated child’. I could think of a more school bashing/institutionalising/out of date pedagogy/indoctrinating approach as an alternative but I don’t think that is the way to go. Incidentally, I really think as a community we get away from this constant comparison to school and seek to change peoples minds to a positive, real and justified, alternative to a state school in its own right, therefore I believe we should stop referring to it as home ‘school’ particularly in the media. Thanks for all the work you do.

    • Thanks Marcelo. Brilliant comment! Although I wonder if everyone who needs to will understand it! And I hear what you’re saying about school comparisons and believe you’re right – even though I fail to practice it sometimes! I use both terms; home ed and home school because the public do (many not understanding the differences), and that way it gets more notice round the media – which in the end helps the cause – sad but true! Thanks again – always appreciate the time people give to be here.

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