I’m aware there is some conflict!
Hardly surprising in these tricky times.
It’s really odd to suddenly have ‘home schooling’ thrust into the limelight when there’s times home educators have been made to feel like anti-establishment, boat rocking, nuisances who ought to get real! As if school is ‘real’? And as if that’s what we do it for.
We don’t. We do it for the good of our kids. Why would anyone put themselves through the enormity of the challenge of home educating if it wasn’t from the deep desire to do that?
Now, of course, everyone’s having to ‘home school’.
Or are they?
Most experienced home educators wouldn’t even use the term ‘home schooling’ (there’s a post about the differences here) or equate it in any way with what’s going on now. What’s going on now is basically school-at-home and biding time until the mass child minding centres open again and start testing and scoring and grading and pitching kids against one another through the mass political institution that is known as education.
But enough of that; I don’t want to rant and it’s not the point here.
The point is that we’re all in it together. Because we all have the same parental desire and are headed in the same direction: To have intelligent, well developed and happy kids who are able to move forward in caring and productive ways and get where they want to go, whether through employment or work of their own.
And we should respect that there are many approaches to doing this successfully, whatever you want to call it and wherever it takes place.
I knew families whose children never went to school. Ever.
I knew families who started with school then switched to home educating.
I knew families who had some children in school and some home educating.
I knew others who had all their children in school.
Others still who started home educating then switched to school at secondary. And vice versa.
I knew some who generally used school but home educated for a term/year/however long it was needed for the good of the child’s development, returning them to school at a later date.
And here’s the thing: All these approaches worked.
There are many different approaches to learning and any can work as long as they are managed carefully and respectfully.
And the point at the moment is not what you call it, is not home educating or doing school-at-home whilst there’s an abnormal interruption in the service most parents are used to. The point is everyone is struggling with a strange situation, whatever approach they started out with. And it will best be weathered if we support one another and refrain from making any judgements about what each is doing. We’re not politicians after all. 😀
All the parents who are having to deal with the children being at home instead of school could maybe grow a little more respect for home educators. All the experienced home educators, although conscious of school-at-home being very different from what they do, may be able to increase awareness of home educating that has previously been misunderstood.
And everyone can focus on the important thing; keeping the needs of the children at the heart of everything they do.
There need be no conflict between schools, home schooling, school-at-home, or home education – or parenting for that matter.
We are all different. We are all trying to survive these unprecedented times in the best way we can. But one thing we can do is care for each other, try and see other points of view, and be supportive rather than in conflict.
Warfare about our approaches and responses to the education of the children during this time is as unhelpful as the stupid and ignorant warfare between politicians when they’re campaigning.
It’s also the opposite of an open and inclusive attitude we want to foster within education – within society – within life.
So it’s not only what you’re doing with the kids that’s the point. The attitude you’re doing it with matters just as much.
Be easy. Reserve judgement. Open your mind. Learn.
This time is short and will quickly change and we’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. And hopefully some better attitudes will result!