This time last year was so different! Who’d have predicted what we’re going through now!
I was looking back at some of last May’s posts and came across these points about home education that may offer some comfort to any existing home educators having a wobble right now, and inspiration to those who might be considering continuing with it after schools reopen again:
- Home educated children can go on to achieve good grades just like other children do. They go to university, college, or into work or businesses like other young people. Their academic, social and personal skills are reputed to be in front of those of their school peers. Education is a long term process with no guarantees – none with school either – but there are thousands of home schooled youngsters who’ve already proved the above to be true.
- Home educated children are not isolated or invisible as has been suggested. Most interact with a wide range of people, in a wide range of places, doing a broad range of activities. Some have far more life experience than those children who just have school experience. Most have mature social skills, often exceeding some of the adults you meet!
- Thousands of families turn to home education because schools fail to provide for their children’s needs, both academic and personal. In some cases this has been a life line for children who’ve suffered in school the kind of abuse that just would not be tolerated by adults in a workplace. Home educators are the parents who take initiative to do something about their children’s suffering rather than just ignoring it. And most of these children become as competent, intelligent and educated as their peers in school.
- Children who have been written off by the educational system or labelled as having ‘learning difficulties’ or ‘special needs’, for example, have gone on to achieve a good academic standard through home education.
- Home educating families are as ordinary as any other families who have the same ordinary aspirations for their children to achieve and be happy. They come from all ranges of the social, educational, financial and cultural backgrounds that make up our society.
- Home educators may not do mainstream school, but they do all other aspects of mainstream life – sports, clubs, extra-curricular lessons and activities etc – interact in mainstream community and ‘fit in’ just the same.
- Home educated children go on to achieve the same successful outcomes, if not better, than children in schools.
- Contrary to what most parents think, children learn in a multitude of different ways, not just in the conveyor belt style of the educational system. Home educating gives children the opportunity to learn in the way that suits them best, increasing their chances of success. This doesn’t necessarily mean academic cramming. It means acknowledgement of the myriad of alternative approaches there are to learning, to opportunities, to qualifications, to being educated, and making best use of them.
- In my experience as a home educator within a wide network of other home educators, and whilst researching for my books, I have never come across an incidence of abuse or neglect, which has been cited as a risk home educated children are under. However I saw plenty of cases of abuse and neglect when I worked in schools.
Lots more in my home education notebook – from which this is taken – also to comfort and inspire!