Since Lockdown put home schooling back in the spotlight I’ve heard of several parents thinking about making the change from school to home educating permanently. So I thought this would be a good time to re-share this post of old…
The leap to home schooling is always a big decision, but I often hear parents saying how uplifting it was to see their children returning to being the happy contented little people they were before they started school. One specifically reported that the many distressing flare-ups and tantrums which had become part of their everyday behaviour after starting school, but which were never part of their nature beforehand, had all but disappeared again.
Yet another conversation I had with a parent I’m connected to on social media also said that they had their ‘happy little child back’ now they’ve started home educating.
It’s something I hear frequently and they are not the only parents to experience this. It happened to us just the same as I described in ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ (Scroll down the My Books page and you’ll find an extract)
So, why is that? I was asked recently.
Well, the most fundamental reason I feel is that school is just not good for some kids!
We are all different. And we all react differently to different situations according to our natures. Some of us like crowds and hubbub. Others of us don’t. Some of us can concentrate with distractions going on all around us all the time, others cannot. Some can sit still easily, others find it impossible. And these are not always easily recognisable needs; they are a spectrum of needs that are different for each individual. The class setting of hubbub, peer pressure, powerlessness, the claustrophobic and unnatural social clustering of kids all your own age, with minimal interaction, support or attachment from adults you’re involved with, is not a setting many children thrive in. Understandably – would you?
Add onto that the pressures of the curriculum, the pressures kids feel of meeting targets and test demands, the pressure of pressurised teachers having to fulfil these demands or risk their jobs, the uninspirational task of having to learn stuff you feel is totally pointless, far too complicated and of no interest to you, and being identified as ignorant if you don’t, are the ingredients of a potential meltdown in my view. I’m amazed how many kids survive this climate at all.
Even more worrying is that these pressures continue to build, and I cannot see how that will change, as long as politics and politicians are in charge of it. Politicians who are more interested in political gain than individual children, they have scant knowledge of education – or kids, some of them – and yet feel qualified to disregard the advice of professionals.
We continue to uphold a system of schooling that is long out of date. It no longer serves the needs of children who now have access to knowledge and learning without schools and teachers, and who are parented in a completely different way, and live in a completely different culture, to when the system was set up. It no longer serves the needs of a society that is completely different to way back then.
And as an educational approach its success rate is questionable, leaving many of our youngsters unfulfilled, disengaged, unmotivated to do anything and at worst; unwell.
Yet, I’ve never found a family who has not had these outcomes reversed once they decided to remove the child from school and home educate. The best thing of all is that they get their happy children back. And educating becomes a happy experience.
And if you want to know why happiness is important there’s a post here.
I readily admit that school works for many. But not all, so should you wish to make the switch permanently to home education be bold and go for it. It’s a great decision and one which we and others like us never once regretted!
I need to help my son out. He’s 11 and due to start secondary this year. It won’t be easy for him. I know he won’t thrive there.
That’s so very hard for you, and all the family! Are you thinking of home education? I’ve known parents to decide to home educate as their children went onto secondary education and did so very successfully. But it’s a huge decision. There’s various articles on this site but it might help you to join the many communities online, some via Facebook, where parents home schooling teens will make suggestions. They’re always a very supportive community and it’s so helpful to connect with others. Hope it works out for you. All the best.