Thanks everyone for the comments and messages on my last post – most of them coming to me via Facebook and social media, rather than comments here. Whichever way – I always appreciate them.
Facebook groups have become such a fab way of instant support to many parents home educating and I think has increased parents’ confidence in having a go. It’s great for me too, to know that my posts are of help.
I know it seems such a monumental thing to home educate and leave a conventional system behind. But guess what? It does actually fade into insignificance one day. Well – almost.
This week those little girls from ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ (now in their twenties) are here at home again for a rural holiday and a break from their busy urban working lives. We’ve been enjoying some of our old familiar outings – some that even date back to our Home Ed days! And we got talking – didn’t we always!
“Does home education have any relevance in your lives now?” I asked. We don’t talk about it now – it’s kind of paled into insignificance. But it was really interesting what they had to say.
“Not exactly on a day to day level” answered Charley. “And even when I’ve been applying for jobs it didn’t seem to come up much. Or the fact that I don’t have GCSEs. In fact, some of the bosses can’t have even have read the education bit on my application because they didn’t even know I hadn’t been to school!”
Then she went on to talk about applications she and her colleague are looking at now when staff apply for positions; “In fact, we often don’t look at that part of their CV even though they’re young candidates, we tend to go straight for the bit that talks about the experiences they’ve had relevant to the post. I notice with some of the staff I train that, although I know these employees are very young, they do seem to lack confidence and initiative as if they need permission all the time to do stuff – everything has to be directed so much.” She made that remark because she felt it was a noticeable difference between herself and some of the schooled children. She’d also heard in the past her contemporaries remark that they didn’t learn the useful stuff which she knew whilst they were in school, by which they meant some of the life skills and confidence that showed in her.
Chelsea also picked up on that remark about permission; “I think home education is very relevant day to day in that it taught us to be independent about stuff, in the way we think, especially problem solving, to be resourceful. And most of all I think it’s relevant because I’ve been taught to question and that’s something that seems lacking in some of the young people I come across. The people I teach at drama groups (and some of them are mature people) don’t seem to have these skills. What’s even more noticeable is that they seem to need permission for even having ideas, for being creative and straying from the norm a little. Everything has to be spelled out – as if they daren’t express themselves. Obviously many school kids do have those skills, but in some people I feel they’re less strongly embedded. It’s like they never question or think for themselves without permission. It’s second nature to me!” And she laughed.
“Why do you think it’s important to question then?” I asked.
“If you don’t question you just remain subservient and obedient to what everyone else wants you to do. And questioning is what makes the world progress; if we didn’t question we’d just stand still,” she said.
I thought you might be interested to hear those remarks from these two grown up home schoolers.
It seems, whether it is or not now, home education certainly gives them the ability to think for themselves. How I miss those independent minds – and discussions – now they’ve gone again!