Monday, 11 January 2010

My strength and my weakness is that I am an active participant in the education of my three children

My strength and my weakness is that I am an active participant in the education of my three children.

By 'active' I mean I take on as much of the everyday education of my daughters as I can. So my children don't go to school. I use services, other professionals, support and help where I feel I need. By this mixed method, I believe that my three daughters, all aged nine, have a fantastic, creative and mind-opening primary education.

It is an education my children lead, and it is built around them. It develops their interests, their expressions and their thirst for knowledges in all different areas. In any random week of the year we might visit an art gallery, join an educational party for a museum workshop, spend the day in a craft project run by a local community group, read a novel together, join a geology walking group, and attend external lessons in languages and sports. It's a wonderful mix; it's a renaissance education; it's an education that draws the best of everyone, and uses the people, experts and professionals in our community to the full.

It's also my weakness.

This government does not trust me to provide this education. And it wants you, other parents, not to trust me either.

Last year, this government spread the news that children who were educated outside of mainstream education were 'hidden'. 'Everyone knows', they said, 'that these children are vulnerable, abused, forced to marry, exploited...' Because they were told this, many people unquestioningly replied, 'yes, we know'.

This laid the groundwork for a fundamental shift in education law. Tomorrow, the Children, Schools and Families Bill has a second reading before parliament. In it, I can be denied my choice to provide the education I have built for my children.

From the fabulous Grit, read more here.

You can watch the second reading of the bill here.

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