Sunday, 24 January 2016

All my children went to secular school! You can't offer them as good an experience! And update on our home ed outcome.

"All my children went to secular school and grew up having faced trials and tribulations of what a school experience offers. There are limitations to home schooling and a child needs to experience all aspects of life to develop and that includes the good the bad and the ugly.. Your child cannot achieve its full potential sitting in the house"

Sorry this is from Loose Women, not sure she meant secular school but she was sure she was right.

You don't know this, you didn't do it. No child can experience all aspects of life we live in too varied times. If you didn't home educate you can only speculate on the limitations of home education.

"My neighbours kids are home schooled and the children spend more time running round the back garden and walking the dog."

Ah you know unless you watch them 23/7 you can't really know. There is no such thing as school time in home education and learning can happen any time. walking my dogs is one of the most social things I do. My own child would have looked like she had no school time cause she didn't, she learnt through exploring things she found fun. It is called autonomous education. She is now doing a levels at college and shocked that her friends have had that timetable all their lives while she has run free. 

"Interesting.. What a shock she will get when she enters the world of work.. That's what school prepare children for."

She is doing 3 A levels, Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry alongside tennis coaching lol. She is a level one coaching assistant and has already had paid work. She got on to those courses with no previous formal learning just her own love of exploring the subjects. She is up and out and does not miss lessons, it is her choice, her investment, if she wanted to leave she could, if she wanted to be late she could. She isn't, she doesn't want to, it is all her own very passionate choice. Why would a child that could do that not be able to hold down a job. Stick to your rigid ideas if you must but she could probably run rings around you on most subjects and certainly in having an open mind and being interested in the truth and not prejudice. (Many people were engaging with this woman who just was not listening)  Children are not lazy sods unless coerced and forced, left to make their own choices they are almost always amazing! She is my fourth child so I know about school and I still have the scars from protecting my kids from very wrong assumptions regarding the capacity of neurodiverse children who develop in a completely different way. 

She is also a volunteer peer tutor to a mature student who has seen her marks rise three levels after only a couple of weeks of her help. You really really do not know what you are talking about. She has been asked to be part of the interview process for many new appointments and he college has gone out of its way to allow her to study these A levels as she has no GCSE's. They have created a workaround, her mentor has done some autonomous learning to make sure she can stay. She is typical of the home educated children I see news of, moving on to formal education in the groups and amongst my many fb home ed friends. This is the expected result of home ed. And you would have to look very hard to find a home ed adult who is not working, running their own business, thriving at uni or following their dream.

"Good teachers make sure children are learning at their own pace, while still being stretched - and any teacher worth their salt can make the learning fun."

I think teachers are more and more handicapped by government demands that do not align with what we know about child development, in fact go entirely opposite to it. That may have been true once although in a childhood where I was often in staff rooms as my school had different holidays to my mother's and my own schooling and my four kid's experience I do not recognise that claim to be true, it is harder now than ever to do that. Teachers are drowning in directives and paperwork and all that matters to their masters is what the statistics look like. But however good they are it would be hard for them to match an education tailored exactly to the child's needs, preferences and developmental level.  

"I speak from experience when as a teacher I have had to help children to catch up with their peers."

"Well we've never met any teachers like that. Most just don't want them to fall behind, but again what are they behind of."

That shaming phrase, fall behind, fall behind an imaginary norm, all children are unique, that norm will be at the wrong place for most of them although some are resilient enough to manage. Home educated children are rescued from that shaming blaming system. It is a shame if some have to go back, especially if it is not a choice but circumstance but there is no way of knowing if they would not have been more "behind" if they had stayed in school. Many children in schools are behind this imaginary marker of success. It is not the kids who always match this norm who do best in life, I feel sorry for those who excel at school and find that actually life is nothing like it.


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