The education system is broken and I don’t have time to wait around until it’s fixed.
Sure this isn’t everyone’s opinion and there are a couple of signs that schools are maybe improving a little, but nowhere near enough for me.
We’ve decided to go against the grain and home educate. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Sat at home isolated, how will your child ever make friends?’ That’s the usual response anyway. It was, in fact, my response a few years ago too, that was however before I researched, investigated and uncovered quite a different mind opening world!
There are soo many groups, activities and opportunities for home educated children to learn, socialise and most importantly enjoy. Our 12-year-old daughter raised this as her only concern about our decision. You see the girls are both in school and always have been. She asked how he would make friends. Here’s how I explained it to her:
‘You have to go to a specific place to learn every day, a place where there is a selection of children for you to choose from and make friends. You make friends and continue to learn and work within the boundaries of the school. Imagine going to a whole bunch of different places with a selection of the same children and new ones each time that you can choose from to make friends. Then with your friends you can enjoy learning, working and socialising in many different environments, it would be like a school trip only several times a week.’
She understood my point and was happy knowing her little brother would indeed have great chances to build friendships exactly how she and her sister have done.
So far in the first week of home educating, Corben has played with various aged children at the park and had a picnic. Visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park twice to play and learn about all the animals first hand. He’s also been to The Deep, an aquarium where again he played with others, joined in with various learning activities and was even given a certificate. He attended a weekly meet with children his own age, made a paper boat to float on the lake and explore the woodlands. We’ve been swimming and it seems he’s a natural. A weekly meet up at the indoor AirKings Trampoline park was also amazing fun and definitely tiring! He’s built up relationships immediately during the first week of this journey and his interaction skills towards his peers have evidentially improved in such a short time.
All of this seems like play, but remember he’s only 3 and you’re not actually obliged to start children in education until they’re 5. Another reason we’ve chosen to home educate is that we don’t have to wait for him to learn what the system decides when they decide. We plan to begin the process of reading immediately, we can give him a 1-1 learning experience and who knows him better than we do to be able to gauge exactly how quickly or slowly we can progress with his learning.
You see school is like a train you can’t get off of. If you’re behind then you still need to move forward throughout the year groups. If you’re in front then you have to wait until the others catch up. I’ve spoken with several teachers and their biggest concern regarding the career they chose in which to open and inspire young minds, is the increasing amount of pressure being put on children to pass exams. Primary school aged children with anxiety and stress issues is just ludicrous. The curriculum is wide, yet teachers are being given a very narrowed down version of it to roll out for a single purpose, passing exams.
The tests that 11-year-olds take is to assess the school rather than the child, SATs results for the individual children mean nothing at all.
Another question often asked is why we haven’t made the same choice for our girls. The simple answer is that they are now in a secondary school that teaches in an entirely different way to the ‘norm’, an expeditionary school with methods we believe in, had they not got into this school then we may well have been home educating them too.
Based on the reasons above and various others too, we’ve done all the research on an alternative way to ensure that our boy is given every opportunity to explore the entire world around him with no limits, a decision we couldn’t be happier with and are very excited about.
It would be great to hear what you think, are you considering home education for your child, are you already doing it? Or why are you opposed to this method of learning?
You can read more from me over on dadvworld.com Thanks for reading :)