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Why Home Educate

Page history last edited by starkfamily1@... 15 years ago

Why Home Educate?





Home education is brilliant!


More people should do it! Home educating is an ideal way to ensure that every child receives an education that is tailored to their own age, ability and aptitudes and to any special educational needs they may have, as the law requires parents to do. But too many people are uncertain or afraid because of all the rubbish that is spouted about home education and home educators. The worst offenders are


a.)Some “experts” in the Local Authority education department you may be naive enough to ask the advice of.

b.)Some teachers working in the state school system, who have never, themselves, been home educators.


These people know a lot about schooling in state schools. School=Education therefore it must follow that Education=School? Not necessarily!


c.)Representatives of professionals whose income depends on most children using the state school system.

d.)Anyone whose income depends on children attending state schools, under compulsion if necessary.


These people have a personal interest in maintaining the state school system.


e.)Media presentations fronted by any of the above “experts.”


For example, DfES spokespersons saying that the best place to educate a child is in school are as unlikely to give advice untainted by such prejudice as an LA employee who believes only some, nice, families can home educate and these are likely to generate complaints from people who know something about education outside the school system. see here and here.


I am not saying you will always get the wrong information from these people but they are, in fact, notorious among home educators for their ignorance and bias on the subject of home education. Seeking advice primarily from most of the above could put you into a position similar to asking the national union of turkeys, (NUTs,) about your Christmas menu.


When we explain to people who ask us, that we are a home educating family, they are very interested and positive, on the whole, but there are commonly repeated concerns. These concerns are the result of more than a century of The Big Lie. The Big Lie about schooling surrounds us, and so much of popular thinking is formed in the atmosphere of propaganda about schooling history and success defining what “education” means.


Other Reasons:


See why NOT to use formal child care or schooling in this booklist.


But shouldn’t children be in school to learn?


Learning All the Time! (video)


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Video from different take films.


Other options?


Why do people think schooling is the only option? What did people do before schooling, as we know it, was invented? What does everyone do before they are of “school age” and afterwards? Ever had a hobby? Ever known someone with something they love to do? They can become expert at it. Sometimes we seek the guidance and knowledge of others who are expert or who love a subject as we do, but it is clear we can learn without schooling by many and various means.


Sadly, people often believe that children will not learn without being directed by a teacher or that they will not learn the ‘right things’ or the ‘things they need.’ Rubbish. I believe children are “hard wired” to learn from the world around them and to learn the things that they need to flourish in their society. I think we should be providing as much freely available information and help to our young people as possible and free access to experts who can help them follow their interests on an invitational basis only. I believe we should be observing and responding to natural demands and not trying to control our young so much. We should trust them! It is abusive to tie up a natural human instinct like learning with too much direction and with compulsion. This is as likely to put people off learning and make them feel stupid and out of control of their own learning as Compulsory Eating is likely to put them off food and make them feel sick and out of control of their own appetite!


There is evidence of a high rate of learning among even the poorest, and our highest national literacy rate ever in the years before parliament introduced compulsory education and state schooling. 1 It has never been so high since. That is to say, it has gone steadily downhill!


School is an unnatural way to learn things and actually suits a minority of people. I believe many people come out of schools having learned enough and with a measure of success and humanity despite the institutions and not because of them; perhaps because of one inspirational teacher in a bureaucratic and unresponsive institution; as survivors and because human beings are flexible, creative, amazing and unpredictable – especially our young people! But why subject them to this trial if there is a better way?


If your child is a registered pupil at a school in England or Wales, and you would like to home educate them, see this page at www.home-education.org.uk for deregistration advice.


What Should Children Learn


Parents observe with wonder and delight the enormous appetite for learning in young children. It is said that the most intensive learning goes on before the age of five, simply by doing what comes naturally. Just when the whole thing is working so well and our children are increasingly delightful, we are supposed to send them off for the best part of each weekday, so that their attention can be diverted from what they need and want to learn, to make them pay attention to what the government of the day thinks they should want and learn.


You may wonder how our rulers can have the arrogance to think they know better about children, (whose names they will never hear whispered or whose dreams they will lose not a moment’s sleep over,) than what the unfolding of particular aptitudes and gifts will reveal about what each child needs and how it should be provided. But now, the government has even produced a national curriculum for childhood, for all children, from birth until entry into a schooling institution! Whatever would we the people do without them?


Can you imagine the first humans gathering all the children to sit them down and give them lessons in order that the human race may advance in a properly ordered manner, managed according to a plan ordained by the great and the good of the day? Maybe, all those cave drawings are really a pre-historic blackboard depicting lessons in “Catching your Barbeque,” or, “Advances of Modern Man – from blunt clubs to sharp stones – an arms race too far?” Is it really the place of government to say what all children should learn, how and when and where they should learn it?


What about Socialisation?


Socialisation is a problem. Before writing this article, I saw an unusual sculpture in a Community Garden. I wondered aloud what it might symbolize? “You are standing too far away Mum,” said my daughter, “It is a vandalized litter bin!”


Indeed, it symbolized a situation in which young people are alienated and even feared by this community. “If only,” said my daughter, “If only they could have been socialized normally, perhaps they would not be doing these things!”




We should let children live in and be part of the real world, instead of incarcerating them for their formative years in order to prepare them for it at some future point. That doesn’t make sense. Schooled children are separated from their family and natural community, and placed in unnatural social groupings. This artificially devised distance between children and their siblings, their parents, their communities, is one of the most serious socialisation problems in our society.


Research shows home educated children perform academically and socially above their schooled peers, especially home educated children from working class backgrounds who don’t always get the best schools or the best support and expectations about their capabilities, in schools. See one example here.



"Go to your local public school, walk down the hallways

and see what behaviors you would want your child to emulate."

-Manfred B. Zysk


Is it an excuse for parents to indoctrinate children?


(with their own views.)


As opposed to the views of … ? We have a state national curriculum in this country including personal health and development, ethics and morality, religion, and citizenship studies. Even if you have unquestioning faith in the judgement of the powers that be and the part of the citizen in influencing what they dictate, and, on the other hand, you do not trust parents to be reasonable or to try to make information available to children whilst sharing with them what they themselves believe, you might wonder what business it is of the state to be dictating what the children of the nation should be learning about their personal health, morals and citizenship. I won’t get into the questions of faith or, even, history. This is all about who has the power to influence the population. Consider, a national curriculum cannot be all things to all men. The more it covers, the more it has the tendency to promote a view that is “correct” with the government who have legislated for it. This has the effect of sidelining, excluding and silencing those who are different or who dissent from the prevailing view.


More People Should Home Educate


And give their children a chance to get out of the battery farm and experience free-range education. It wouldn’t suit everyone, and some will not be able to do it for practical reasons, but everyone should certainly be made aware that they are legally entitled to do it and most likely would be able to do it well!


If you are a parent, do you realise that you are legally responsible for the education of your children yourself? i.e. YOU as a parent could be taken to court if your child doesn't receive an education that is properly suited to their own abilities and aptitudes - even if you send them to school!


DON'T PANIC - your local authority aren't about to challenge you if your child is in one of their schools!


And if Gordon gets his way - one parent families on Income Support can queue on the right too!




People from all walks of life can home educate. There is nothing wrong with a nice, middle class family doing school at home around the kitchen table, but I am tired of this stereotype being pushed with predictable regularity. It looks like some sort of advert and doesn't give a true picture of the diversity of the home education community. To look at the media representations you would think there was no other way to educate than to be middle class and to "do school." One even wonders if this is the point; to reinforce the old certainties and comfortable myths that sustain the school system in this country and prevent any real or effective change.


This misinformation posing as "news" causes prejudice and misunderstanding too. Sadly, it makes some families think they could never home educate and that makes me really fed up because the whole thing looks to me like nothing more than class prejudice. This home education is alright for nice people but not the riff-raff! People seem challenged by the idea that all parents and families should benefit from the same rights. But there are many different kinds of families who can and do provide for the education of their children not only outside the school system, but outside any idea of school!


Some things you don't have to have to home educate:


A profession!

A degree!

A kitchen table!

A time table!

A received (posh) accent!



Searching for the free world


If you want to allow your child to experience their education outside of the schooling system, don’t ask the schooling system how you should do it. Ask the experts – home educators know about home education.


Home Ed Blogs


Dare to know!

Sometimes it's Peaceful.

Pete Darby.


Support lists


UKHome-Ed mailing list

This list is the oldest, largest and most established Internet mailing list supporting home education in the UK. An excellent source of support, advice and general information. See this page for joining information.


HEUK - a yahoo discussion and support list associated with home-education.org.uk website. This group is for the exclusive use of those who are home educating or are considering home educating their children. You will be sure of finding a welcome here and plenty of support and advice on all issues relating to home education. "This is is your gateway to the HE community." The home page (from where you can join the group,) is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HE-UK/




Home Education UK.



(1) see: large readership of broadsheets and pamphlets, large readership of people’s newspapers, a Newcastle commission by government into the state of learning in the nation showing a 90%+ rate of literacy before the establishment of compulsory education.


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