I am sure that most parents spend time wondering if they are doing the right thing. Trying to bring children up in this culture is frankly quite difficult at times. The cult of expert has hardly helped us as parents as now we are left second guessing everything we do in case it doesn’t get ‘expert’ approval.
Making parents bow to the experts has hardly given us a country full of well rounded happy children (according to that recent report from the Children’s Society).Yet here we are with the Review on Home Education and the panal is stuffed with people who are ‘experts’-not in parenting, or Elective Home Education of course, but experts and that’s the important thing. Check out Carlotta’s Dare to Know on this.
I don’t know what experts would say about the choice we have made as a family that no more of our children will be put through a school education. I wonder what the experts on this panel actually THINK about Elective Home Education. Only two people have bothered to speak to EHE families-what about the rest? Do they buy into the ignorant judgements that we are bad parents because we are ‘over protective’ or our children are not ‘socialised’ or they are not given access to ‘science labs’? Do they believe the average parent isn’t capable of offering their children opportunities for a well rounded education and upbringing? Do they want to curb those of us who have Christianity as the foundation of our family life, or those who have Islam as the foundation of their family life? (I haven’t seen other religions targeted as yet).
For us home education is not primarily about our children achieving academically (or even achieving economic wellbeing!) it is about learning to grow as a person; to know right from wrong; to be comfortable with responsibility and even with sacrifice.
I cannot envisage forcing on my children a curriculum based on everything being relative until an adult decides what is absolute in that situation. Some things simply ARE and I want my children to learn that.
I don’t want them put through sex ed in the way this horrible Govt wants it taught as nothing more than grooming. Why do they insist that smoking is horrible, bad and must not happen, but children having sex is ‘safe’ so long as they have a condom? (Okay I know why. Follow the money).
I think many on this panel will think that young people can only avoid being NEET (oh the horror!) if they have sat the recommended exams. It seems to be the only measure they have of achievement. The idea that a child can put together his own portfolio and get work based on his behaviour rather than any GCSEs is probably something they can’t envisage.
Then Gill posts that Mr Badman said he felt traveller children were missing their potential by not going to University. Perhaps Mr Badman hasn’t noticed the shocking cost of going to University or the number of grads without work.
Josh is off to Uni in Sept. He has an open day next week where he can check out the course more fully and meet the staff. Hopefully this degree will give him what he needs to set up his own drama business and get to do some study over at FUS in a few years. But despite the massive cost and the debt he faces-there are no guarantees, especially in the UK. I am glad he didn’t go straight from school, but has spent time working this out, working a job and he has really tried to achieve his dream of going to study in America and get the business links he wanted over there.
Alex wants to avoid Uni if at all possible-and I hope he can.
The Review team are all about child protection, curriculum, computers, more child protection, early years development and a couple of SEN experts.
Trying to be a good parent is difficult. We are constantly second guessed by ‘experts’. In our house we have one TV (that doesn’t work very well) and although we have a couple of working computers (and a semi-dead one Josh uses) the children are limited with use. Yes we use it for curriculum stuff but I think there are plenty of other ways to learn rather than sat in front of the computer all day. Also we CHOOSE which websites we use. I will not be bending to a one size curriculum.
Home education is part of normal family life. It isn’t “school” followed by “home”. So we all pitch in to take care of one another and the house. Is this domestic servitude? Is it wrong that older children learn a little responsibility around their younger siblings? My children are expected to dress modestly and behave politely, treating others with respect. Of course this must be bad because it curbs their natural self expression surely.
Then as a bad parent I censure what the children see on TV, read, listen to-you name it. As my older children study media and how to make it, it certainly don’t need them exposed to the nasty anti family, sleazy and even miserable nihilistic stuff that is so easily available. A friend of ours stopped her daughter watching CBBC when she started picking up the nasty attitude of a child in a programme (one of those very popular children’s authors things-again anti parents). A lot of this stuff is forced on children in school.
The censorship here does lend itself to some eclectic music though. Josh plugged his MP3 player into the car t’other day as we went to Stratford and we were treated to Due South music, Weird Al, Rossini, LOTR soundtrack, Corrine Bailey Ray, some jazz, Verdi…LOL!
I am not saying that all home educated children are better socialised and better behaved, more polite, gentle etc than schooled children. I know a lot of school teens who are lovely and sadly I know a few home ed kids who are aggressive, rude and destructive. It happens. Some parents don’t bother trying to correct bad behaviour and the rest of us get the brunt of it. But this is NOT about education is it? It’s about parenting.
So what is the review going to come up with? It says it will ensure recommendations are “based on evidence” (research based practice we assume); and the evidence is that Home Educated children do better academically, socially and psychologically than their schooled peers.
What about Christianity? This Govt loathes Christians (and especially Catholics) who actually ARE Christians. The word ‘extremist’ gets thrown around a lot to try and make us look terrible. They want our children to tolerate certain people and despise others-but us pesky Christians have this view that every person from the moment of conception is made in the image and likeness of God with an inherent dignity worthy of respect and love! They want to push sex on our children but Christians say it’s holy and for marriage. Oh the horror! They want the superstition of enviromentalism forced down our necks, but Christians believe in Stewardship of the earth, not carbon footprints or hug-a-tree-kill-a-baby. They have no problem with lies, cheating and a bit of theft here and there-but those nasty judgemental Christians have the Ten Commandments!…the list goes on.
I am not saying that how we parent or even educate our children is a purely private matter. It isn’t. How children are taught to behave, and how they view life is important to communities. Far too many of us have had to field the horrible behaviour of other people’s children where parents either don’t seem able or willing to curb this behaviour. Many parents seem to be dis-empowered (‘scuse the jargon but it fits here).
Reviews like this one don’t look set to help any parent grab back their place in the family do they?