Poor old Graham Badman has been feeling a bit got at after publishing his review on home education. He managed to gain all one star reviews on Amazon and feels that the anger of what he calls a “minority” of home educating parents, just because we believe being treated as guilty until proven innocent of child abuse, is unjustified.
But I have to say the results of Badman’s little Review have not been all bad. I think I have seen some very good results.
To begin with Badman, Balls and pals have stirred up a quiet nest of family life and found it full of stinging hornets all ready to protect our young’uns. We have reached out from group to group, from parent to parent across the internet and around our local communities. We have had the chance to expand the number of home educating families we know and have found that whatever our philosophy of education, political views, religious beliefs or even parenting approaches-that we all believe in the freedom to live as families with the right and duty to the education of our children. Only one or two home ed parents have sided with the idea that the state owns our children and that we are to prove ourselves innocent of abuse and get a licence to parent our children.
The other good outcome is that more parents who have sent their children to school are beginning to realise that they too are threatened by this Government’s drive to break families. There are even some teachers willing and active in writing letters and filling out consultation questions supporting us.
While I certainly don’t think the mainstream media have done us many favours they have, even with the nastier side of their reporting, raised the profile of home education and thanks to the comment section of online papers such as The Times, The Telegraph and even The Guardian and the TES, a more truthful view of home education has been made very public. In doing so I am finding that more people are positive about the notion of home education and as a result I can’t help wondering whether there will be a spike in the numbers of children educated otherwise than school.
Only this morning I spoke to a parent whose children had a dreadful school experience and for her son has led to problems in his adult life. Her first grandchild is to be born soon -perhaps that child will have more choices in life; (unless the Badman recommendations go ahead of course). This mother had heard about home ed on the radio this morning and was fascinated by it. My guess she is not the only one. While Badman admitted that parents felt “despair” at the state of schools I wonder if he has realised that this feeling is common among parents whose children remain in school. Raising the awareness of home education will surely lead more children out of the school gates and to freedom. So thanks for that Mr Badman.
I am also glad to see MPs (mainly Conservative; in fact apart from UKIP has anyone else politically come out for family freedom and home ed?) standing up for the rights of families and the freedom to educate our children as we see fit. It’s good to know some people in the higher echelons do have some grasp of reality. It has also raised awareness that not only Labour but also the LibDems are not so keen on family rights. It’s always good to know where we stand.
So I hope poor old Mr Badman doesn’t feel too bad. Some good has come of all this.