When you chose to do something that is 'different' it is inevitable that you will come up again a difference of opinion. When that opinion becomes a challenge or a criticism it is harder to deal with, especially when it is made by people who have no experience of home education, it is akin to reviewing a book without reading it.
I am under no illusion that home educating is an easy choice. Every decision I have made and will continue to make has been considered carefully with each of my children's individual needs at their heart. A few days ago most school children in England finished school for the Summer, it is the end of the school year here and for Cameron's peers at school this is a big time in their life. After seven years of being at the same school they will move up into the school where they will remain for the rest of their school life. Cameron will not be joining them, he will continue to be educated at home. My decision has engendered criticism amongst a small proportion of my friends and family. Talking about it to a friend recently she suggested that some are critical through fear, that by my actions I am myself being critical of them and their choice of education for their children.
I am not anti school. I never have been. My niece has just finished her A levels and her school life. She absolutely loved school and is really sorry it has come to an end. She is a really thoughtful, perceptive young woman about to go out into the world on her own, for whom school was absolutely the right setting for her to learn. She was the right shaped peg. Schools, by definition, cannot completely individualise each child's learning. Teachers only have so much time for planning, I know how long it takes to plan for my two children so to do so for a class of 30, even allowing for some similarities and repeating in subsequent years, it would be a huge task. So you end up with a plan that will suit some, hopefully most, children but not all of them and however hard you try, round pegs won't fit into square holes properly. I am absolutely sure my children would be the round pegs.
There are plans to make the English National Curriculum more knowledge based a move which I will admit to being completely baffled by, knowing facts is not my idea of preparing our nation's children to be the employees of the tomorrow. I believe they need skills such as motivation, self confidence, problem solving, initiative and organisation all of which need to be learnt not taught and are much harder for them to learn quickly.
So to the ladies on the bench I would like to know why you think that it should not be permitted to home educate a child at secondary school age (11 - 18). I would like to know why you think that the National Curriculum is the only framework for learning. I would also like to inform you that if my children wanted to learn about nuclear physics* it is perfectly possible to do that outwith a classroom.
*what I actually overheard was......education at primary level is all very well but at secondary it shouldn't be allowed, they wouldn't be able to do nuclear physics at the kitchen table now would they...........
I am sorry if you were reading any other posts here in the last week and found yourself unable to leave a comment. One of the links I had added to the last post I published seemed to corrupt my blog and disabled all links, it took me a while to work out what the problem was. A huge thank you to the lovely people who emailed me to let me know, it was much appreciated!