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The most powerful argument for home education I have ever seen!!

(72 Posts)
Spidermama Tue 07-Dec-10 19:22:06

Has this link already been shown on MN?

If it hasn't, it certainly should be. This is a damning indictment of schools.

It was brought to my attention by a friend who's a primary school teacher in South London. Yet she goes on teaching and I go on sending them to school.

The school system needs a radical shake up.

ThoseArtisticTypes Tue 07-Dec-10 19:30:33

Statistically girls do very well being HE but boys do not and gain very few qualifications and end up in low skilled employment.

I HE'd for a while by the way.

WomanOfAbjectMystery Tue 07-Dec-10 19:43:08

Those - where are you getting your stats? Do you have any evidence to back this claim?

The true number of home educated children is currently unknown, so not sure how these things can be accurately measured. I do know that according to one study cited in the Badman report, a percentage (around 22% IIRC) of male home educated teenaged children were not currently in education or employment (the measure of success/attainment apparently). This begs the questions, a) how can you come up with 22% if you don't know the correct total number of children, and b) were they considered to not be in education because they were studying independently/being home educated instead? Also IIRC the 22% claim was later withdrawn. Someone more knowledgable might come along with a link or refutation.

Spidermama, I think we have a friend in common ;)

matildarosepink Tue 07-Dec-10 19:45:02

I love the theory and autonomy that underpins Home Ed, but til education funding gets a proper shakeup, I think it may work fantastically for a while but for lots it won't work forever.

There's no funding available for those who Home Ed, but places are funded in schools for every child, whether they attend or not. Seems wrong to me.. also, if there is always an adult at home to attend to the child's needs it works fantastically but life's not always like that. Family dynamics and needs change. Constantly seeing each others' faces and no others can be stifling. Also difficult to provide the specialist input as they get older without funding (though some schools are open to secondary students attending part time for certain subjects).

I haven't HE'd but have often thought of it (DD v happy in school, so haven't - also no home ed community round here, which I think I'd need.)I think it's a great alternative for some. Would rather see a young person study at home and just pay to sit the exams they wanted to rather than drop out thinking there was no alternative.

ThoseArtisticTypes, do you have a link to any stats/studies that support what you talked about with the differences in gender outcomes? Am very interested in reading more, I find this fascinating...

matildarosepink Tue 07-Dec-10 19:54:27

WomanofAbject, I like what you're questioning here. I think there is a huge govt agenda to control and box in the whole home ed movement. I think it's a shame that so many parents send their children to less than adequate schools by default because they don't realise there's any alternative - a sort of conveyor belt life for their children.

I did a presentation recently about home ed. The response was amazing. Lots of them didn't even know about it (trainee careers guidance teachers), some said 'what a terrible idea! All those children could be abused, and we'd never know!!' I had to acknowledge that school was one way of the state generally monitoring health and wellbeing (albeit clumsily). However, lots of students drop out of school through disaffection, bullying, etc - what about the abuse they may have had in schools? I see it as a truly viable alternative to sidestepping the sausage factory of school and gaining qualifications on your own terms.

I kind of like it that the govt has no real way of tracking numbers in home ed. Hate that whole big brother thing...

ThoseArtisticTypes Tue 07-Dec-10 19:55:41

Because once you get into the working world your prior education is recorded so although no one knows at the precise moment in time how many CHILDREN are being HE, they do know the outcome of HE from 18 years and up!

glasjam Tue 07-Dec-10 20:12:51

Thanks for that link - it was really interesting. What a great way of presenting an argument. I didn't particularly come away from it with the idea that Home Educating was the answer - to me that could be interpreted as "atomising" individuals. But I am not against HE and would do it if I really thought that my child was suffering in mainstream education.

Adair Tue 07-Dec-10 20:21:07

I've seen it. Husband has seen it. Very pretty. Agree with lots (not the ADHD stuff tbh).
It's very outdated. Schools DO a great deal of what is presented in it already and iirc that;s what the last curriculum shake-up was about (skills as opposed to font of knowledge stuff).

I don't know if it is possible to over-turn the entire education system without over-turning the whole way society works at present (expecting grades and numbers to tell us what you can do).

WomanOfAbjectMystery Tue 07-Dec-10 20:21:49

Hmm Those. What is this data-collection process? Prior education recorded by whom and for what reason?

For example, if they are recording the educational attainment of, say, jobseekers, then that's a very different pool than that of employed people, for whom a central data-collection agency does not exist. Or does it? It would be like saying 22% of British women use a mooncup, based on a survey of MNers only.

I'm willing to be educated about this but you'll need to provide references to actual studies, data-collection processes and statistics.

Yes Matilda - home ed is considered suspect, yet I removed my child from school because of severe emotional abuse - by the school.

Adair Tue 07-Dec-10 20:22:33

(PS should qualify: dh is on senior leadership of successful London state secondary school, I am state teacher in Inner London)

WomanOfAbjectMystery Tue 07-Dec-10 20:24:19

I'm seriously trying to figure out how the gov't would possibly know what my prior education is. I've filled out a lot of forms for a lot of things (taxes, child benefit, drivers license, passport, etc) and none of them has asked about my education.

WomanOfAbjectMystery Tue 07-Dec-10 20:29:25


Adair, agreed re your last sentence re the difficulty over-turning the way society works - grades and numbers being necessary for validation to advance to the next 'level' etc.

However, home educators should have the right to try by opting out.

Adair Tue 07-Dec-10 20:38:36

But can you opt-out? Presumably at some point, the child needs to get a job or go to university... <musing here> How do we let them know it's not important, but at the same time it MIGHT be important...?!

IMVHO it's our job as parents (and teachers, and the community?) to equip our children to be able to function positively in society. It is a shame (and yes, an indictment) if we cannot do that within 'the system' but I understand if parents can't for whatever reason.

WomanOfAbjectMystery Tue 07-Dec-10 20:50:56

Yes, you can opt out. Of course you can.

If you want to go the straight route, your HE kids can take all the right exams at all the right ages, etc.

But of course there are all kinds of other interesting routes to all kinds of other interesting places too

Yes, it is our job as parents, teachers, and community etc.

I'm not convinced that any of the current school systems could help my child function positively in society right now. I know that our family can though, by organising a bespoke educational experience with the right combination of 1:1 stuff, group stuff, adult-guided stuff, autonomous stuff, work, play, etc.

WomanOfAbjectMystery Tue 07-Dec-10 20:55:40

God this is depressing.

Cortina Tue 07-Dec-10 23:31:27

Many of the comments that follow that link are even more depressing.

I wonder if the situation is really that concerning? They are comparing apples with oranges in many examples cited.

ShanahansRevenge Wed 08-Dec-10 00:42:49

I have thought a lot about HE too. DD is very happy though...if I ever cannot afford school fees I would probably HE.

I wonder though... lot of UK parents are put off by the socialisation thing...what if the governement were to fund a knd of open school" where HE kids could attend part time...or not...and recieve some specialist teaching from art teachers etc...take part in science workshops etc.

Thet could enroll and attend a certain amount of time...thus gain the friends and some classes in subject which their parents may not be so strong in?
I suspect that the response would be huge and it would take the strain off our overcrowded schools.

WomanOfAbjectMystery Wed 08-Dec-10 01:12:43

Yes, I'd love something like you describe.

Museums should also be making it easier for HE children to access publicly funded education visits etc. There are barriers because of the way they are set up, to accommodate large groups from one setting.

BaggedandTagged Wed 08-Dec-10 01:14:13

I suspect one thing against home ed (from a government's POV) is that it risks taking an attractive sort of pupil out of the schools; the ones with parents with a very high interest in education, who are likely to be degree educated themselves, and therefore who have children who are likely to do very well in school. To choose to home ed you are, by default, massively invested in your DCs education and would also likely to be very involved if your DCs were in school.

ie similar argument to why some dont like selective state or private education. If you believe that having brighter, more motivated, better behaved pupils in a class raises the achievement of the less able pupils,less well behaved, less motivated pupils, then home ed damages average attainment.

Not saying I agree with this, just that it might be a factor in why Govs dont want to back home ed.

ShanahansRevenge Wed 08-Dec-10 01:18:08

Hmm...interesting BaggedandTagged.

I always thought it was just that States lie everyone stamped and organised into the right boxes? And stragglers and free thinkers were dangerous.

I could somehow see the type of organisation I describe as ending up excellent or a sin-bin...where school advise the parents of the less able or troubled send them there...and lave the "good" ones at thir desks in the "correct" box.

It could happen.

BaggedandTagged Wed 08-Dec-10 01:34:29

Shanahan- I'm not sure the state is "against" free thinkers as such, more that a mass education system cant really accomodate them. Someone used a good analagy on another thread which I'm going to shamelessly steal- "state funded education is a bus not a taxi". Some (maybe most) kids find the bus pretty much goes where they want to within reason, but the route totally doesnt suit some kids, and they'd be better off walking because at least then they'd be going in the right direction.

eg one child in the class might get so engrossed in a maths problem that they want to spend the rest of the day exploring other solutions but school cant accomodate that because what about the other 29 children who are bored of it and want to move onto something else. Home ed can accomodate that.

I guess one issue of encouraging home ed might be that it costs a lot to monitor whether children are receiving an adequate education. I am degree educated but wouldnt want to HE past 11 because (eg) my science education only goes to GCSE level- I did liberal art A-levels- and I feel strongly that you should be at least one level ahead of what you're trying to teach. I'd apply that requirement to a school, so I should also apply it to myself?

I suspect what might happen if HE was encouraged is that you would get a significant expansionsion of home ed at primary evel and then a lot of those children would go back into the system at 11 or 16. Either that, or the state starts providing supplementary lessons in areas which parents dont feel confident in, which would prob involve a LOT of admin (=cost)

Saracen Wed 08-Dec-10 04:52:58

BaggedandTagged said "I guess one issue of encouraging home ed might be that it costs a lot to monitor whether children are receiving an adequate education."

For the state, you mean? They aren't legally required to do this, so home education needn't cost them anything. And even if they did have to monitor, surely the cost of that would be tiny compared to the cost of educating the child at a state school. What does a year of school cost the taxpayer, £6k or so for a child without SENs? You could buy an awful lot of monitoring for that money (shudder).

seeker Wed 08-Dec-10 05:48:10

Interesting. But I would have thought that he has two central ideas that most advocates of HE would completely disagree with - (1) ADHD is a fictitious epidemic and (2) most great learning happens in groups.

GotArt Wed 08-Dec-10 06:08:38

I live in an area where there are a huge amount of home schooled children; I have 6 friends who do it. These kids might get home schooled but aren't devoid of group activities as the recreation centre and various other family oriented places have extra-curricular activities through the day for them; art, swimming, skating, that sort of thing. All activities that schooled children do in the evenings and weekends. The only thing that isn't available is second language as it is only through school. I live in British Columbia. Each child in the province is accounted for. I get phone calls from the health nurse to remind me of when I should be taking DD to have her eyes check, vaccinations and check-ups. However, unlike what sounds like in the UK, the parent that homeschool's gets the funding from the government that would normally go to the school for that child. It is almost $600 a month! Well worth if you are a SAHM.

Catchthewind Wed 08-Dec-10 06:25:08

<moves to BC immediately>

This is inspiring.

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