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'Home Schoolers should be treated robustly'

(233 Posts)
maverick Mon 20-Jul-09 15:39:49

If you scroll down to igb's posting on this thread/page you'll see he has strong views on home education. He believes that 'the purpose of education is to protect children from their parents' prejudices', and therefore, 'Home Schoolers should be treated robustly'

Any thoughts?

www.badscience.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10249&start=75

Kayteee Mon 20-Jul-09 17:16:22

Robustly.....laugh out bloody loud!! grin

robberbutton Thu 23-Jul-09 23:05:20

Oh please, children are going to be subject to somebody's prejudices, no matter who is teaching them. There is no such thing as a neutral stance. They are my children and I would rather they were influenced by what I think is right and wrong than anyone else. Apart from the fact that any half-decent home educator is going to expose their children to as wide a range of views and experiences as possible... gah!

maverick Sun 02-Aug-09 09:09:51

In the Independent:
www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/simon-webb-we-must-get-tough-on-home-schooling-1764348. html

BonsoirAnna Sun 02-Aug-09 09:15:07

maverick - I liked that last article.

I am greatly pro-school in principle - I think it is important for children to spend time in a structured environment with their peers where they have to meet other people's expectations and are given opportunities for formal learning.

The trouble with leaving children to decide for themselves is that they don't even know what is out there for them to decide upon!

skidoodle Sun 02-Aug-09 09:17:57

These people are denying their children one of the most important rights there is - to have lea bureaucrats overseeing their lives.

TotalChaos Sun 02-Aug-09 09:36:50

that independent article is a touch disingenuous - focusing on one particularly lazyarse relaxed comment on EO as the basis of his article. Particularly since as the writer works with kids with SN he must see the difficulties parents can have getting an appropriate education for their kids inside schools.

now off to read the bad science link.

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 09:40:14

There is a kind of smugness to the second linked article which I disliked. He is home educating and therefore the way he does it is alright. How other people tackle home education must therefore also be wrong. It is very unbalanced and I should have thought elementary journalistic preparation encompasses researching first. It is also just plain common sense to know your writing will always be more effective, if you first list the pros and all that is actually good about a lifestyle choice before you then set about attacking it.

I think home education in itself by a conscientious, patient and engaged parent who has time, means and a bit of verve at their disposal is probably the best thing that can happen to a dc. I personally would not be able to do autonomous education because I could not step outside of my mindset which prescribes for me what an educated, rounded individual should know and be able to do at the age of 18.

However I do not assume autonomous education does not work. I think it probably does if an adult is truly willing to facilitate the dc's chosen field of learning at any time. There is a simplistic attitude in that article which assumes that an adult has chosen autonomous HE as a means to an easy life. As I understand it, autonomous educators are closely involved in following up any interests the dc has. This could mean at any time and be a subject you are quite unprepared for. This would demand a kind of dedication and creativity on the part of the dp most of us don't feel capable of I should think. It's utter rot to claim autonomously educated dc sit in front of the TV all day eating junk food and drinking fizzy rubbish. Where is the evidence for this?

The only HEd dc I know are very advanced and their dp follow a curriculum package or assemble one themselves. I have never met any autonomous educators personally.

BonsoirAnna Sun 02-Aug-09 09:50:30

I don't think that the writer was remotely smug. He has nothing against his own HE being inspected by the appropriate authorities, to begin with.

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 09:51:12

I found him smug v-a-v autonomous HE. Just my opinion for what it is worth

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 09:54:26

there may be a big curriculum-based vs autonomous divide in HE and my impression is that he is coming at it from that angle:

"..This was indeed the case with my own daughter whom I have taught since she was a baby. Sadly, this image is very much the exception in British home education.

The most popular educational method used by those who withdraw their children from school in this country is known as autonomous education and involves nobody teaching children anything at all! "

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Aug-09 09:54:38

Message withdrawn

BonsoirAnna Sun 02-Aug-09 09:58:10

You are only in formal education for part of the day though; all parents have the opportunity to autonomously HE and to let children follow their own interests for a large part of the time. Formal education in a school setting introduces children to things that they cannot encounter in a home setting ie it gives the additional opportunities that HE never can.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Aug-09 10:01:35

Message withdrawn

BonsoirAnna Sun 02-Aug-09 10:03:17

That is a different issue, SM, that HEders and school-using parents alike face.

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 10:04:10

without in some way wanting to question or undermine anyone's choice for their dc, I do think HE would offer more chances for a dc to be introduced to more than they would encounter at school - GIVEN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE, and time and energy on the part of the dp. I don't think in every circumstance it is always the case.

As I understand it, autonomously educating dp would fear that the time spent in a formal learning environment would have a detrimental effect on the dc's natural learning style so topping up after school would not work for them.

I don't know that much about autonomous education tbh but as I understand it, it is about the dc's whole approach to learning which is why doing it part-time if you like after work (after the damage has been done perhaps) would not work.

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 10:05:47

In any case formal schooling for the bulk of the dc is a relatively new thing and I am not convinced it is all good tbh. Generally, I am all for freedom in things like lifestyle and education, as much as reasonably possible

juuule Sun 02-Aug-09 10:06:00

Simon Webb again plus a different view from Jeremy Yallop

I found the comments on both links are very interesting.

BonsoirAnna Sun 02-Aug-09 10:08:44

At school, my DD has the opportunity to learn in both English and French, from qualified mother-tongue teachers in both languages, from age 3, and to learn an additional language (Spanish) from age 7, again from qualified mother-tongue teachers; to interact with boys and girls of over 50 nationalities/cultures; to learn to meet the behavioural expectations of a structured environment; to observe others struggle to learn things she finds easy and to observe others doing things she has not yet mastered.

Those are just a few of the things that I cannot give her at home.

At home she can follow her own desires, which is great, but not enough IMO.

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 10:13:05

I should think if you were ever to do it Anna, you would be what I would call a highly conscientious HEr. I suspect a bit like me you would not be able to relax your own expectations of what your dd should know/learn.

You might also need to compare your dd's school to some of the state schools in the UK in less well-off areas with all the drawbacks that might involve. I don't think your dd's current school is on a par with those at all IYSWIM

BonsoirAnna Sun 02-Aug-09 10:15:01

ZZZen - while I am generally in favour of school, I support HE where local school provision is deeply inadequate. However, I do think that it ought to be subject to inspection and to meeting external expectations on curriculum basics (like the writer of the article below).

BonsoirAnna Sun 02-Aug-09 10:19:42

I also think that it is quite right to have expectations of what a child needs to learn. Modern life is incredibly complicated as it is without a child having huge gaps in their basic knowledge. It is not enough to pursue passions and specialist interests.

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 10:25:14

I come across as if I have a mission to convert you to autonomous education Anna but in truth it is something I don't really "get" myself.

When it comes to education, I tend very far the other way tbh because I don't think schools go ANYWHERE NEAR far enough in providing what I consider good all-round education. I do loads to counteract what I personally see as a deficit (really loads).

I am interested in autonomous education as a concept though, I could not, I am fairly sure, do it myself but that does not mean I think it is wrong in itself and cannot work. Always given as I say, the right dp or facilitator as they understand themselves in that context.

Since I don't see how you can effectively measure the success of autonomous education, I think they feel these check-ups are aimed at stamping out rather than monitoring autonomous eduation.

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 10:26:13

I think I would need to see it in action over a certain period tbh

ZZZenAgain Sun 02-Aug-09 10:28:11

actually aren't there schools in Sweden, ("experimental schools"?) where the dc essentially learn autonomously, the teachers do the facilitating as HE dp would at home? I very vaguely remember seeing a documentary about this many years ago but at that time I was not a mother, so only mildly interested.

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