Home education then… Why did we do it?
So before I answer that let’s cover a little ground first and let you know that anyone can home educate. Honestly. You need no special qualifications or permission. Under U.K. Law the parent is responsible for the education of the child according to their age and ability. By enrolling your child at school you give permission for the state to take over that role although you remain responsible for it.
It always annoys me when ill informed media or newspaper articles use the phrase, “School is compulsory” as this is not true. Certainly not for the U.K. Education is compulsory – not school. You can provide that education should you choose to.
There are loads of resources out there to help you home educate your child/ren which I’ll detail below, we also found out that there are loads of home educators out there – quite possibly right on your street! We thought we’d be part of a small bunch in our county but there were about three other home educating families on our small estate alone. It’s growing fast!
Back to the original question then, why did we do it? It was quite simple actually.
At first I found Abe and Sam’s schooling experience quite fun, in the reception years they were lucky enough to have what I would call ‘Old School’ teachers who primarily focussed on play and stories and so on for their day. It was very lighthearted and much like I remember my schooling to be.
This all changed though as they moved up and out of reception year. It all became tick boxes, targets, being ‘behind’ or ‘in front’, tiredness, multiple books to read every night and more which resulted in withdrawn children who started to not resemble anything like the boys I had been involved in raising. One day I snuck up to school and watched the playground in secret at lunchtime. I saw that Abe was just wandering around the playground kicking his heels looking bored and unhappy. Well I wasn’t going to stand for that. I asked him what was wrong that afternoon after school and he told me, “I just wander around at lunchtime waiting for the bell to go”. This was a normal thing for him and that was it for me – I discussed it with Claire and we pulled Abe and Sam out that following week. We’ve never looked back.