Yet again I have heard that the majority of homeschoolers in the UK are SEN (Special Educational Needs) children like Emily. This time it was in an on-line forum to which I am a member.
Having the experience of homeschooling two SEN children now, I am a huge proponent of our abilities as parents to provide a loving, affirming and quality education that schools cannot with their limited resources and strict structures. As I talked about in a previous post (A Tale of Two Children), part of this confidence comes from realizing how badly the school system failed my now adult son. He bore the label ‘special’ like the proverbial scarlet letter and feels it emotional weight to this day.
But can ANYONE homeschool their child? I believe that regardless of income, class or education most parents, especially those with children who do not fit the model be they gifted or ‘special,’ can provide an individualized education that meets the needs of the child and society.
A better phrasing of the question might be…should a parent homeschool their child/ren. This phrasing recognizes that there is a subtle but real difference between those rights and responsibilities that we can exercise and those we choose to.
The decision to homeschool like parenting itself is not one that should be entered into lightly. There are several factors that go into making an informed and well informed choice that is best for your child, family and society. Among the factors that should honestly and reverently be pondered are:
Is school working for my child?
Do we have the time to do this? Or are we willing to make the time?
Do we have the resources to do the job? Our own education? A strong support network? Financially?
Are we strong enough to manage this journey?
Over the coming weeks, I will look at each of these questions in more detail. Not to provide you with answers, for only you are qualified to make that decision for your family. But rather to define more thoroughly the questions and help you to examine your own situation with a more dispassionate and informed manner. I hope that you will find this journey helpful as you face this journey of homeschooling, parenting and ultimately life itself.