What is that you ask?
A few years ago, when Home Education in the UK was under attack (once again), someone came up with the idea of home education families making daily social media posts about what we do. The idea, of course, is to raise awareness that home ed is not a bunch of weirdos, radicals, or abusers. That we don’t isolate our children. That we are just parents who want the best for our little humans, and for various reasons that does not include school.
Honestly, as an American, I have struggled with home education in the UK. People’s attitudes are completely different. America is far, far more knowledgeable and respectful of homeschooling/home education. Frankly, it sets the bar. No, it is not perfect. Laws there vary from state to state, and some are much more restrictive than the UK. There have been a handful of high-profile abuse cases that have been mislabelled as homeshooling.
But generally speaking, if you are at the park or museum during school hours and someone comments, “Isn’t there school today?” And you respond, “We homeschool.” The answer is “Oh.” And often it is left at just that. If there is further conversation, it is usually along the lines of the other parent defending their choice to school. Yes, justifying sending their children to school. In America, homeschool, while still a minority, is recognized as generally academically superior to schools.
When I came to the UK, I was scandalized at how young they send children to school. I was against it. But @PanKwake’s father was not on board with home education. And I needed to work. A string of circumstances and failings of the school to recognize or meet her special needs led him to change his mind after only one year (Reception). We have happily home educated ever since.
But I was in for a shock. People’s attitudes in the UK were drastically different. I’m sure at some point in the next 100 days, I’ll explain some of those differences. But for me, the judgmental attitudes of other parents and professionals alike was a shock. I got defensive at intrusive questions about socialization and what she was learning.
This is especially daunting if your child is not ‘normal.’ Even now, I realize that people are judging us when I admit that @PanKwake does not read at fifteen. Could schools have done better? My experiences with my older special needs son says perhaps a tiny bit. But at the cost of his self-esteem and happiness. At thirty, he still struggles with those issues. He has also learned to use many of the same technological coping measures that his baby sister does, such as voice-to-text and screen readers. So, for me, the trade off that I experienced with him and see in the lives of our schooler friends just is not worth the cost.
My goal with these next 100 days is to allow you to see inside our @HomeCrazzyHome and learn a bit more about home education and specifically the method that we use called Self-Directed Learning. Yes, also American. It is the modern evolution of John Holt’s unschooling. But more about all that tomorrow.
For today, this is another resource that @PanKwake wanted to share with you:
She says it is a bit childish but still good.
Okay, see you tomorrow. And for the next 99 days.