Yesterday, we looked at what the law said about #homeed in the UK. But as I said, for as long as I have been home educating @PanKwake, there has been efforts in Westminster and the Senedd to increase the powers of government to regulate and monitor home education.
Perhaps you don’t see a problem with that? Maybe you ask… but doesn’t government have an obligation to check on the safety of all children? Isn’t it their responsibility to ensure that all children receive an ‘adequate’ education?
First of all, current laws and systems are more than sufficient to do those tasks.
All of those high-profile abuse and neglect cases that make the news at ‘home education’ in the UK and the US are families and children that were already known to the authorities. No child is an island. Not in this highly technological world. Think about council tax records list everyone in the household. GP surgeries. Heck, even the census. Let alone Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Neighbors.
I may ‘brag’ that we fly under their radar. But we don’t they know who and where we are. (I think there is just a big red X on our file…don’t mess with this one. Or I hope so.) And while technically, data protection laws are supposed to keep one office from sharing your personal information with another, it does not work. What’s more, they get away with…because they are government.
As for the issue of ‘adequate’ education?
Come on? How many children and young people in their schools aren’t receiving that? How many of them will leave school and be unable to get a job? And yes, some will leave school without being able to read. The difference between those young people and @PanKwake… She still learns without reading. And just as importantly or more so, her self-esteem is intact. Most dyslexic children loss all interest in schools or learning before secondary. And many will struggle with lifelong mental health issues from the trauma of schools.
And if you use the standards in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:
Article 29 (goals of education)UN-CRC
Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment
Then few schools (none?) and many home educators fail miserably to meet this ideal standard. (Heck, our @HomeCrazzyHome probably does too. Though we try.)
So, for me, the additional resources necessary to increase the regulation and monitoring of home educators would be much better spent providing an ‘adequate’ education for those in schools.
But the real issue with additional regulations and monitoring is that its ultimate aim is to control how children are educating even those not in schools. They seek to define what education itself is specifically and how you go about it.
This is especially alarming in terms of self-directed learning and for the #neurodivergent.
SDL and unschooling will be the first target of these new regulations. In fact, the last one in the Senedd, specifically sought to mandate two hours of structured maths and English per day.
Imagine how that would feel for someone like @PanKwake? Being ‘forced’ to sit down and fill in worksheets or do work online to ‘prove’ we were fulfilling our obligations to give her an ‘adequate education.’ She would come to suffer the same self-esteem and mental health issues as most of the dyslexic children in their schools. And she would quickly lose her passion for learning. We would be unable to protect her either.
Yes, home educators do practice self-directed learning in some places with stricter regulations. But the amount of time, effort, and stretching the truth those families are forced to undertake is time better spent in enriching exploration activities.
The truth is found in Article 29 of UN-CRC, the goal of education should be to develop every child’s personality, talents, and abilities to the full. But that is something schools as we know them are not capable of doing.
Their one-size-fits-all definition of education does not work for many of the children in their schools. Why should they impose those failing standards or systems on home educators trying to do better for their children…and bearing the full burden of doing so in terms of time, money, and mental/emotional stress?
Trust me…if there was a school that could meet that standard and accommodate @PanKwake’s sensory, communication, and other #neurodivergent needs, she would go.
But personally, I don’t want to be told what I should be doing by someone who can’t do it themselves.
Am I wrong?