Friday, 3 February 2017

Home Education In The news again..

Home education is in the news again and yet again more negativity...

This time the negativity is directed at the poor woman who dared to speak about how she chooses to educate her own children... Take note that I said 'chooses' to educate her own children...

It highlights everything I hate about this growing home education scene, 'the school gates syndrome' is arriving in force at the gates of home education.

This poor woman attacked by the vast majority of home educators who are more concerned about how 'she makes them look bad' because the media inaccurately portrayed how she 'chooses to do it  a different way than they do', than the fact that they are missing the point of the fundamental right of home education, it is her 'personal choice' in how she chooses to home educate, and as long as she is educating them, what is their problem, this is under attack and therefore their own choice is also under attack, as the collective fundamental freedom of choice to home educators is to educate in a way they see fit. Leading theses vocal home educators to fall right into the very trap they are being led into of more regulation, using 'divide and conquer'.

Unfortunately what seems to have occurred is some in the community have strangely interpreted the interview she gave, as if she was talking about everyone, like how she educates is how everyone else home educates, I find that quite disturbing and it feels like some kind of  gas lighting has gripped the home ed community and started to spread, it's strange, very strange.I am really not sure how the interview can be interpreted into 'this is how everyone home educates', I have never found the part where she said she is talking for everyone, I only find the parts where she is talking about herself and her own family.

What should be under attack is the disgusting way the media portrayed the family and more than likely misled the family on what the topic was and how it was going to be used. The family also have a maintained blog that indicates that the portrayed story of 'a terrible mother leaving her kids in front of a computer all day' by using the title of 'Mum educates the kids by allowing them to play video games 7 hours a day'... is clearly exaggerated and twisted by the media to fit their narrative, and whatever goal they are trying to achieve in shaping government policy.

The home ed community as a whole for the majority of time can be a great support in times of need of information and advice and support of one form or another, home education has been turned around from being a lonely and isolated experience to one of a massive community of like minded individuals up and down the country, so it is very sad to see a whole community turning on one person for her choices for her family, including going to the media.

The reason why I home educate is because I can do it  in a way that suits 'my children' and tailor it to suit us as a family unit, with no one prescribing to me how I home educate, that includes other home educators and the LEA, home educating is or once was a personal choice and a decision not taken lightly and not just a fashion statement and a way to avoid following school rules.

We choose and prescribe our days and timetables and social events tailored to our preference, nothing forced and nothing elaborate unless that is what we want.  Increasingly I have watched paranoid home educators trying to emulate school, cramming in as many school like home education events as possible to avoid the critical glare of anyone insinuating their children do not 'socialise' and the education they are receiving is inferior to 'school'. That is their choice and no-one has a right to criticise them for it, just do what you feel is right for you and your family.

Of course home ed events are far from few and far between these days in parts of the country, the socialisation question falls flat on it's face before it even begins, so numerous are social events for home educators in fact that a lot of home education families never spend any time at home, they have events to attend every day of the week and that includes choosing between the many options of which event they attend that day, with rushed and stressed schedules they must maintain to keep up appearances and reams and reams of photo evidence that they are doing something, therefore proving everyone wrong.

Some criticise the fact that she should have known that media would twist it and lie, 'so what' I say, the way the home ed community have turned on her and more disturbingly her children, is a disgrace and is more of an embarrassment to home educators as a collective than the interview and ensuing negativity the family have received.

I have kept at arms length from the home education community as I have seen how 'nasty' it can become and I have been a victim myself, I learnt very early on, to stay away and concentrate on what I am here to do, which is home educate my children without the gaze and opinionated views on what we should and should not be doing at any one prescribed time. Our education is a very private choice, some of which we share and some we keep to ourselves, we do it our way, in our time, and on our own terms.

Socialisation is a massive part of home education whether you are 'in' with a home ed community or not, my twins go to organised regular groups outside of home education and they have home educated friends we keep in touch with and have meet ups with. Their online life is yet to arrive, but it will, in time, when they get old enough for an online life, I believe an online life is as important as an offline one and much can be gained.

We do not feel compelled to be 'in' with other home educators, we are just living life and whatever comes around, comes around, being home educated does not define us or mean we can only attend home ed events, I have work and my clients have kids that the twins socialise with, we have family with kids of different ages, we have friends with kids of different ages, we have regular day to day things where they meet other kids. We go to home ed events if it is suitable for us in what we are learning at the time or it is affordable or there are people we would like to see or it does not conflict with other things we are doing.

My heart goes out to this woman and I am ashamed how the home ed community has turned so harshly on her, if there is any demonstration of public bullying, this is one of those demonstrations. One of the very things I turned my back on school for, although this demonstration also debunks the theory that kids that do not go to school, will not learn to deal with bullying, as in this case you can clearly see despite avoiding school, vile harsh bullying can still occur.

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