In Britain it is, quite correctly, the case that all children must have access to education. This access should enable the child to function within their lifestyle & social group whilst not obstructing them from changing lifestyle & socio-economic group, if they so choose. The way in which this education is obtained, is not prescribed by the state and many different methods are felt to be suitable. Home Education is an accepted method of educational provision.
My apologies for the slightly definitive start to this post, but many people may be unaware of the above, particularly overseas readers. There are many reasons why people may choose to Home Educate, Here are a few examples:
- Religious Belief
- Special Needs
- Unsuitable local schools
- Personal values & opinion
There are many more reasons but in the end it tends to be simply because the parent’s feel that they can do the best for their child. After all this is how children would naturally have learnt. Home Education does not mean School at Home; one does not have to follow the National Curriculum or have set subject lessons in a set timetable. Some people may choose to do so but many parents believe in child led learning; that is where the child is encouraged to express his / her interests and then the parents facilitate the child’s learning about & around those topics. Children are naturally inquisitive, they wish to learn, have much curiosity and even more imagination. The child led approach allows for far more in depth education, where days in a row may be devoted to discovery & discussion of a particular topic. As in real life, many different ‘subjects’ are required to fully investigate one topic. For example:
My daughter might ask why the pond water is turning green. To investigate this we might note that there has recently been more sunlight & warmth and we already know that sunlight is used by plants to photosynthesise. We next take a sample of pond water, mount it on a slide and study it under the microscope. We note green spiral filaments of plant matter. We must calculate the magnification & scale that we are viewing at, we then search books & internet to identify the plant matter as Spirogyra. We also noted other creatures in the pond water, this leads to a discussion about provision of safe drinking water, around the world. We photograph & draw our finds and end the topic with a discussion about the historical development of microscopes before finally watching a DVD about pond life.
From the one initial question we have covered, amongst others:
- English & Comprehension
- Media Studies
What’s more it was all really great fun!
Hopefully this post has given you a taste of why people choose it & how Home Education might work. I’ll provide more posts in time to come, in the meantime there are two useful UK organisations that you can contact if you need to know more.