Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The big two (?) questions about home education

Someone planning to home educate asked me the other week - how do you answer the big two questions? I had to ask what those were, but here, having had a chew, are my brief answers:
  • Q. Won't your children be anti-social?
    A. At school, children are placed with those the same age as them and then go through the same experiences, for many years. i.e. They get a limited, narrow experience. Home-educators are free to take their children with them to all kinds of situations, meeting all kinds of people - much more like "real life" once school ends. Home education has the advantage here, and having far above average social, flexible children is the norm amongst home educators (at least, those we know).

  • Q. What about losing opportunities to witness to Christ at the school gate?
    A. That's a side-benefit. It's the secularism in the school buildings that's the major concern for me: the purpose of education is to educate my children, not to evangelise their peers' parents. But actually, home education does not mean that you lock your children indoors; it simply means that the parents are the primary educators. Where, when, and how, is up to you, and you can go and meet as many people in whatever situations you deem best.
Both these questions seem to assume that home education is about fear and avoidance of the outside world - lock 'em up, hide 'em away. That doesn't follow. There may well be home educators like that, but it's not of the essence of home education.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Very good answers too David! Whole essays could be written on those questions. Home educaton gives real life socialisation, schools give artificial peer group socialisation - whenever else is socialisation limited to only people within 12 months of your own age?
There is rarely the chance to build more than passing relationships at the school gates, but much more opportunty to develop deeper relationships as well as witness and live amongst your community when you home ed.
But as you know... I am passionate about it!!!!