Sunday, April 22, 2007

What You See is Not What You Get

Sigh....oh dear, here we go yet again. As a perpetuation of a number of broadly erroneous myths about home education, you couldn't go far wrong with Channel 4's Wife Swap, as shown at 8 o'clock this evening. But before we get down to that myth busting stuff, it should also be said that we understand that the HE parents in this episode were very unhappy at the way their HE life was portrayed via the editing suite. No surprise there then.

OK, yawn, so home educated children are not cloistered in the home. Many of them, at their choosing, spend most of their days mixing with other people of all ages, in all sorts of different contexts - in visits to venues, at home education meetings, at other clubs of various sorts, in work environments, in classes, sports halls, etc, etc.

HE kids do learn about how to function in group structures, about the possibility of dealing with complex social situations, about how to address bullying, the great difference being that they do have options and adults on hand to help them out with this, so they very rarely become defeated and depressed in the way that schooled children can do.

It is very unusual for a child to be home educated when they don't want to be home educated.

It is perfectly possible to learn without the aid of a workbook.

OK, boredom with seeing myself writing this stuff yet again is starting to overwhelm me, so I would suggest that if there is anyone out there who needs a more reliable source of information about home education than a Wife Swap episode, I suggest you visit either Home Education UK or the Education Otherwise website.


Anonymous said...

I'm amazed anyone agrees to take part in these sort of programmes - without insisting on the right to have things changed to be more truthful! As if they weren't designed entirely to achieve maximum tension and drama for entertainment.

Sad that HE got bad press though.


Carlotta said...

The HE community has been a target of the Wife Swap production team for years. They pitch up to HESFES, spam mail people, and appear completely immune to being told to bog off.

I guess someone was eventually going to crack.

Rumour has it that the HE child was told to take posters of pop stars off her wall, so that the swapped wife could remark that she didn't have any posters of pop stars on her wall. Just how fake can it have got?

Anonymous said...

Fake or not, how can anyone be on the side of a stripper when she says "the girl is sheltered from the real world" because of pop stars?

The girl had posters of the planets, animals and far more interesting things on the wall, related to the real world.

Carlotta said...

Quite so.

And not just a stripper apparently. The Sun reported that that couple were into the other sort of wife swapping too.

Perhaps they misunderstood the brief!