...an article containing some choice quotes, some of which demonstrate very neatly how some people (who were presumably schooled) can appear quite incapable of shifting entrenched views, despite clear evidence that they should do so.
"What worries Liz most about home education is the issue of socialisation. All the home educators I spoke to insist that their children are not stuck at home on their own all day; they attend after school clubs and activities and meet up with other home-educated children. Liz remains unconvinced. "I'd have thought it was my human right to go to school and socialise with other kids. I'm not really a mainstream person myself, I'm quite happy to break a few rules and live outside the box but I'm glad I had the chance to be socialised. If you're being taken to see your mates when they come out of school, will they not have been developing their own social culture? Whatever game is the latest game; whatever craze is the latest craze, you'll be out of that."
Head desk head desk head desk. but that is not all. Liz ploughs on:
"Liz remarks on the contrast between this (the monitoring of home education) and the in-depth school inspections performed by Oftsed and Estyn."
Yep, right. Only last night on Channel 4's Dispatches we heard how teachers ask parents to keep disruptive children out of school on days that Ofsted visit. Just how rigorous is that, one would like to know? And this is no mean problem. Apparently millions of teaching hours are lost in dealing with this disruptive contingent. 97% of primary school teachers say they have such children in their classes. 75% of them report that they have to deal with physical aggression, and of course other pupils are paying the price.
Thank goodness for the option to home educate. One of the children in the Wye Valley article was utterly miserable in school. He is now thriving on home education.
His parents Tom and Sarah made some great points:
"The fact remains, however, that many home-educated children do go on to universities and further education colleges. "They have a good reputation, " says Tom, pointing out that they have learnt self-motivation and researching skills that stand them in good stead later on."
"Whatever one's point of view, Tom neatly sums up the debate, saying this: "As an artist, I am used to people asking, but is it art? The more we find out the more I find myself asking, but is it education? I find this question as complex to answer as the first, and would be interested to hear it asked as often. I expect it would bring a bit more rigour to the whole area of education, at home and at schools."
Tom is a superb artist, self-critical and truth-seeking. He is as scrupulous in his appraisal of home education. The fact that he does it seems like a great endorsement.