Thursday, November 24, 2005

Good Information but Will They Get It?

Although difficult to trace, and subscription for a thorough search for the article is complicated, we have it on good authority that the following piece was published in the November issue of "The Parliamentary Monitor" - a magazine written mainly by and for MPs and peers.

We do hope that this is indeed the case, since the article is a pretty good description of what most HEors in the UK actually do get up to, and it is nice to know that the ptb are being reliably informed for once. What they'll make of the information, goodness only knows. We would love to hear their comments!

"Home-based education, at its foundation, is about parents taking responsibility for the education of their children in a secure, relaxed, nurturing and learner-centered environment. It offers each child the opportunity to develop their own skills at their own speed within individualised learning programmes designed around their unique needs, interests and learning styles. This personalised approach effectively offers greater freedom and flexibility for each child to learn what they want, when they want and how they want to. Using their natural curiosity and the intrinsic motivation this creates, they can be supported to develop their own skills and increase their knowledge, understanding, creativity, talents and interests, in a way which suits them best.

"Research[1] shows that home-educated children outscore their school counterparts regardless of their parent's level of education. Furthermore regardless of the reasons families choose to home educate they very rarely have any regrets and find that this type of familial learning is more fun than they ever imagined.

"Within home-based education much of the learning takes place spontaneously through discussion and purposeful investigation. Contrary to popular myth, home - based education involves much more than being isolated or sitting around the kitchen table. In reality, Home is a base for planning and preparing a range of activities which are then carried out within a variety of different settings as individuals, pairs or groups of same or different ages, interests and abilities.

"Home educated children, more often than not, have very well developed social skills and belong to many varied and fulfilling social networks. With more and more families actively choosing home education as an option children are also more likely to feel confident in the company of adults and develop strong personal relationships with them.

"Home-based education changes the focus from "what we learn" to "how and why we learn". Home educating families observe their children asking questions, seeking answers and making personal discoveries in and around their home, community, and world. Technology also plays an important and ever-increasing role in bringing local and global learning communities together.

"Home education is also about learning with others using local resources and sharing real life experiences. Home education often involves a multi sensory approach. It can be a more hands on, thinking, feeling, doing, making, creating and exploring education. It's about preparing children for life by living and learning within it.

"Home-based education offers more than an academic education. It recognises that there are multi-intelligences and allows more space for each child to develop them. Home education also encourages the sharing of values such as empathy, acceptance, tolerance, understanding, compassion, confidence and self esteem. With the world at your door there are no limits and the learning possibilities are endless for both children and adults learning in tandem. Perhaps though, the greatest joy of all is for families to spend time with each other and enjoy learning together. Most importantly, to individual families developing a strong personal relationship with your children and engaging with them in this privileged way will ultimately brings the greatest rewards."

Once again it seems we have Dr. Paula Rothermel of the University of Durham, to thank for the research for this.

HT: Juliet

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