Saturday, May 19, 2007

Message to the MSM: Try to Get it Right

This "How to HE" appeared in a local paper: generally useful, though (through gritted teeth), home educating parents say that there isn't a problem with opportunities for social interaction because IT ISN'T A PROBLEM. Cripes, we have not been alone in the house and elsewhere as a family for over three months now - not for a single day. (I've just checked back through the diary). But the important thing about all this opportunity to mix is that because we don't defer to any authority such as a teacher or headmaster to sort out our socialising issues, we as parents and children have to sort it out for ourselves. This actually means that huge numbers of HE kids are BETTER socialised than their schooling peers because they don't just have to obey orders, they have to THINK about how best to behave. It means that HE families become adept at handling the politics of big groups, and of dealing with a huge numbers of different people because they cannot just let someone else do it for them. And because they are used to taking responsibility for themselves, they are courageous and clear thinking.

I have to admit, I often learn from these children. I spent a week with a brewing migraine, being up to the point of diagnosis, unaccountably crabby with people, and coming down unnecessarily hard on HE children for small infringements. On one of these occasions, when some HE teens found out that I was cross about something, they didn't run from their responsibilities in this situation, but chose to come and apologise in a way which left me close to tears as I inwardly compared their behaviour to what I would have done at their age.

And as for there being a limited opportunity for trips....oh PLEEEEAZE. There is hardly a museum, castle, stately home or art gallery within a 75 mile radius of here that we haven't visited at least once, and some of them, such as our local castle and science museum, we have visited over ten times within the last seven years. What more do you want? I honestly defy any schooled child to equal this with their school trips.

MSM, do your research. PLEASE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That the opportunity is there is good enough argument. I actually think home educated children have far more opportunities to socialise.

There is a mistake in thinking that children that are with other children everyday will automatically be learning more or better social skills. People learn good social skills from other people that have good social skills.

One think I still disagree with you:

Posting about specific details of your family social activity creates a false expectation that all home educators should be keeping up with your standards.

A low income family without a car won't probably afford to go out on trips everyday and will not afford the same kind of activities.

Yet you wrote before that families in low income should not be seen under a prejudiced light.