Saturday, November 07, 2009

The MSM is Getting the Message

Ridiculous Rules for Home Schools, in the Guardian.


Irdial said...

No, the MSM is NOT getting the message.

As you can see from many of the comments on that piece, Guardian readers do not understand any of the fundamentals of Home Education. All they have been given is a personal account of a parent that Home Educates and who wants to continue to do so unmolested.

* They are not any wiser about Home Education and how good it is

* They are not any wiser about the rights of parents and the proper role of the state

* They are not any wiser about how well home educators do compared to schooled children

* They still believe the widely held myths about socialisation and Home Education

* They know nothing about the origin of these anti Home Education laws

This article is, in fact, a partial failure. What it does is make Home Educators look like unreasonable people who are not acting in the best interests of their children. The comments on this story are a litmus test demonstrating that the public still just do not get it.

If Home Educators want the public and MSM to get the message, they need to carefully control the message that comes out. Home Education needs to be portrayed as what it truly is. The myths need to be dispelled and the proper role of government needs to be laid out in plain language.

Whenever this is done, reasonable people always come down on the side of Home Educators. We will never be able to convince the hard core statists, and we do not need to try; all we need to do is convince the ordinary, reasonable member of the public that Home Education is best practice education.

This is why the article in the times written by the third year law student at Oxford was so good; it showed that Home Educated children achieve greatly, are perfectly normal (as are the parents) and that it is indeed, something to aspire to.

Articles like this however, are oppositional and whilst completely truthful and correct, it presumes that the reader has attitudes and knowledge that will predispose her to agreeing with its thrust when the opposite is true.

Most people are hostile to Home Education because it is strange and unfamiliar to them. Once we break this spell, then articles like this will have the correct impact, because everyone will already know that Home Education is the best possible education, and they will bristle at the fact that the government wants to destroy it.

It is good that articles like this are printed. It shows how much work needs to be done, and it also demonstrates that the press are ready to listen to the Home Education viewpoint and print it.

Carlotta said...

Thanks for that fuller explanation Irdial. I do agree. You're final conclusion IS actually what I meant.

"it also demonstrates that the press are ready to listen to the Home Education viewpoint and print it."

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Irdail. I wasn't that impressed with the article and the comments showed not just ignorance but pure bigotry against home education.
I am not great at writing-but surely there are people who CAN write and could put something together-or would a really clear piece not get published?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that you are right about the general level of ignorance about home ed in society, but my dear husband, a very sane, sensible, reasonable man, with a mainstream job mixing with many middle class people, has a different perspective on this.
Over the years of casual conversation at work wile we've been home educating, he has come across plenty of people who don't like the idea that home ed is legal because they fear that it is giving home ed children an advantage over their own! They are not willing to give up their comfy two income lifestyles to do it themselves so are only too delighted that we may have the national curriculum and lots of unpleasant, damaging hassle forced upon us.
The ridiculuous competitive parenting was one thing I was glad to leave behind when we started home ed, but it seems that, from some quarters at least, it may be following us.

Carlotta said...

Yes, anon....I do agree with you on this point, and therefore worry about some of the pieces that demonstrate the achievements of HE children, as I do think it can work against us in the way you suggest :(

I personally favour the approach of seeking common ground with schooling families eg: that all our freedoms to parent are being eroded...we can't go into a play ground without being CRB checked, none of us are free to set our own ambitions for our children, we can't teach our own children without being told what to teach them etc, etc. This would be the thrust of my column if someone were to give me free reign!