Walking on the Wild Side by tiffanywashko

We considered educating our children at home for about 5 minutes before we realised that murder would ensue before the first day was out.  I was frequently calmer with other people’s children than my own, to my shame. And we felt strongly that the social aspects of schooling were fundamentally important.

But the notion remains attractive. It must be more straightforward for youngsters to explore their own interests and have freedom to do so – ‘personalisation’  –  when there are fewer individuals whose interests have to be considered and when the crowd control element of schooling is removed.  Major frustrations for teachers and learners alike are the constraints of an externally imposed curriculum and the tyranny of the bell when in the midst of an exciting discovery or deep thought process.

Thanks to tiffanywashko

Thanks to tiffanywashko

An interesting article in The Guardian reports that, as a result of new legislation in England, ‘Homeschooling advisers say they are being swamped by inquiries from parents who want to move to Scotland’.

Apparently here in Scotland local authorities are recommended, but not obliged, to be in contact with home-schooling families annually. The Badman Review recommends that families should register annually with their LEA, submit learning plans and undergo regular inspections. I think neither situation is entirely satisfactory. I do believe that there are some, albeit very few, children who might be at risk if they are completely off the radar. While I have no time for government snooping I do think that the wider community needs to be aware of how our young people are being treated. We have a duty of care to ensure that all our children are literate and numerate and that their health and well being is safeguarded. Perhaps Local Authorities should be obliged to visit home educating families annually – as long as they respect the learning needs of the individuals concerned and don’t try to enforce a top-down curriculum.