Recently, I wrote a feature on home education which was published in newspapers across Yorkshire as the figures for those being Home Educated have risen (albeit the numbers of those who report that they’re home educating.)
Here’s my view…
From January 2016 my partner Chris Hale and I have set about on actively home educating our two daughters.
Each week, we have a different theme or subject we learn about through a variety of ways in and out of the house. From learning languages via Skype, to playing games and shopping on a budget.
Many people call home education “home schooling” but for me this implies that we are recreating the feel of a classroom in our house, which we’re not.
It is not that we’re against the school system, Chris and I have had very different experiences of school, his largely positive with small class numbers and lots of sport, mine the opposite.
But we want to give our children a diverse and engaging education that ensures they reach their full potential through a range of activities, most of these we are actually out of the house and doing things.
Our family is really active and we believe that children should be encouraged to do sport, to explore and to question.
I’m not saying schools don’t do this but we want to try a different approach to the traditional education system and move away from so many exams.
Our week tends to be filled with dancing, as I am a trained dance teacher and actress, football, singing, quizzes, baking, art, day trips and lots of play.
Many people ask us about “socialization” but there are so many groups and places where our girls can build relationships and socialise with other children of all ages and backgrounds.
In fact, I’d go as far as saying that they probably have more time to socialise than the amount of time given in schools.
People’s reaction to us home educating reminds me of when I was at school and the typical journey from school to sixth form and on to University was being challenged by other vocational subjects at college and Apprenticeships. All options are now accepted but there was some snobbery at first that you wouldn’t get a ‘proper’ education. So I hope in the future we challenge the notion of institutions being the only way for our children to learn.
We realise however, that we are fortunate in spending so much time with our children as we are both self-employed and work from home, so we can share the responsibility.
We will decide in summer whether our eldest daughter Jasmine, 4, will prosper better in school or continue with being home educated.
If we continue to home educate, which we are intending to do so, we hope to take Jasmine to a Forest school and a range of other activities such as Circus skills and trips with other home-educated pupils. We also hope to travel abroad for a while to learn languages and about other cultures.
There’s now a vast network of home educating families across West Yorkshire and we share resources, tips, trip ideas, skills as well as offering support for one another.
It can be tough trying to work and, entertain and educate, two lively girls but we value the time we have together and we are fluid in our approach to parenting as we want to do what is best for our kids by treating them as individuals.
To read the article, go to: http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/local-news/number-of-our-children-educated-at-home-on-rise-1-7850967