Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What made you choose Home Education, then?

I've been asked this more and more lately, and it comes hard on the heels of the many many entries in other people's blogs about why they chose home ed.

I find it kind of hard to answer.

On some levels, home education is a default for me, it's the no-choice no-decision option, much like school is for most people (which school might be a decision, but not whether school). It started to make visceral sense to me when I was about six.

However, when we were looking for somewhere to live, somewhere with a wide choice of schools was important, and somewhere with fairly decent schools and similar institutions, too - not stellar, necessarily, because things change and anyway parental involvement matters more than the school's position on a league table, but ok. We didn't hunt for schools and then look for houses, but we dismissed houses which weren't within easy walking distance of schools.

Because along with assuming that home education would suit me and my family best, I also assumed that I'd have to send my children, when I had them, to school. Just because people have to.

But I don't! Aren't I lucky?

And why not school? I just really don't see that it would, at present, benefit my children in any way. I have a bunch of philosophical objections to the way school as a system is set up and run, but it's still obvious that that system does benefit many adults and children for a wide variety of reasons. Just I can't see a benefit to us yet, and the benefits of what we do are blazingly obvious to me.

I also think that one of my children would be, at this stage in her life, actually damaged by almost all the school set-ups I've seen, and certainly all the ones I've seen as economically available to us. That might change; I expect as she grows older her round peggishness will gradually grow to meet school's square holishness, such that she could fit in there ok even if it didn't benefit her.

I'm glad schools are there, for those as needs 'em, because one day that might include me and mine, and it certainly includes a lot of my nearest and dearest.

Sometimes I'd like to ask them why they chose school. But it's really really rude to do so, so I don't.

They ask me instead. That's not rude.

Ah well.

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