Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Don’t you know it’s important to have an education?

Don’t you know it’s important to have an education?
You are ruining your chances of getting a job.
Why don’t you have lessons?
It’s important to go to school.
You are ruining your life…

I swear if I hear these phrases one more time I will scream!

‘B’ belongs to several websites, some of which she plays on, others she chats on, like most kids her age. She has made friends with a few people but she has become very hesistant to mention that she is home-educated when they ask what she did at school, why she is up so late on a school night etc. etc. Why? Because as soon as she mentions it, she is bombarded with these types of questions or negative comments.

They simply won’t respect that everyone has a choice and this is our choice (note I said OUR choice). She has to justify why and how and what she is doing. Most seem to think she is ruining her life. They simply don’t get it…

Initially I pulled ‘B’ out of school because they clearly had no idea how to help children on the spectrum survive the school system, their so-called experts not having a clue about the intracacies of our children’s lives, trying with all their might to tick those precious boxes they love so much. But to be honest, the deeper I dug the more disillusioned I became with the whole education system, most of it based on targets and budgets. I wanted my child to be able to have her own opinion, I wanted her to feel she has some value to add to society instead of constantly being compared to her peers in terms of what they deemed as successful. I wanted her to be able to solve problems, to think outside the box, to learn through investigation and experience, to be able to understand the true function or importance of something in relation to the real world. I wanted her to be… well quite simply… herself!

These people get very angry with her because she doesn’t have traditional lessons. Her learning is embedded into activities, we have no need for lessons. They condemn her because she isn’t taking exams. She finds it all overwhelming… we never ask them to justify why they feel the need to go to school, doubtless if we did ask them, the reply would be something along the lines of ‘Because that’s what I’m told to do, that’s what we are meant to do.’ Some of them have turned quite nasty and been very unkind to her… she is neither stupid or idle!

As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat and that’s the premise we are working on… we didn’t go into this blindly, we know what we are doing. For example, she is only 12 but we have already put the wheels in motion for long-term work experience once she is 14 (health and safety rules). She has many ideas of her own how to secure self-employment, even at this age. I have faith in her, she isn’t going to rot on the heap, she knows it takes hard work and she’s willing to do it too. She also knows that to be successful isn’t dependent on how much you earn or what kind of house you live in or car you drive, it’s much more than that.

And to be honest, if you ask around, alot of home-educators, like myself, are teachers anyway. What does that say about the education system?


Till next time
‘B’s Mum

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