HED0047

 

Written evidence submitted by Ms Morag Greer

 

I am writing as a parent of one home educated son (now aged 16).

I chose the unschooling approach, not that I had heard the term when I started but that's what organically arose out of my parental approach of trusting and respecting children.

When he was 8 we were first visited by the LA. The officer was kind and friendly, her reports were always positive but I felt it was a waste of her valuable time visiting us.

We didn't need her visits, my son enjoyed showing off to her so I was happy for her to come. On reflection it was probably of benefit for her to see a happy, well adjusted unschooled child.

I feel a statutory register is unnecessary. For situations where parents abuse their children other departments of social services are needed, it's not an educational issue it's a welfare issue.

Genuine home educators care deeply about their children and we resent being seen as potential abusers when today's schools are churning out dysfunctional, disenfranchised teenagers, abused by an outdated, unwieldy system that was set up 200 year ago and hasn't changed with the times. The system is in crisis, I know this as I have friends and family who are teachers.

 

 

The benefits of an unschooling approach have proven to be immeasurable. My son is dyslexic and  didn't learn to read until 12years old. This wasn't an issue, all the way through I concentrated on facilitating his interests and fostering the development of his self esteem. He is today, a talented, bright, social, well informed, articulate young person.

The only disadvantages our family have faced have been financial. We have managed but it hasn't been easy. Last year my son had a grant  for children who are gifted and talented in the performing arts. That was the first money we had received from an outside agency.

The benefits out-way the disadvantages hugely. My son often thanks me for gifting him a life of privilege (no school) Socially, he finds his school friends to be very different from his unschooled friends. The ones in school are generally very unhappy and troubled by the pressures of conforming in school.

 

In home ed social groups I have seen children recently out of school who obviously need support. These are families that have not chosen to home educate but for reasons mentioned above they have had to remove their children.

These families need to be visited and supported by kind, well informed helpers, not the gestapo coming to find out where they've failed.

These helpers from the LA need to be educated in unschooling and other non coercive ways to educate young people.

 

 

October 2020