Written evidence submitted by a Hollie Brown

I have a daughter who is 2 years old. We are intending to home education and since her birth have been researching self-directed education. My career to date has been within the education sector, as a secondary school classroom teacher, for an education charity and in access and admissions for a university. I have direct experience of the school environment and feel very strongly that education is more than just schooling and that parents and carers should have the freedom to choose the education that is best for their children.

Response to the benefits children gain from home education, and the potential disadvantages they may face;

Home education offers children the opportunity to learn in the ways that best meet their needs. My daughter is active, curious, lively, and independent. Although she would probably be fine at school, I know she would flourish at home where she can have autonomy over her own learning in a supportive, stimulating and caring environment; one where we celebrate mistakes, prioritise play, exploration and co-operation. Where she can move her body, get hands on and experiment.

There are many groups and co-ops for home educated children and I intend to be fully involved in adding to this community. My daughter would get the opportunity to socialise with mixed aged groups (Peter Gray, The Special Value of Mixed Aged Play), to play for hours outdoors which studies show to be crucial for young children, to experience learning in the real world, and to learn to read and write when she is able and ready (Cambridge University Study). My daughter, like all toddlers and pre-schoolers, has a natural joy and curiosity in learning which I can already see her directing for herself, from her love of the moon leading her to draw shapes to try and copy the moon phases to taking apart her toys to see how they work. With home education this love of learning can continue without interruption.

I feel there should be more recognition of the benefits of home education, and this should be reflected in policy decisions and in funding.