HED0482

Written evidence submitted by a Member of the Public

 

[Note: This evidence has been redacted by the Committee. Text in square brackets has been inserted where text has been redacted.]

 

Home Education Inquiry

 

Call for Evidence Response

 

[member of the public]

 

  1. Introduction.

    My name is [member of the public] I am a mother to three children aged [ages]. My eldest child started full time school before she turned [age] but before she entered [stage of schooling] we applied to flexi school and I have closely followed home ed forums since this time. Lockdown opened our eyes to the freedom and opportunities of self-directed learning. I have a MA Geography through which I studied modules which read into children’s rights and the human races’ interaction with nature and the environment which led me onto taking an interest in forest school and self-directed learning in a roundabout way.

 

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

 

 

When my children are interested in something or choose themselves to do something it brings enjoyment to their learning experience. Since lockdown this is how we have lived.

 

As we were heading out the door to the park the other day my daughter noticed a rhyming sign on the wall that I put up asking people to remove their shoes in our home and told me she liked how the last words of the sentence rhymed. When we got home she rushed upstairs and within 10 minutes she had written a poem about the circus (she actually wrote it out twice, displayed them beside a sign saying ‘free poems’ and left a box with ‘tips’ written on it beside it).

 

This morning my five year old asked me for a box to make a TV. My two other kids wanted in on the action. This led on looking up an atlas to copy a map of Britain and then asking for my help to look up online weather forecasts for certain UK towns so they could present ‘the weather’. They also found resources to craft puppets and rehearsed to present another TV show. This all happened within an hour.

 

My point is that when children are supported to be autonomous in their learning they become more absorbed in the process. Choosing areas to learn which create joy for them mean that learning is automatic, it is more meaningful and thus can reach much further and deeper. When they learn from themselves from scratch they gain a huge sense of empowerment. Motivated by their own curiosity as opposed to what is laid out for them allow a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Learning in this way also opens many tangents to cover different topics for example maths will be intertwined into measuring in crafting or baking or reading about a certain place sparks interest to research more about it or plan a trip.

 

 

Home educating is not equally available to all as resources must be paid for by families and are not covered as they are within a school setting.




 

  1. The impact COVID-19 has had on home educated children, and what additional measures might need to be taken in order to mitigate any negative impacts.
     

Home educated families did not have straight forward advice regarding meet ups or gatherings even when schools were re-opening, Home educated families and their journeys should be considered, normalise and more visible.
 

Summary

As per the UNCRC article 29.1 Children’s education must be child-centred, child friendly and empowering, and goes far beyond schooling to include the development of personalities and talents. Self- directed, autonomous learning by children in a supported environment fully supports this general comment. My children, along with thousands of others are being empowered through learning at home.

We would like more funding and more recognition in policy decisions such as Covid19 rulings.

November 2020