HED0608

Written evidence submitted by [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

 

Parents: [names]

Introduction
We are the parents of two children [ages]. They both attended school for a few years until we decided to home educate them in [date].

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

We have found home educating to offer a unique pace of learning that can be tailored to the individual needs of our children, allowing us and them the time to identify the best learning methods and resources that work. Our son, for example, has exhibited clear signs of an autodidactic learning style, where he operates far better when given the freedom to govern his own learning rhythm and tools. Similarly, allowing the subject matter of books to be entirely open, our daughters reading ability has come on in great leaps, which is in contrast to her ability when given little or no choice on the subject matter. This also leads onto another aspect of home education wherein subjects need not be separated since they often cross over, like reading about environmental issues, geography or historical dates that require mathematical interpretation. Or blending cooking with maths. In general, we are happy to report that our children are thriving and extremely happy enjoying their education outside of school.

Our daughter [name and age] is very interested in people and human relationships. She loves being out in the world - socialising, chatting to everyone regardless of age, exploring our city, parks and other spaces. The freedom to take her to these places at any time of the week is enormously valuable and cannot be underestimated. She is developing a real passion for the planet, environmental issues, climate change and our place within nature - we often go litter picking to tidy up our neighbourhood and she has become a member of a number of charities supporting environmental issues.

Our son [name and age] really struggled in the school environment. He became very introverted and disengaged. He found the whole experience very distressing - especially being away from his family for long days at such a young age. Being highly motivated by an active lifestyle, he also found being still for long periods very difficult - he is always moving and thrives in those activities which we ensure he is free to do at any time of the day. Since he has been educated outside of school his confidence has soared. We feel they are both living their best childhood lives and enjoy meeting with other families making a wide variety of friends of all ages.

 

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.

For school children, the lockdown rules allow for them to continue attending their form of education, their way of learning and socialising. This has not been the case for home educated children. Currently, the only activities permitted are those at home or which cost money (workshops, extra-curricular activities, like climbing and sports). Much of our week involved volunteer led group sessions or nature walks, which form an important network of our children’s social circle and learning resources. We ask that this be reviewed to allow home educated families to continue these activities.

 

November 2020