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.]
My Opinion of My Home Education Experience
I find that with home education, I can easily go and talk with a sibling or my parents when I don’t understand a concept or problem and am finding it hard. Having the freedom to do this is useful for understanding how things work and for expanding my knowledge of different subjects. Home education is very personal—you are able to follow your own interests, and then share you explorations with the rest of your family. I have a lot of siblings, and with each of us learning different things , our education is enjoyable—we’re excited about the things we discover. Home education is also quite relaxed and flexible—there is no fixed timetable to do your work in a day. For example, if you are going to do maths and there is a rare insect or something else your parent shows you, you can pause your maths work and learn some biology instead. I have the time to understand fully the work I do, as well as how it fits into real life experiences, in a way that I don’t think that I would if I went to school. Additionally, I think I am more motivated to learn essential housekeeping skills because I can’t ignore my surroundings and have more responsibility for them.
I really like the fact that home education allows you to share more time with your family and are not restricted to after school times and holidays. I consider it very helpful for building relationships with my family and friends because you can meet up with each other at any time and not just after school. Home education enables fun. I really like and enjoy learning at home, and I really do not want to go to school.
There are a few things that worry me though. The first is that home education is often portrayed in a bad light by the media and those in local authority roles who perceive their job to be getting children out of home education and into school. This makes me feel that what I learn is distrusted and belittled, which isn’t very helpful. My second concern is that, whilst my family knows my needs and abilities at different stages which allows me to learn at my own pace, if monitoring becomes a requirement, than strangers ignorant of my personal progression will come along and begin to scrutinize and judge my work by a set of standards that to me would be meaningless, but might potentially affect how I perceive myself and my abilities (quite possibly negatively). Based on a short visit and looking at my work (which is my property), they could make judgements and assumptions about me and my family that might have a big impact on us all, even though their overall knowledge would be distinctly inadequate. Therefore, I think it is wisest for parents to decide what is best for their children if they home educate, and not the State.