Okay, so first off, the ‘home’ in home education is misleading.
When you home educate you are out of the house an awful lot. Classes with other home educating families, trips, travelling, extra curricular activities (like what the normal kids who go to school do), sports and meeting up with friends all take up a lot of time so you are rarely in the house. It’s actually quite exhausting.
I know right? And you thought all home educated children were backwards creatures like the ones from The Hills Have Eyes who never saw the light of day and had never seen another living soul!
A home educated boy enjoying a snack. Without school to guide him, he doesn’t know right from wrong and he will eat you if go near him.
When people found out my son was home educated it was like telling them that he was born with three heads. They would automatically form the following conclusions
He must be thick
I must be thick
We must be religious nuts
We must be breaking the law
I can tell you now that none of the above are true, but it didn’t sop people cocking their heads to the side and talking to my son v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
Then they would start to ask questions. Always the same questions.
Who teaches him? You aren’t a teacher
Who checks up on what you are teaching him?
Is it legal?
Does he see any other children?
At first, I would answer the questions patiently. As the years went by and I was asked “Why isn’t he at school?” every time we set foot outside the house in term time, I am afraid that I started to become a rude, obnoxious, cunt
There are only so many times that you can be interrogated by strangers before you snap and people seem to love to give home schooling families a hard time, because when you do something outside of the ‘norm’ it makes people feel very uncomfortable. And when people are uncomfortable, they have to confront you about it – because people are arseholes.
People also tend to think that you are somehow attacking them by living your life slightly differently. When they bring up the subject of home education, they always feel that they have to wax lyrical about how wonderful their children’s school is and how much their children love going to school.
Like you could give a fuck!
The isolated home of the average home educating family. When christmas comes around, they roast a Grandparent or aged Aunt. A delicacy in home education circles is finely sliced head-teacher
They would also suddenly be very interested in what my child could and couldn’t do and would often force him to be a performing monkey by asking him to read them random things or setting him random math’s questions. It was immensely tiring and very unfair on my child.
How would he ever fit in? They lamented, wringing their hands with worry. How would he deal with social situations later in life when he didn’t go to school? Oh, the poor, poor child!
A homeschooled boy meeting another child for the first time in his life. The home educated child communicates in grunts, because without school, he has never learned how to socialise. He will later try to disembowel the boy in an attempt at play.
Major myth bust here for you – since my son started attending school at the age of 9, he had less friends and does less activities than when he was homeschooled. Mind blowing!
We decided to send him to school when we moved to London, mainly because the reason he was homeschooled in the first place (he was too immature for school at 4) had vanished and partly because I didn’t fancy starting again from scratch in a new home education community.
In short, he was okay with going to school and it was the easy option for me. Send him off from 9-3 and not have to think about the bulk of his education. After years of planning what he would learn and all the crap that comes with it, it was bliss.
Oh and do you know what? He was fine with school. The only parts he found frustrating were that he was very ahead of his peers in the subjects he was good at (English mainly) and the fact that it was frowned upon to be friends with children outside of your year group.
“What’s that, Mother?” asks the home educated child. “That is the outside world” says his Mother, “now get back in your cupboard before someone sees you”.
I won’t be home educating my toddler because I can’t be bothered to.
I can’t be bothered with the hard work (and it is hard work), the traipsing round places on trips. the ferrying about to clubs and activities and the parties of the billion other homeschooled children she would be friends with.
I also can’t go through the questioning again. Imagine if you had something about you that people felt that could pick apart, question and ridicule you for? It’s draining at best, depressing at worst.
The Mother of a home educated child after being asked for the five-billionth time if it is legal not to send her child to school. Doesn’t she look fucking sick of it? How she wishes they would all fuck off and worry about their own children instead.
The tiger homeschooler in me still comes out sometimes through, usually when people are talking about religious homeschoolers who they fear are indoctrinating their children (you can still indoctrinate a child who is at main stream school too you know, as well as abuse and murder them).
The most frustrating thing they ask is “are there any checks for homeschooled children? Who checks that they are okay and not being abused?”
I always ask back, “how would you like it if someone came and checked every aspect of your child’s home life?” which is ALWAYS followed with “I would welcome it, I have nothing to hide!” Nah, you wouldn’t. Really. Anyone who says they wouldn’t mind weekly checks on their children’s welfare and intrusions into their family life is a liar.
(The photos were jokes – home educators don’t be offended. I am on your side)