We have been home educating since 2002 when we took Firstborn, Izzy the Rockstar and Lalla out of Year 2, Year One and Reception class respectively. The desire to home educate was fuelled by sheer laziness, wanting to have more family time, some altruistic need to exercise our civil liberties and the need to wear shoes in other colours but black.
Since then, life has been at pretty much full pelt, made more exciting by the arrival of four more siblings. These four have never attended any formal educational establishments. While we don’t subscribe to any known approach to home educating, we discovered early on that rigid learning time tabling does not suit us and have adopted a more opportunist approach to learning. Our children have not had the National Curriculum prescribed to them, neither do we see 10 GCSEs as the end goal.
Our goal, although we haven’t explored it at full length, is to help our children grow up confident enough to decide the role that they will take up in society as a whole, without compromising on their personal integrity and individuality whilst upholding the fact that their actions do not come without consequences.
As parents, some would consider us strict. We see it as benign dictatorship. Afterall, these children are our responsibility and they would be the only worthwhile legacy that we would be leaving. Our children often appear to be content, confident and assured of the choices that they make but I’m not reticent in saying that perhaps this is because we allow them the freedom to run feral. But what I mean by running feral does not mean that they are allowed to do whatever they like. They don’t. They are free to explore but at the same time, they are free to experience the repercussions of what their explorations might bring them. There is never cause without consequence in our household. We do not believe that it is the duty of the child to obey orders but we do believe in positive and timely intervention.