As a home educating family we’re regularly asked to justify the educational choice we’ve made for our children. It comes in the form of pointed questions, both from people we know and people we’ve only just met. It comes at family gatherings and in the workplace, and it comes at shop counters and in playgrounds.
If you’ve ever done the asking, I have a genuine question for you – have you tried turning any of it back on yourself?
Because if your child attends school, I would like to know how you’ll make sure they’re afforded sufficient socialisation opportunities beyond the small set of same-aged children they’ll be spending most of their time with.
And I would like to know how you’ll make sure your child is learning when their interests, strengths and progress will need to be juggled by one individual tasked with delivering a prescribed curriculum to 25 other children at the same time.
Is that one particular individual even the best person to be teaching your child day in and day out? I’d like to know that.
Also, how concerned are you about your child not being sufficiently prepared for the real world after spending so many of their formative years in an environment that is extremely curated? I’m worried they’ll get a shock when they eventually leave the sheltered and regimented world of the classroom.
Lastly, I’m curious as to whether or not you’ll be giving your child the option to switch to home education when they get a bit older. Surely they should have a say at some stage?
I’m not being facetious, I really mean it. If you’ve asked a home educating parent any of these questions in reverse have you ever, even once, stepped back and thought about how you might answer them about the educational choices you’ve made for your own child? Could you confidently address them on the fly at the supermarket checkout?
If you have, by all means, ask away. But if you haven’t, perhaps we could just talk about the weather instead.