This just came to me over ‘teh internetz’:
Elizabeth Mills response to the regulation of Home Education seemed to echo the common response from home-educators. Another opportunity for the state to control how we treat our children. And so on. It’s something I find an increasingly tiresome argument, as I seem to be one of the few people viewing regulation of home education as a positive thing.
Here we go…
I was home-educated between 1993-2001. It was an appalling experience. My mother was, in the most polite terms, a manipulative bitch, who actually never bothered to teach us at all. It was a whim for her for about a year, but then I think she just lost it and just couldn’t be bothered with anything, except keeping us in the house. As a child I barely left the house except maybe once a week to help do the shopping in Morrisons. I didn’t do science, languages, PE, art, music, or anything interesting. My interest in English Literature arose out of being a Manics fan, otherwise I suspect I would have never had that.
Your problem is that your mother was a ‘manipulative bitch’. I would also say that she failed to teach you any logic. It does not immediately follow that Home Education is bad for everyone else, just because your mother was not a very good parent. All the families in the UK should not have to suffer at the hands of the state because you were born to a dysfunctional family.
Only once did someone come round to inspect us. Once in eight years. The night before that inspection is something I try to forget. Essentially an hours beating to make sure when they ask how me and my sisters felt our response was that we were happier. My memories of the inspection were that he had no problem with our basic skills – from the few rushed examples of work pushed at him – but that he was concerned by our mothers Irish nationalist stance in everything and the lack of PE, language or music. Mostly though, he disliked that none of our work was dated, because that meant he had no idea when what he saw was produced.
I feel very sorry for you, just as I feel sorry for all the people who have ‘bad parents’. Once again, this story and all other ‘horror stories’ are not enough to smear ALL PARENTS. We do not live in a world where if there is one nutcase in the country, everyone gets a new raft of laws eliminating ancient freedo….. oops.
Yes, some people are just honestly supporting children with learning difficulties or trying to embrace their own culture, but there are cases where it does just turn into abuse. The chances are, like me and my sisters, that it isn’t really reported or known. The reason for that being that, with no real or completely accurate figures oh home education, its possible for the worst situations to slip between everyone’s fingers. Who would have considered themselves responsible for my welfare when I was growing up? We just went on living in a dysfunctional and destructive family until we were old enough to be dysfunctional adults. I’m not even sure if my sisters can read or write properly.
And there are abusive families who send their children to school. The point is, once again, that no natter what the statistics are, people have rights. People are innocent until proven guilty. They have the right to privacy. They have the right to organize themselves and their families as they see fit. We are now starting to see what it is like to live in a country where because a few people get hurt, the government tries to ban everything that could potentially cause harm, we now call it ‘the nanny state’ and everyone agrees, its not a very nice place to live in.
It seems like the majority of opinions on this are all about embracing positive alternative education. I don’t dispute that home education can be a positive experience for many and take them leaps and bounds beyond others in their schools. Equally though, I fail to understand why so many parents can’t see that it could turn into a nightmare. Surely, if you have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, then no harm will come of someone checking that your children are being educated.
‘Nothing to hide, nothing to fear‘ only the most naive of people believe this. Thankfully, their numbers have dwindled to almost nothing.
My sisters and I are all completely estranged from our mother now. She hates us because we stole her life because she had to teach us. As soon as I got to sixth form I felt that even the weakest student, with Cs and Ds, was better educated than I was. Around this time we fell out. She denies my existence now.
This is all very sad, but is has nothing to do with Home Education in general, our rights, right and wrong, or anything else. There ARE bad parents out there. There will ALWAYS be bad parents. You can never have perfection or the elimination of crime, bad parenting or any other ill. What we need to do is pay attention to the vast majority of people who are good, trustworthy and decent, and not allow ourselves to be sucked into a totalitarian nanny state because an EXTREMELY small minority of people have a bad time of life.
Your best revenge is not to try and destroy the lives of all the decent people in the UK by calling for them to be violated, but to use your pain and your experience to make the world a better place, without trampling on the rights of other people.
Surely someone checking that your children meet a standard of numeracy and literacy, and aren’t raised to believe that the world is controlled by Jew-hating-lizards from outer space is something that should be done, not beaten down by shouty hippie parents with anger issues towards the local education authority, or Labour, or Catholicism or various other issues, is a good thing? If parents become ill, or must work more, and can’t support their children’s education, shouldn’t there be someone to step in and make a stand about that?
You sound like an angry person who has deeply seated problems that you have not resolved. You want to lash out at all parents because your parents were bad. Hurting other people will not make your pain go away. You need to get some psychiatric help to get you over your problems.
After all, when you’re young, whoever teaches you tends to be your earliest guide in the world. Did you know how you should be educated when you were 8 or 9? You don’t really have any authority on this yourself when you’re young, parents decide it for you. If you did, you’d probably just sit in the dirt chopping hair off dolls and eating refreshers all day.
This is not an argument.
I fail to understand why there’s such opinion that the government/ LEAs/ the big bad whoever are anti-home education.
That is indeed, a big failure on your part. A failure to read, a failure to empathize and a failure to understand what a real family is like. This is understandable, since you never had one.
The attitude against this regulation does seem to broadly be part of a much larger anti-Labour grudge, or a grudge against local education authorities and regulation.
This is simply not true. No matter what political party is in charge, if they were to propose what New Labour are proposing they would be rounded upon. You really do not understand what this is all about!
Regulation seems to be a dirty word to these people, implying control when it equally means protection.
Regulation does not mean protection. Get yourself a dictionary. You have no experience in parenting or of parenting, you have no idea of what the nature of the state really is… you are ignorant.
Home education has grown as an alternative option since the 70s or so and there really has been very little regulation on it at all, and yet it concerns one of the most important factors in a persons life being decided by what could be the whim of an unstable parent. What seems to be recommended is an enforced and compulsory regulation of what is currently very loosely done. The suggestions made by the recent review have flaws, which have been pointed out on the previous post’s comments, but I view them as caring for the education and welfare of vulnerable children who are currently beyond any particular authority and whose lives are solely controlled by one or two people.
Those ‘two people’ are called PARENTS they are not just ‘people’.
Whilst the intentions of compulsory school laws were good, what we have now is a system that serves to brainwash people. Now that there is a trend away from state schools, there are many forces that want to reverse it.
Teachers unions are bitterly opposed to Home Schooling. Departments of education are against it. Communists are against it. Fascists are against it. Well meaning busy bodies are against it.
What is most bizarre is that you come off sounding just like a person who is a product of the state school system with its ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ doublespeak lines learned by rote.
Either way, The point remains the same; your deeply saddening story of suffering at the hands of your parents is not a reason to destroy the sanctity of the family in general by mandating that the state become the parent of all children.
Finally, there are only a few people viewing regulation of home education as a positive thing because it is wrong; most people understand the threat that the state represents, what their freedom is worth and have a naturally powered ferocious desire to protect their children.
And this comment, says it all:
I feel for you, I really do, but…
The current proposals would have instead turned your once in eight year beating to coach your responses into a once a year beating.* I’m sure your mother could have turned in a report every year to show she was trying, and she would have been approved, even supported, by the authorities. She was in your own words “a manipulative bitch”, and who’s to say that she, like Baby P’s mother, like Eunice Spry, couldn’t wrap the authorities round her little finger.
Your story is repeated over and over with schooled children as well, with school staff at the very least ignorant, if not complicit in wilfull silence.
The authorities have shown that they cannot prevent abuse in schooled children, or children which are under the tightest scrutiny available to them. They have also demonstrated that people who are not manipulative, who are simply anxious in the presence of authority, get their children removed from them on the weakest of grounds because social workers don’t want to be the ones in the headlines for inaction.
The hostility to authorites is not due to some airy-fairy anti-establishment dogma, but due to a history of abuse of authority, coupled with a demonstrated inability of authorities to use their existing powers effectively.
I think you’ll also find that most people who believe the world is truly ruled by jew hating lizards from outer space were, in fact, schooled, along with the vast majority of British Islamic extremists, BNP supporters, climate change believers / deniers (delete where you agree) and people who vote on Britain’s Got Talent. Being schooled does not, on present evidence, innoculate you in any way against collective insanity.
*Yes, I’m sure there were more beatings, just this one was for coaching before the authority visit.