That old Chestnut…

I’ve read the document on edyourself a few times now about the Westminster meeting on 24th November. I had hoped that after a few times I would eventually calm down but no – still angry.

Specifically this little gem, right at the end. (This is not even including the rest of the document that angered me – I may do a separate post on that though.)

“If parents are doing a great job, why would they fear an annual check?”

Ah… That wonderful old Chestnut. A bit like ‘If it only saves one child’ that became my first ever blog post on here, and ‘if you have nothing to hide’ (not my article but it explains it well).… So why don’t I re-phrase it.

If parents are doing a great job, why would they want or even need an annual check?

I mean really? Why would they feel the need to have it approved by some random LA bod with some arbitrary policies that they have to follow (the LA that is, not the parent) once a year? (I’m not including parents here who decide to have visits because of vengeful ex-partners etc. by the way, I fully understand that there are some who choose to have the annual check out of necessity  BUT they are few and far between.) What does the pat on the back actually do? The LA aren’t responsible for our children’s education after all. We are.

Why would I want a visit from a system that is failing to provide a suitable education for the children it IS responsible for? That is failing thousands of children everyday, and leaving children feeling disenfranchised with education, with learning and leaves them feeling like utter failures? That has zero tolerance bullying policies, but yet children are still badly bullied every single day, and not just by students? That leaves CHILDREN wanting to hurt themselves or worse, feeling suicidal?

The buck stops with us. Not our GP, not the School Nurse, not the nosey neighbour. US. The parent. If we fail at giving our child an education suitable to their needs, it is not the LA that gets sued. It’s us. The Parent. The one with the actual legal duty to educate our child.

To an outsider it may well seem he is doing ‘nothing’ but that just shows that you have absolutely NO idea how education actually works and expect it to be school at home, that is certainly not how autonomous education works (unless of course the child wants to have that kind of structure – after all it IS child-led). When my son is doing ‘nothing’ he’s imagining, he’s discussing ideas, he’s building and making it a reality in his game, he’s working out what he needs, he’s watching videos on topics he is interested in, he’s processing information. He is never just doing ‘nothing’ and that is something you seem to fail to understand. Or maybe you just don’t want to because it doesn’t fit your ideals?

And that is ultimately what it boils down to. I don’t need the pat on the back from the LA or anyone else. I am not answerable to them. The only person I AM answerable to is my child, and if he wants to sue me when he is an adult, by all means he will be entitled to, if he really feels that I have failed him.

But he won’t, because I am his parent, because I love him dearly, more than life itself in fact, and because when he was born I promised him I would do everything I can to make sure he is happy and healthy and because I see him living, learning, creating everyday. I don’t need to prove that to anyone else. But him. And I will be damned if anyone else is going to sit there and tell me I’m doing a good job, because you know what? I KNOW I am doing a good job, I see that in the face of my son everyday.

The end.

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4 thoughts on “That old Chestnut…

  1. Pingback: A critique… | Rambling Violets

  2. Does anybody actually use the expression ‘school at home’ in real life? One sees it used as a criticism of certain home educators, but I don’t recall ever hearing anybody say that they do ‘school at home’.

    • There are some who use it I believe because that is what is right for their family. Personally I’ve never seen it used a criticism and would certainly never judge or criticise anyone who does use it. After all, we home ed because we believe it is what suits our family best, whether that is a temporary or permanent decision and at the end of the day who am I to judge to someone else’s educational provision in the grand scheme of things? However it certainly appears to be what a lot of LA’s recognise as home ed if recent experiences are anything to go by.

      • Friends and family quite often assume that we are doing ‘school at home’, although they don’t use that phrase. It is quite a useful and succinct description of one approach to home ed isn’t it? I quite often tell people, who are asking about home ed and how it works for us, that there is no requirement to do school at home.

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