Why Home Education?

So why would you want to Home Educate your children anyway?

We asked some members of the HE-Special-UK mailing list to write about why they chose Home Education for their children.

julia's story

“Timmy (born 1995) is a very rare case possibly the only one in the UK. He has Cerebral Palsy (spastic quad), uses a hartwalker, is on a homeopathic treatment called G-Therapy and best of all is home-educated! Timmy has been Home-edded since July 2001 after attempts to get into mainstream failed - thank goodness. It is the very best thing that has happened to him. I have sourced all his treatments/equipment mostly on line and read all the posts on several groups to gain as much knowledge as I can. Being honest the two years he spent at nursery cost him twice that development wise - all in the name of socialisation.

Now he has a very active fulfilling life, is learning to walk with his walker, can access learning on the computer with the aid of a switch and meets people of all ages every day. No more hassle with LEA's etc just a stress free life in the real world! I can honestly say to anybody that if you are not happy with the school system or it is failing your child home-educate right away - it may be scary at first but you will soon be glad you made the decision and had wished you had done it much sooner.”

ruth's story

“Home Education was the only choice left to me after dreadful neglect by Luke's school and the LEA. How can a child learn in a classroom environment which is specifically heavy on literacy skills when he can't read? After doing summersaults with them both over far too many years we de-regged and never looked back.

The difference in Luke has been just amazing and after 4 months of HE he is now reading and his love of poetry gets stronger and stronger. His whole being has changed and I now have a confident child instead of one who switches off in class because the other kids are swinging off the rafters.”

joyce's story

“My son was thrown out of a private mainstream nursery at the age of 4. What followed was his diagnosis of autism and my decision to home educate. I am lazy and chicken, decided I would rather provide him what he needs socially and educationally myself than spend my days beating my head against the doors of authorities to convince them to provide it. And all that otherwise frustrated time is instead spent enjoying my happy, unique son.

The result so far -
My husband and my family are now convinced that we made the right choice. My son is happy and excited about learning. It's not all roses, he does balk at writing but he excels at chemistry (sorry for the brag). They have come to see that it works. He can race ahead at what he loves and get extra time for things he struggles with, all in a non-judgemental environment. It is so far beyond what I could hope to find for him in a school. His joy in learning is worth all the effort.”

tracy's story

“We're flexi-schooling, reluctantly and perhaps temporarily. Why?

Because we didn't realise how flexible our local primary school had been in continuing to include our son until he went up to secondary.

Because his current school, in order to successfully shake off the sink-school label of a white working class, second-class dump with a reputation for being fire-bombed, had transformed itself into a model of Ofsted inspired correctness. A gleaming Illichian industrial school it prides itself on taking in unformed children and exporting them at 14 as polished young men and women brimming with the National Curriculum and ready for the next stage of the educational conveyor belt. Such a beautiful sausage machine, ideally suited to stuff the transparent minds of local youth until they shine with knowledge.

But my son is not a pliable empty little sausage skin. He is a spanner. His rigid need for the world to conform to his specifications, at least enough for him not to break down or batter it into submission, threatened the school - and not just metaphorically. Inclusion soon became exclusion. Thanks to the DDA, that process was partially reversed. Now we have part-time attendance and exclusion by segregation within the school. A few staff care about our son's education deeply, but many refuse to have anything to do with him.

Now we are being asked to consider a 'special school' 10 miles away. And informed that if we choose to Home Educate the LEA will be breathing down our necks. They like to give the impression that Home Education would be second rate. I don't believe them. They don't have the resources to offer appropriate education for ASD kids in our county, let alone chase up the parents who realise this.

But I don't want to Home Educate. Really I don't. I know I could do it. What he does at home already confirms that. I know he'd be happier. I know he'd probably get better public exam results and be a confident autonomous learner. But what about me?”


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