Monday, February 07, 2011

Letter to support a family from Spain

I would love it if you'd consider sending this letter to support a family from Spain who has to testify in front of the Judge on Feb. 7th to earn their right to homeschool.

You can send it by mail to::
Juzgado de instrucción nº 1 de Vitoria-Gasteiz.
C/ Avenida Gasteiz nº 18, 3ª planta, Vitoria, SPAIN

FAX: (34)945 00 48 50
By E-mail:

Dear Sir or Madam,
I direct my letter to you as judge of this Court, concerning a lawsuit directed to Marcelo López de Arana and Mª Elena Sanz, for publicly admitting they have decided to homeschool their son Pablo López de Arana Sanz, in spite of the fact that it is not illegal in Spain, not prohibited by any law, and legally recognized in the United Nations.

I would like to emphasize that homeschooling in Spain has already been on trial on various other occasions. There is jurisprudence in favor of a family who was already tried in the Supreme Court and won, on 10/30/1994. The court ruled that the Right to Education was completely compatible with the education the minor received in his home, so he did not have to go to the state school. This is not the only case.

There are many more, but we have to note also that even in the Basque Region (where this family lives) there is a case of jurisprudence:

January 31st, 2005, Court Case 2 of Vitoria (136/04), which commands that omeschooling is a legitimate option and is a growing method of education not only in Spain but in the rest of the world, including the Basque Region, having that right to do so under the Constitution in Article 27.3, which gives the right to the parents to choose the education system of their children according to their principles and beliefs. We also have the cases of the Branson-Sánchez family whose case was approved to homeschool the 7th of July, 2008, and Arantxa Sestayo was also allowed to homeschool the 25th of November of 2009, both of these cases won their right to homeschool in front of the District Attorney in the Basque Region.

In this matter, it is our wish to note that this family, just like many other families in the rest of Spain and the Basque Region, are educating their children according to the freedom of education that the Spanish Constitution provides, having chosen this method because they considered it the best for their children at the moment, which is also expressed in the Declaration of Human Rights, in Article 26.2. We believe the way the Court will be acting against articles 29 and 30 of The Declaration of Human Rights, signed by Spain as a member of the United Nations if they don´t allow this family to homeschool.

For all of these reasons we ask you, as the judge, to drop the charges against this family, and to support their right to homeschool their children.



Thursday, January 27, 2011

MMR vaccine - autism link

'In light of new evidence that has emerged clearing Dr Wakefield of the allegations that he fabricated study data involving MMR vaccines and symptoms of autism, Dr Wakefield is now publicly demanding a retraction from the British Medical Journal and author Brian Deer. Documents just made public reveal that another medical research team which included a senior pathologist independently documented evidence of a possible MMR vaccine - autism link 14 months before Dr Wakefield's paper first appears in The Lancet -- based on several of the same children appearing in Dr Wakefield's study.' Read it here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Changing Education Paradigms

Adapted from a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Khyra Ishaq & Home Education

If you came across this news item, find out more from Gerald Warner here, "It is clear that the Government and other “progressive” agencies, their propaganda helpfully promoted by the BBC, are already exploiting the Khyra Ishaq case to advance their agenda of attacking homeschooling" - and from the following:

Maire-Staffordshire - Dare to Know - Sometimes It's Peaceful - Renegade Parent - Tech - Firebird - Debs - Lou - Ciaran - Stuart Dunstan - Ali - Jem - Sue - Cat - Sally - Merry

There is also a pledge

"I will withhold my TV License Payments until the BBC apologises to Home Educators."

you can make here.

Also on the news:
Tories promise to block home school plans

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MPs error over home education vote

MPs are debating the Bill that would give the assembly the power to make laws in the field of home education.

Tory MP Graham Stuart has tabled an amendment to to block this part of the Bill.

Mrs Randerson said: "My colleagues in Westminster subscribed to this amendment in error and will be removing their names from this Tory amendment."

Read it here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Don't stifle home schooling

Neil Fernandez explains, here, how the proposals to register children educated at home would subject families to the misguided whims of local authorities.

Jeremy Wright, MP for Rugby and Kenilworth, explains why he voted against recently debated the Government’s Children, Schools and Families Bill here.

Socialization and Homeschooling: When my husband and I first considered homeschooling our two children, the most common response from friends and family was: “What about socialization?” It’s a legitimate question. Read it here.

USA: Homeschooled kids honored at state contest: A local team has managed to put together an award-winning performance during its first year of competition in FIRST Lego League. Homeschooling mum Jennifer saw the competition as a great opportunity for her son and daughter, ages 14 and 9, to learn about science and technology.

“I am always looking for ways to give my kids fun, hands-on, real-life meaningful learning,” she said. “My kids love Legos, so any chance I get to incorporate Legos into teaching that I do is a good one.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

On the News

School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at home

Home Team Advantage: If your ADHD child struggles in school—and dreads going every day—help him shine by teaching him at home. Read here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Take Back Your Education by J. T. Gatto

Nobody gives you an education. If you want one, you have to take it. Only you can educate you—and you can’t do it by memorizing. You have to find out who you are by experience and by risk-­taking, then pursue your own nature intensely. School routines are set up to discourage you from self-discovery. People who know who they are make trouble for schools.

To know yourself, you have to keep track of your random choices, figure out your patterns, and use this knowledge to dominate your own mind. It’s the only way that free will can grow. If you avoid this, other minds will manipulate and control you lifelong.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Dorset parents sign petition against the bill

Andrew and his wife Mary-Clare teach their 15-year-old twins at home.

Andrew: “If they were able to interview the child separately from a parent that would be completely wrong. It would not normally be the case that anybody in authority would be able to interview a child without a parent present. Police interviewing a crime wouldn’t be able to.”

Mary-Clare: “If you choose to home educate you feel you can do a better job. We wanted our children to learn things when they were ready and in their own time. It’s more natural.”


Some comments are also worth reading, like this one:

This Bill reverses the assumption of innocence in English Law, giving the authorities powers to enter law abiding family homes. If this legislation goes ahead it will well and truly open the flood gate of yet more state interference into private family life.

Parents are responsible for their children's education, not the state. Schools are "subject to checks and inspections" because with our taxes we pay for that education service and they have an obligation to parents to prove that they are fulfilling their paid duty. Parents do not have to prove that they are raising their children correctly, in law it is just assumed that they are.

"Under the plans, parents or their children will have the power to block the child being interviewed alone."- in the bill if parent or child exercises this power, then local authorities are allowed to issue a school attendance order for non-compliance!

Schools are not the foolproof "safety net" Government would like us to believe, nor does every child leave with a good education. In the current economic climate our taxes would be better spent improving the provision for the majority, rather than policing a tiny minority of home educators, for which there is no evidence that there is cause for concern.

Elective Home Education Day Conference

This day conference seeks to develop critical discussion on all three aspects (EHE, policy, and the academic debate). In particular, we seek to review ‘suitable’ and ‘efficient’ as educationally significant (see Section 7, Education Act 1996), which the Badman Report largely side-stepped.

The conference, stimulated by a number of papers and responses, will seek to explore the legitimacy of this conceptual framework for EHE, and possible conceptualisations which offer a practical way forward for parents and policy makers in a UK context.

Event details here.

UPDATE: Please read this letter to the organisers.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

16 y.o. unschooler speaks out

Emi is 16 years old and has been an unschooler for many years. Here she is, interviewed by her sister.