Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Aristotle on Education

"No one will doubt that the legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of the youth... The citizen should be moulded to suit the form of government under which he lives." (384 BC – 322 BC)

Did you know?

Did you know that the author of Eragon and Eldest was home educated? These two books alone have sold 12.5 million copies worldwide. Christopher Paolini, now 24, is about to have his third book published and working on his fourth.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trend in Home Education

"THOUSANDS of students are being pulled out of Australia's state and private schools to be educated at home by their parents."


Think Differently about Autism

Think Differently about Autism is the latest NAS campaign.
To take action now and sign the petition click here.

Learning from Home

Internet schools - The school on a sofa:

At this time of year, thousands of parents are waiting anxiously to learn if their child has been offered a place at a decent secondary. But thousands of others are now opting for a radical alternative...

Picture a school with no walls. At this school there are no smelly changing-rooms, no lumpy gravy, no bullies, or detentions and you can turn up to lessons in your pyjamas and Snoopy slippers if you feel like it.

Ofsted reports inform us that more than half of England's secondary schools are not good enough. Frankly, it's hardly surprising that roughly 55,000 of British children are now being home schooled.

Angela and Ian Price admit they hardly fit the stereotype of the typical home educators. Ian was adamantly opposed to the idea when Angela suggested it and dismissed it as something for people who "lived in a tepee, off brown bread and lentils and made their own clothes" – but technology is rapidly changing the face of home education, making it an increasingly viable alternative for parents whose children don't fit within the structure of a mainstream school.

The Prices decided to look into home schooling when Emily, who has mild learning difficulties, had problems adapting to the demands of her 3,000-strong local comprehensive. "It was like watching her walk into a lion's den every day," Angela recalls. "Because of the class sizes, the teachers didn't have the time to commit to her. After the first term she was so distraught that she couldn't face going in anymore. Things were looking very, very bleak for her." But working from home allows Emily to do things at her own pace. "She can stop and start when she needs to, and as a result her learning has improved dramatically," says Ian.

According to a 2006 study by the Department for Education and Skills, the growing popularity of home schooling is due to factors including varying ability, dissatisfaction with the quality of education and bullying. As a result, education supplements are awash with cutting-edge home-schooling methods, from "flexi schooling" to home-schooling "co-ops" and "family schools" – all endeavouring to provide the perfect answer.

According to Dr Peter Twining, head of the Open University's Department of Education, "a chasm has emerged between what is being taught in schools and what pupils are experiencing in their daily lives. He believes using virtual environments could, "create a system that meets the changing needs of 21st-century society".

Emily Price presents a compelling argument for the benefits of virtual schooling. "It's better to try something new, than be unhappy," she says. To paraphrase: perhaps it's better to open our minds to the possibilities offered by technology, than to stagnate within a system we may have outgrown.

The stay-home options?

*Internet schools such as InterHigh offer flexibility with the reassurance of having the resources of a teacher and a curriculum

*Flexi-schooling is a private arrangement whereby the child stays on the school register, but spends an allocated amount of time being educated at home

*Tutors are mostly used by home educators in core subjects, such as English and maths, or in subjects in which the child has a particular talent

*Co-ops are formed by home educators who want to share the experience with others. They meet regularly for shared subjects such as art or PE

*Autonomous schooling is one of the fastest-growing trends in home education. Each child is responsible for the direction of their own learning

By Sarah Harris

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gaming Study

Daily computer game boosts maths
A study says that playing computer games enhances learning.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Safe at Home

"Parents are increasingly taking their children out of school to have them educated at home, with bullying and dissatisfaction with the state system the main reasons for doing so. Shock figures reveal that 634 pupils in Norfolk were taken out of primary and secondary schools this year, with the main reason listed as bullying.

National survey results show bullying was among the most common reasons for parents to take their children out of school with 3,189 pupils across the country being taught at home for this reason. The survey revealed 7 out of 10 children have been bullied at school."

Read more here.

Sweet Success

Louis Barnett, a 15-year-old boy who left school aged 11 after being diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia began making chocolates at home and has now started his own chocolate factory after winning contracts to supply supermarkets.

Read more here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Schools or Prisons?

"Children are being tracked by micro-chips embedded in their uniforms in a trial at a secondary school. The devices are used to monitor pupils’ movements and register their arrival in class on the teacher’s computer.

The scheme has drawn criticism from human rights campaigners. “Tagging is what we do to criminals we let out of prison early,” said David Cleater, from Leave Them Kids Alone, which campaigns against the finger-printing of pupils. “It is appalling.”

Graham Wakeling, the head teacher, denied that the school was adopting a “Big Brother” mentality."

[read more here]

Friday, October 19, 2007

Self-Directed Learning

Another model of autonomous and democratic learning at North Star.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Quote by A. S. Neill

"No one is wise enough or good enough to mould the character of any child. What is wrong with our sick, neurotic world is that we have been moulded, and an adult generation that has seen two great wars and seems about to launch a third should not be trusted to mould the character of a rat."

Taking Off Our School Coloured Glasses

by Manish Jain

"John Holt (1976) has described that when most people use the word ‘education’, they are in fact referring to some kind of Treatment – which typically involves transmitting, thought-controlling, indoctrinating, social-engineering, coercing, and manipulating other human beings who are perceived either to have some sickness to be cured or some deficit to be filled.

The most common form of this Treatment takes place through Schooling. So before people go to school, they and their communities are diagnosed by some outside ‘expert’ and branded with dehumanizing labels like ‘uneducated’, ‘illiterate’, ‘uncivilized’, ‘irrational’, ‘backward’, ‘underdeveloped’, ‘unreached’, etc. In other words, one is not fully human, nor can one ever hope to be, without the Treatment. Without a certificate to prove that you have been professionally ‘treated’, you are not only considered a lower form of life but also a menace to society. Which is why it has now become commonplace in our social greetings to make sure to identify, within the first 30 seconds of conversation, the level of Treatment received by those in our company by asking questions like: “What are your qualifications?”

The biggest fallacy that comes with the Treatment is that some of us believe that WE not only have the right but also the moral responsibility to Treat other people for their own good."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Home ED News

Parents deceived about home schooling
[Times Educational Supplement - Scotland]

Rather than support parents, many local authorities prefer to employ a catalogue of dirty tricks to prevent them from exercising a valid educational choice. While no parent requires permission to home educate per se, consent is required to withdraw a child who is already in a state school, and this legislative anomaly effectively gives councils licence to bully parents.

Too many parents remain unaware of their rights and responsibilities in education, and most councils prefer to keep it that way. When parents discover there is a viable alternative to schooling, usually through independent research, they are, unsurprisingly, angry at having been deceived.

Read more

Full of Life

"Most amazing educational film which brings tears to the eyes. The story of a sensitive Japanese teacher who explores death, humiliation and other feelings with 10 year old children. Must watch film."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Compulsory Mis-Education

Compulsory Mis-Education by Paul Goodman, first published in 1962.

"I am confronting a mass superstition. The mass superstition in question is that education can only be achieved by the use of institutions like the school."

Paul Goodman argues that on the contrary subjecting young people to institutionalized learning stunts and distorts their natural intellectual development, makes them hostile to the very idea of education and finally turns out regimented competitive citizens likely only to aggravate our current social ills.

"It is in the schools and from the mass media, rather than at home or from their friends, that the mass of our citizens in all classes learn that life is inevitably routine, depersonalized, venally graded; that it is best to toe the mark and shut up. Trained in the schools, they go on to the same quality of jobs, culture, and politics. This education is, miseducation, socializing to the national norms and regimenting to the national 'needs'."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jesus Camp

According to this documentary, 75% of homeschooled kids in the United States are Evangelical Christians.

This is part 1 of 9. The second half of part 2 features a homeschooling family. You can watch the rest on You Tube.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sustainable Education

"Vigyan Ashram was founded by Dr. Kalbag near Pune, India in 1980. Village children learn through real life problems, earning while learning and solving problems of rural poor. This work based model of education has been found very effective."

At 15mns an animation about the history of education.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Summerhill: Democratic Education

"The story of the most famous free, libertarian school in the world founded by the great educationalist A. S. Neill. The existence and continuation of such a school for over 80 years bodes well for humankind!"

Friday, October 05, 2007

Democratic Education

A short wonderful film by Jan Gabbert. The film has great animations in it! But be prepared to wait 6mns for the start.

Home Ed News

Opting out - By Nazia Parveen

Shocking figures revealed this week show that a staggering number of parents in Lancashire are now opting to educate their children at home.

Some 567 children in the county are being taught at home, an 800 per cent rise in five years, rising from 61 in 2003.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

John Holt's Favorite 'School'

"Very amazing film on a off beat School near Copenhagen. John Holt the great pedagogue called it his dream school. You will love seeing the passion of the teachers and the children." Make sure you wait until it starts [at about 4mns into the film].

Home Education in Spain

La Serrada is an alternative 'school' located in Cocentaina, Spain.

Liberales contra escolarización de sus hijos

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Crackdown on Protest

While in Burma protesting monks are shot, here in the UK protesting teenage pupils are given temporary exclusions.

Hitler's Children - Education

In Hitler´s Third Reich children joined the "Jungvolk" movement at the age of 10, they joined the Hitler Youth at 14, and at 18 they joined the party, the "Wehrmacht", the SA, or the SS. This documentary demonstrates how Hitler succeeded in gaining power over "his children" through years of manipulation.


David Botsford: "The purpose of compulsory state schooling was and is to shape the individual’s attitudes, perceptions, conditioned reflexes and entire psychology in such a way as to make him or her a useful tool of the political authorities, a tool whom those authorities can manipulate and control by means of propaganda in adult life."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Autumn - Photos

Home Ed on BBC Radio 4

"The number of UK parents choosing to by-pass the education system completely and educate their children at home appears to be rising. But who checks and inspects the nature and quality of the resulting teaching these children are provided with?

Libby Purves hears how certain local authorities believe they’ve been landed with the responsibility but not the power when it comes to home-educated children. Joining Libby in the studio will be Lyn and three of her five children, Rosie, who’s 16, Rory, who’s 15 and George who’s 8. Lyn’s been home educating her children for several years now. And reporter Kathleen Griffin visits a recent Home Education Fair in London and speaks to other parents who’ve recently taken the decision to home educate their children.

Also joining Libby live will be Fiona Nicholson, a home educating parent and Chair of the Education Otherwise’s Government Policy Group and Myra Robinson, who oversees home-educating families for a north of England education authority.

On Tuesday 9th October at 9pm, Teachers TV broadcasts We Don’t Go To School, exploring why so many parents choose to educate their children at home and the impact this can have on the children."

And finally, news from the Washington Times:
Home education success proving critics wrong


Monday, October 01, 2007