Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Say hello...

Hi there! If you pop by, do say hello...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Children's Rights


On the news...

In Coventry alone, over 200 parents were fined for kids' truancy: "The law says all children of school age must go to school unless they are being provided with an alternative education at home by parents or private tutors."

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Government response to EO Lone Parent Petition

"We received a petition asking:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to permit home educating lone parents to remain on Income Support.”

Details of Petition:

“Lone parents have additional caring responsibilities and make a vital contribution to society raising and educating children who for one reason or another do not fit into the state system. Home education is not a lifestyle choice; for home educated children it is quite literally a lifeline. Every home educated child saves the Government £5,000 a year in school funding. On JSA hundreds of children will be plunged into poverty.The weekly family income will be cut by up to £60 a week. Sufficient appropriate affordable childcare is not available in order for home educating lone parents to work outside the home. Home educating lone parents want to work as soon as they are able to do so. Home educating lone parents should have access to a full range of support for return to employment, but increased conditionality and compulsion will only ruin vulnerable children’s lives, which surely was not the Government’s intention.”

While the Government recognises that lone parents have the right to home educate their children it does not provide funding for them to do so. Lone parents who currently receive Income Support are eligible for that benefit on the grounds that they have sole responsibility for the upbringing of a child, not because they are educating their children at home. A parent who chooses to do so must be prepared to accept that they are responsible for all of the costs associated with that decision.

Our proposal is that, subject to the passage of regulations, new obligations will be introduced for lone parents when their youngest child reaches 12 and over from November 2008; 10 and over from October 2009; and 7 and over from October 2010. At those stages lone parents will no longer be eligible to claim Income Support based solely on being a lone parent, and may claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or another appropriate benefit instead.

A lone parent choosing to home educate their children will not necessarily lose entitlement to benefits, though they will be required to demonstrate that they are seeking work. When making a claim for JSA, a lone parent will establish a Jobseeker’s Agreement setting out what they will do to obtain paid work but this will be tailored to their circumstances. Therefore the Agreement can contain restrictions on availability for paid work, for example, due to caring responsibilities or the need to restrict availability for work to school hours.

In order to safeguard the welfare of children the draft proposals for regulations include a further safety net, to give Jobcentre Plus additional discretion so that a lone parent who is claiming JSA will not be penalised if they leave a job, or fail to take up a job, because appropriate, affordable childcare is not available. They will need to demonstrate that they have made genuine efforts to locate such childcare, but this will provide home educators with protection if local services that meet their needs are not available.

Under the JSA arrangements lone parents will continue to have access to a range of pre-employment support such as the New Deal for Lone Parents. Provision will also be available to lone parents on entering work, including financial support measures to ease the transition from being on benefit to moving to employment in the first months of a job."

As seen here...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Asperger Syndrome: Today's Man

More info here. Download torrent here.

On the news...

Homeschooling Surges in U.S.: "Homeschooling is no longer just an offbeat trend or an avant-garde educational choice. With more than 2 million homeschooled students in the United States, parents' reasons for opting out of traditional public school are as varied as their demographics."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Snooping lollipops

"Lollipop ladies across the country are to be equipped with cameras hidden in their poles." Read more...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Peer Pressure

or the power of conformity...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Home education success

...in just eight months: "Before she began studying Italian, Anna Bashall could not speak a word of the language. In just eight months the 17-year-old has not only passed a GCSE in the subject, but also been named in the top ten in the UK."

Anna has been home-schooled since she was 13.

Also on the papers, home schooling is nothing radical:

"Johann Hari (Opinion, 11 September) really ought to be a little more careful. Home education in the UK has a long and proud tradition, and there are a huge number of families who are actively involved in a thriving home-education community. The kids have a great time and are bright and well adjusted. They can count, too. [...] These kids are not being "uneducated" or abused. They're just being educated by their parents. Not very radical really.

Read more... [scroll down a bit...]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Children Learning at Home

A book by Julie Webb - Read it here.

Home Education - News

At home with learning: "IN TODAY'S society, how many parents are actually aware of their options when it comes to educating their children? For example, did you know you do not have to tell the Local Education Authority if you choose not to send your child to school or that you do not need any qualifications or teaching experience to home school them?" Read more...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Honey, I think we're home-schooling the kids

Adharanand Finn tells us here why he decided to home-educate his daughter.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The "crime" of home educating

A Brazilian family has been threatened with imprisonment and the loss of custody of their children for the "crime" of home educating. Read more here and here.

Ver mais aqui e aqui.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The ABCs of Home Schooling

Parents opt to teach kids at home for growing list of reasons

"While experts say most parents who homeschool do so for religious reasons, an increasing number of families are making the same choice for reasons beyond the stereotype. Homeschooling has emerged as a growing option for families of children who have special learning needs; are academically or athletically gifted; suffer from health problems; or just don't fit the mold of traditional public schools, experts say. And with the growth of cooperative learning groups as well as support groups on the Internet, homeschooling has become a less isolating endeavor."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Home Education - News

If you came across Johann Hari's article, make sure you read the reply from Education Otherwise spokesperson Ann Newstead and from Bishop Hill.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home Education - News

Michelle Stuart, a home educator in West Lothian, could teach officials a lesson: "Becoming a home educator was a steep learning curve for me. Having suffered agonies with my daughter due to school-related problems and the system's failure to accommodate her needs, I had no choice but to take back personal responsibility for her education."


Check out Carlotta's blog for more home ed news links.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An aspie love story

Mozart and the Whale: They don't fit in; except together...

Watch the rest here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ben X

"Ben X" is a Belgian film about a teenager with Asperger Syndrome who escapes a life of constant bullying and torture by his peers through the online role playing game Archlord. Communication is difficult for Ben, not just because of his condition but as a result of constant heckling from his classmates. He creates a parallel fantasy world that he retreats into as his real one gets increasingly unbearable. Ben develops a plan to escape it permanently but the emergence of Scarlite, a girl he met in an online game, adds a surprise twist to the story."

Watch trailer here.
Download torrent here.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Asperger's and School

From Nena's Aspie Diary

If you liked the video, why not subscribe to Nena's channel?

Disadvantages of homeschooling

If you came across the article on the disadvantages of homeschooling, make sure you read Carlotta's reply.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Not back-to-school week

Home education is on the news once again.
The Times has an article you can read online:

Down wiv school: children are best educated at home

This week need not be back-to-school week. Parents as well as their kids can benefit from home education:

"The return to school is a well-established part of the journey of life. It seems normal, right and inevitable. But actually it is none of these things. Yes, it is normal in the early 21st century. But if modern civilisation started about 10,000 years ago, this way of treating children has been “normal” only for the last 2 per cent of the time. It is a new, artificial construct designed to provide education at low cost. It certainly was not created to provide a pleasant or socialising experience for children.

Schools are not clearly “right”, either. People tend to think that what everyone does and what they themselves experienced must be right. But there is nothing obviously ideal about delivering your children to other people who do not love them as you do, and who are likely to teach them things with which you may disagree. And sending children to school is not inevitable. Under the law, children must be educated. But they do not have to be educated at a school. There is another way." - James Bartholomew


Other articles:

What homeschooling taught me
Is home-schooling a wise move for children?
Home tuition is one answer

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Home Educated Savant

From Wikipedia: "Matt was a precocious infant who walked early and learned to read by age 18 months. He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, at age three. Matt did not like any noises or music during his early childhood. At age six, Matt taught himself to read piano music. He and his younger sister, Rebecca, are both home schooled. Despite his young age and his autism, and even without formal instruction in musical composition, Matt is an accomplished musician and composer."

Matt also appears in Mad but Glad, a documentary exploring the links between 'madness' and creativity. Part 2 can be watched here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The spirituality of education

Parker Palmer: "A spirituality of ends wants to dictate the desirable outcomes of education in the life of the student. It uses the spiritual tradition as a template against which the ideas, beliefs, and behaviours of the student are to be measured. The goal is to shape the student to the template by the time his of her formal education concludes.

But that sort of education never gets started; it is no education at all. Authentic spirituality wants to open us to truth - whatever truth may be, wherever truth may take us. Such a spirituality does not dictate where we must go, but trusts that any path walked with integrity will take us to a place of knowledge. Such a spirituality encourages us to welcome diversity and conflict, to tolerate ambiguity, and to embrace paradox. By this understanding, the spirituality of education is not about dictating ends. It is about examining and clarifying the inner sources of teaching and learning, ridding us of the toxins that poison our hearts and minds."

Listen online: Parker Palmer Podcasts

Child Genius

This channel 4 documentary includes two gifted children who are, or at least were, at some point, home educated: Adam Napier-Smith and Peter Williams. Curious? Watch it online: Part 1 - Part 2

Monday, September 01, 2008

Rudolf Steiner & Waldorf Education

Read Steiner's books on education (PDF format) or listen to his lectures (just click on the book covers).

[from: Waldorf Homeschoolers]