Saturday, August 08, 2009

The true worth of home-schooling

I read Simon Webb's Comment ("We must get tough on home schooling", 30 July) with interest. Most home-educating families find that home education is a journey which we take alongside each individual child. Some find that a formal approach works best for their child, others an entirely hands-off approach. Many of us find a middle road.

One thing that most of us would say is that children do learn best by teaching themselves. All they require is a loving adult to answer questions, provide information and experiences and (sometimes) to show them how to do things. And, yes, it can take some children longer than others to master reading, but that is true of school children, and at least HE kids aren't made to feel like idiots if they don't master a sunject to a government-set target.

I'm surprised at Mr Webb's assertion that it is neglectful to allow children to pursue their own interests. One of my boys spent a lot of time climbing trees; he now works in forestry (and yes, he can read, write and do sums). Another is keen on computers and plans to make a career in that field.

It would seem Mr Webb has yet to discover the truth that emerges from HE, which is that with a bit of loving guidance children can grow up to be well-rounded, self-regulating, fully functioning adults; they don't need to be forced, coerced and badgered into it.

Sue Cardus

Original here.

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