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.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Homeschooling: not for desperate housewives

What's on the news today

Jayne, who educates her three children aged nine, 12 and 15, said: “A lot of us feel the proposed changes are not about benefiting the child but about control. As the current legislation stands we have a very free system and that is a good thing. We want to protect it for people who need to make that choice in the future.” Read more...

Plans to force home-schooling families to register their children with local authorities are “not a good use of public money”, according to a member of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board. Read more...

Rising numbers of parents are being fined for taking children out of school for cheap term-time holidays. Read it here.

Homeschoolers excluded from laptop grants

Another petition:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow home educating families to apply for home access laptop grants.

At the moment home-educating families are purposely excluded from the Home Access free laptop scheme for families on low incomes in England. We believe this to be discriminatory against families who strive to bring a nurturing and personal education to their children and at their own cost. Ed Balls said that children without access to the Internet at home are " a disadvantage to their peers..." yet is utterly at home leaving a tiny section of society in that very place: at a disadvantage to everyone else.

Please make the laptops available to home-educated children too. The current criteria is negligent and exclusive. More here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Our children have been nationalised

Gerald Warner reckons that the German homeschoolers' political asylum in America exposes the EU Gulag:

Why did the German homeschoolers not seek political asylum in Britain? Because our rulers subscribe to the same tyrannical statist philosophy, is the answer. Every possible obstacle is put in the way of homeschooling parents in Britain.

The mentality is that the state – not parents – is the natural controller and shaper of children’s lives and beliefs. When a schoolgirl can be given an abortion without her parents’ knowledge, we know that, while public utilities may have been privatised, children have been nationalised.

ALSO on the news: One of the growing number of children who are being taught at home, for Archie there will be no dreaded Sats exams and when the time is right he will likely bypass GCSEs and move straight to A-levels. Read it here.

AND, on EO's campaigning site, a new page -Where are we up to with the Bill? - which can be read here.

Finally, we also have the Memorandum submitted by AHEd: Children Schools and Families Bill.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

EO questions assurances about EHE funding

"the guidance notes specifically instruct local authorities not to include home educated children in any funding applications."

Read it here.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Are home-educated children better off?

Parents who choose to educate their children at home are concerned about Government plans to force inspections on them. Cambridge News speaks to one local family who have shunned the school system. Read it here.

Today, 19:30 on BBC One (Cambridgeshire, East only): Dave Hough educates his son at home because he thinks schools are too regimented, offer a poor standard of education and tolerate bullying. The government is planning to introduce much stricter regulations on home schooling with inspections by Ofsted. Dave Hough and many other home educators claim this goes against their right to educate their children in the way they see fit. David Whiteley asks who really is best-placed to ensure the child's right to a good education, the state or the parent? As seen here.

Also: Are Home Educators Worrying About Nothing?