Can you imagine a world where there is more choice that just state -v- private schooling? A world where family and friends* didn’t openly show their concern over your parental choices?
Why have we not found a bridge between authorities who like to tick boxes and ensure a level of standardised quality, and families who can see how autonomy and educational freedom benefits their child(ren).
We live in a digital age where we post images of our home education adventures for the world to see. What if we could harness these powerful methods of collecting evidence, showing that our children do progress and develop just as well (if not better than) those children sat in school each day?!
Lets develop a Home Education App!!
How would the Home Education Bridge work?
- Choose 5 photographs that have been taken across the course of 1 week
- Anonymise (if nec) by cropping children’s faces or identifiable content in the back ground (edit #1)
- Tag areas of the curriculum of choice (does this have to be the national curriculum i.e CfE in Scotland) (edit #2)
- Tag generic skills and competencies available, other than those linked to curriculum (edit #2.1)
- Upload to app
I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others
Gross Motor Skills: Balance, Jumping etc Functional Skills: Dressing Fine Motor: Hand-Eye Co-ordination
I am developing and sustaining my levels of fitness
I can follow and understand rules
Maybe if we had an app that parents could download, and maybe if parents could choose their own 5 images that demonstrate an example of the activities, work and progress that they see their children make each day/week, then maybe we could bridge the gap between home education and authorities. An app could provide the information that authorities are looking for whilst at the same time offering parents enough distance from organised, prescriptive education and the pressure of oversight.
It is just an option. Just an idea.
There are certainly some parents who would see such an app as simply one step more towards government control of home education and another significant step towards forcing all children into classroom boxes. It is accepted that such an app would not have 100% take-up from families. However, it is also possible that without such a compromise, the Givernment could easily, and relatively simply, require all children to attend some sort of formal schooling and Home Education could be made illegal as it is in some countries (Germany for example).
If families do not want to see schooling made a legal requirement (currently schooling is not) in the UK then maybe as a community everyone needs to consider what a compromise actually looks like.
Covid-19 may have done the Home Education community a favour when we consider articles such as Sally Weale’s below, with growing numbers of parents choosing to keep their children home from school to avoid health scares, however, what will happen once a vaccine is found, how likely are those parents to send the children back to school? Do those parents really want to choose Home Education as a viable real alternative or will numbers drastically drop once schools are perceived as being safe again?
Perhaps now is the time to really work on those hard conversations with policy makers. Maybe now is the time for us to consider the value of education at home.
Further Reading on Registration & Legislation:
Monk, D., 2009. Regulating home education: negotiating standards, anomalies and rights. Child & Fam. LQ, 21, p.155.
Allan, S. and Jackson, G., 2010. The what, whys and wherefores of home education and its regulation in Australia. International Journal of Law & Education, 15(1), pp.55-77.
Foster, D. and Danechi, S., 2019. Home education in England.
Liberto, G., 2016. Child-led and interest-inspired learning, home education, learning differences and the impact of regulation. Cogent Education, 3(1), p.1194734.